Saturday, May 30, 2009

We hardly knew ye

Q: What do Australian basketball and origami have in common?

A: A whole lot of folding.

The South Dragons are no more. Considering they are the reigning champions of the National Basketball League in Australia, that's not an especially good sign for the sport. As an aside, they were my team. Here's a brief history of my teams in the NBL...

First, there were the Nunawading Spectres. I thought that was an amazingly cool name, and they had the best logo ever, so when Victorian Basketball Association games were on TV, I'd go for them. That organization still exists, by the way, but not at the top level.

The original teams in the NBL were outgrowths of local organizations, like the present day Spectres. The whole club would operate teams at all age levels and in all sorts of leagues, not just the NBL. The only remaining team built on this model, and in the NBL, is the Melbourne Tigers.

Anyway, Nunawading joined the league, and changed name at some point to the Eastside Spectres. Meantime, the once-powerful St. Kilda Saints merged with Kilsyth (from the state league - I forget their name) to form the Southern Saints. Then, around 1991, the Saints and Spectres merged to form the Southeast Melbourne Magic. They won titles in 1992 and 1996, defeating the hated Melbourne Tigers both times.

A few years later, the Magic merged with the struggling North Melbourne Giants to form the Victoria Titans. See how the nicknames reflect the merger of the old nicknames? I like that. Anyway, that team went nowhere, and folded. As did a re-animated Victoria Giants franchise.

Then, two seasons ago, out of nowhere, the South Dragons appeared. This seemed to be the nearest thing to my old Magic, so I stuck with them. After a truly awful start, they came home strongly in the first season, with coach Brian Goorjian from the (folded) Sydney Kings in charge. He had also been coach of the Spectres and Magic, way back when.

2008/09 - the Dragons dominated the league, and beat the hated Tigers to take the championship. Imagine my joy. Now, with the league being reshuffled and reformed in a new financial model, the Dragons are gone.

I give up.

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