NBL close to reviving a Brisbane franchise
THE National Basketball League is close to delivering on its promise that Brisbane will have a team to support in 2015-16.
APN understands Brisbane's new team will be a joint venture between the NBL and West Australian businessman Paul Bendat, whose father Jack owns the Perth Wildcats.
The NBL believes the Perth model, which is again expected to buck the sporting trend and return a $1 million profit this season, is the right one for Brisbane to make a return to the NBL after folding in 2008.
The venture could involve an initial injection of about $4 million, and would require Paul Bendat to resign from the NBL's board of directors to avoid any conflict of interest.
It's uncertain whether the new Brisbane franchise would be called the Bullets, the name the team carried throughout its 29 seasons in the NBL, during which time it won three championships.
The NBL declined to comment on the latest ownership speculation, but it did tell APN an announcement was imminent, confirming Brisbane would be invited into next season's competition.
In that case, an announcement would need to be made very soon to allow the new club to take advantage of the NBL's free-agent list, which is released soon after the grand final series.
It would give whoever takes over the franchise licence about six months to set up the operation, which would involve:
- Securing a head coach;
- Securing coaching and medical staff;
- Locating a suitable home court venue;
- Locking up a major sponsor;
- Securing a suitable training facility;
- Setting up a ticket pricing structure; and
- Developing a junior program as an NBL pathway.
As reported by APN last month, former Bullets coach Brian Kerle has already expressed interest in helping resurrect a team in south-east Queensland.
Finding the right coach would be a priority and a major key to the new Brisbane franchise enjoying some success from day one.
While an experienced coach would be essential, the owner could also look at appointing someone like former NBL stars CJ Bruton or Derek Rucker to groom as a future head coaches, and could even consider offering former Bullets legend Leroy Loggins a position on the staff.