The Big Bash League is lying to us

I’ve been to the Melbourne Derby of the Big Bash League. Great atmosphere. Perfect family-friendly sporting event. Non-stop crowd engagement and loads of pyrotechnics and colour.

There were 37,000-odd people at the MCG during that game. The Melbourne Stars won by 1 run on the final delivery of the game. An ideal and exciting scenario for the Big Bash League (BBL) and their efforts to attract supporters and crowds and ratings and sponsors.

Nice of them to wear pyjamas given the game ran well past Kevin Pietersen's bedtime.

Nice of them to wear pyjamas given the game ran well past Kevin Pietersen’s bedtime.

But at the same time, something was niggling at me. I couldn’t shake it.

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Tim Duncan is Greater than Kobe Bryant

Since Michael Jordan retired, the closest basketball has come to the mythical “Next Jordan” has been Kobe Bryant.

His skill set was almost a carbon copy of Jordan’s. The post-up moves… the ability to finish in traffic… the little tricks to create space… the footwork on both ends of the court… in many ways Kobe was very very very very close to being “The Next Jordan.”

Kobe even had better shooting range than Jordan, who rarely shot the ball at a high level from distance.

As a defender Kobe was extremely proficient… but Jordan was a few shades better.

And of course as a leader and as a winner Kobe was a poor imitation.

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With Kobe Bryant announcing that this will be his last NBA season after 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, there has been an outpouring of emotions from NBA fans.

Some NBA fans who are lamenting the loss of the “greatest player since Jordan.”

But I have a harsh truth for Kobe’s legions of fans:

Tim Duncan was the Greatest Player of Kobe Bryant’s generation.

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Matthew Dellavedova and the 2013 NBA Draft Re-Imagined

We’re all big fans of Matthew Dellavedova here at Mike or The Don.

Not only is he Australian, but he could be the best underdog story in the NBA.*

Dellavedova didn’t get drafted to the Cleveland Cavaliers with fanfare and a party.

In 2013, he worked his way onto the team and endeared himself to (most) fans with his willingness to put his body on the line, team-first attitude, and hard-work.

You can see the fear in Steph Curry's eyes.

You can see the fear in Steph Curry’s eyes.

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Luke Hodge and the PR Machine

When Luke Hodge leads the Hawks onto the MCG this Friday night, it will represent a triumph of public relations and corporate skulduggery.

He shouldn’t be there. It’s as simple as that. He should no longer be Captain of Hawthorn, and he certainly shouldn’t be running out onto the field this weekend.

This will happen... and that's a shame.

This will happen… and that’s a shame.

For two reasons:

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Which World Cup is the Best World Cup?

With only days to go before the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the entire nation of Australia is rallying to support the Wallabies. The streets are being painted Green and Gold, the media coverage is saturation-level, and fans around the nation are obsessively following Twitter for any possible lineup changes or news from the Wallabies camp.

HAHAHAHA Just kidding of course… Hardly anyone cares!

Aaah yes, rugby, the backward passes and the... touchdowns?

Aaah yes, rugby, with the backward passes and the… touchdowns?

Which is a shame, because the Rugby World Cup is awesome.

I would go so far as to say it’s the BEST WORLD CUP IN SPORT!!!

I don’t mean the best literal cup… although it does have curves in all the right places.

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American Arrogance and the Hayne Plane

Despite my well-documented disinterest in both Rugby League and American Football, I admit I’m interested to see the Jarryd Hayne experiment play out.

Hayne, you may know, abandoned the NRL last year (where he was a superstar) and is currently attempting to make the NFL (where he is a no-name novelty from overseas).

You've got to admire his ambition and desire... even if it is a dumb sport.

You’ve got to admire his ambition and desire… even if it is a dumb sport.

So if I don’t like the sport he played or the stupid sport he’s trying to play… why am I interested in Hayne’s progress?

Because of American arrogance and condescension. It bugs me.

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Punting the Punt

In 1993 I bet $1 on Vintage Crop to win the Melbourne Cup. I was in primary school at the time, and was with my Dad as he braved the ridiculous crowds at the local TAB to place a handful of modest bets. A couple of hours later at the Cup Day BBQ, I watched as some horses ran around a track, and afterwards someone told me I’d won about $5. I was thrilled. When it turned out to be $16.20, I was beyond ecstatic. Yes, I still remember the precise amount, more than two decades later.

It remains the highlight of my gambling career.

They based this scene on my reaction.

They based this scene on my reaction.

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The 2nd Ashes Test – The Things That Go Unnoticed

Shane Watson and Brad Haddin’s absence from the 2nd Test brought some fans joy, ambivalence or anxiety. Many were joyful at Watson’s overdue dropping from the Test team. Haddin left himself out for family reasons but with a very capable replacement and poor recent performances, we are not too upset. However I am leaning towards feelings of anxiety…

Seems about right

Seems about right

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LeBron James owes Matthew Dellavedova a house

Most people don’t know who Matthew Dellavedova is, but Aussie basketball fans will recognise “Delly” as the Aussie who is currently playing alongside the world’s best player LeBron James for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA.

It was a flamin’ dropbear, wasn’t it LeBron?! I told you to watch those buggers. Hang on a sec I’ll get a box of paddle pops out of the esky for your noggin’.

Delly also has a particularly strange reputation on Twitter. More accurately, it’s been how his reputation has changed over time that is strange. But I’ll get to that.

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Rajon Rondo and The Alpha Spectrum 

I will always be a Rajon Rondo fan.

Yes, he no longer plays for my beloved Celtics, the greatest franchise in basketball.

But he is still a captivating, frustrating, unquantifiably irresistible NBA player.

He plays in a way we’ve never seen before. He is totally unique in NBA history. He is an NBA Champion, All-Star, and an elite player at the league’s most competitive position, Point Guard.

Rajon Rondo, certified MoTD ManCrush™

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