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Agent Orange: Bacon-fuelled engine revving

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Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of #Hardball!!!

Long time Agent Orange groupies will know that I’m often overly excited. $2 burritos, kittens wearing top hats, Murder She Wrote marathons and impending basketball seasons really get my bacon-fuelled engine revving. But this 2015-16 NBL season has me as giddy as I was on my wedding night; in fact, I’m probably more excited as my wedding night wasn’t broadcast on Foxsports in HD. (Note: I’m sure that live HD footage of a grown man eating an entire wedding cake while in his superman underpants would be a sure fire ratings hit – call me, Foxtel). A lot has happened since Mr Ibekwe’s jump shot ripped the collective beating heart out of the Orange Nation (I WILL SPEAK NO MORE ABOUT THAT) and heralded the end of last season. First it looked bad, real bad; the Hawks and the Crocs were in financial trouble, there was no TV deal on the table, and the league seemed adrift upon a sea of woe. Outside of Cairns, Perth, and New Zealand, basketball seemed flaccid. Then, on the horizon, the hero that Gotham needed appeared: Larry Kestleman. The father of Dodo Internet (THAT internet company with the annoying commercial jingle that show up at 2am in the morning in between phone sex ads) dropped some serious cheddar and bought a controlling stake in the languishing NBL. Once his cheque cleared he set about unleashing the potential on Australia’s premier round ball game. It’s been one scintillating revelation after another: the Foxtel broadcast deal, free to air and streaming deal, the salvaging of the failing clubs and a general sexy polish to the day-to-day operations of the NBL. Uncle Larry is doing and saying all the right things so far. If this was The Bachelor, I would have given him a rose already and professed my undying love in the back of a Datsun 180b at the old Cairns drive-in screening of Basic Instinct (classic romance).

So how do the mighty men in Orange look in this new rejuvenated league? Well,  first let’s address the 2.03m metaphorical elephant in the room, Mark Worthington. Some have suggested that in this column I have said many, many, many, many, many, many unsavoury things about Mr Worthington. Well, it’s obvious that I was misquoted and that I drink very heavily while writing this codex of basketball illumination. The signing of Mark Worthington is a fantastic coup for the Taipans. The gritty determination and passion that made him such a great pantomime villain are the same characteristics that make him such a great signing (that and one of the best all-around games at his position in the league). Only time will tell but this semi-sentient basketball columnist likes what he has seen and heard so far, Orange really seems to suit Mr Worthington.

The other new face in the Taipans line up is the man who’ll be trying to fit into the massive spandex under dacks that Scottie Wilbekin left behind when he left to join the Phillidephia 76ers in the NBA: new import point guard Markel Starks. Lord Starks ticks all the boxes and his MVP award following the preseason NBL Blitz tournament bodes well. There may very well be a new King of the North in town.

Apart from those 2 signings the rest of the roster remains the same: Captain My Captain Cam Gliddon, 12-time Cleo Magazine ‘Stephen of the Year’ Stevie Weigh, Torrey ‘I reject your definition of gravity’ Craig, the fastest feet in the east Cam ‘Trigger’ Tragardh, Chieftain of Fist Pump Nation Alex Loughton, starting center and master of improvisational magic Matty Burston, Shaun Bruce the Bruce, and the final roster signing Damon ‘it’s pronounced Heuir’ Heuir. Of course the man with the plan, defending coach of the year, the multi-lingual Aaron Fearne remains at the helm. The pieces are in place, the sausage rolls are in the oven, it’s time to fire up the pom poms and get this revolution started, baby! NBL 2015-16, #Hardball here we go!!

By King Podge

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Nat Where You At

Nat Where You At

Basketball Junkie
Basketball junkie living in the real South Beach (Wollongong!). I talk too much about basketball, eat too much bacon and reminisce about the Seattle SuperSonics almost everyday.
Nat Where You At

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