I have been saying all along that this is the year that the NBL will make its way towards its former glory. Hate to say “I told you so”, but if you needed any further convincing you just need to take a look at tonights game between the Melbourne Tigers and the Perth Wildcats, third versus eighth. Not much of a buildup if you look at it that way, however the Melbourne Tigers happen to have the NBL’s number one drawcard, Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams.
This man says what he wants, does what he wants and backs up everything he does when he hits the court. This was demonstrated to the fullest in tonights game. After a week where the Wildcats have thrown barrages of comments about Williams’ apparent actions into the limelight, Homicide came out and torched the Cats in the first quarter and never looked back.
The half-time interview, with the Tigers up by double-digits, consisted of Katy Price of OneHD asking Williams about the weeks buildup, his answer was simple, (paraphrasing) “Things have been said but I just want to say that I did nothing”. Follow that short statement he glared down the camera then hustled to the changerooms leaving a slightly stunned Price standing courtside.
Then again, with less than 2mins remaining in the game, the Cats had just performed an amazing 20 point comeback to be within three, Homicide and a courtside fan exchanged some pleasantries, Eric Devendorf (Tigers) was also privy to that conversation that took place.
Finally his full-time interview was just as short as the half-time interview, however it bore a much more powerful message. This time Homicide refused to answer anything, simply saying “This is FTA TV so I won’t curse, I won’t speak my mind here. I’m gonna tweet my thoughts on my way home. Too see what I have to say get on my Twitter page @chomicide” (paraphrasing).
Now to me this is absolutely fantastic! THE NBL IS BACK!! There is passion back into the game of Australian basketball and the man that brought it is Corey Williams, last season’s MVP.
How often to sports stars come out and say that what they really want to say, they can’t? Most athletes would say something along the lines of ‘It was a good game, the buildup to the game simply added to my desire to play well, the teams desire to win”. But noooo not Homicide.
This guy is the NBL Marketing departments dream, he is the Melbourne Tigers Basketball Clubs dream. I have read on one Twitter account that Homicide needs to be bottled up and sent to every other club in the NBL. Ain’t that the truth, imagine if it did happen!
The main thing lacking from the NBL in recent times has been the passion, the reason to keep watching, to keep attending games etc. with Homicide every week is a headline and every week the fans are guaranteed a show. He is now without a doubt the marquee player for the Melbourne Tigers and that needs to be pushed by them. The face of Homicide needs to be seen around the city with the Tigers upcoming games on bus stop posters, every basketball centre in metropolitan Melbourne should have a poster with Homicide and the rundown of Tigers games.
The opportunity created here by one man is far too great for the NBL and the clubs to not play on its potential. His post-game interview will be played in the news because as I said before, how many sports stars will come out and say that publicly. That in itself will create renewed interest in the NBL.
This should send out a message to every other club as well, get a marquee player and work them into the ground in terms of public appearances and getting their name and the teams name into the community. Most importantly, don’t have them acting like robots and running through the same lines over and over again, people tune out to that. To create interest you need to be bold in your statements, in other words – talk the talk and then back it up with play on the court – walk the walk. Simple philosophy if you ask me.
When I can I will attempt to upload a copy of the interviews, if I can find any in the digital world and you can see for yourself. THE PASSION IS BACK, THE NBL IS BACK!!!!!
On a side note I know this isn’t the usual tone to an article that may be seen on this site, however I hope that my passion for a sport I love has come through here.