NBA may react badly to Philippines brawl, says Australia coach
Australia coach Andrej Lemanis fears the ugly scenes in the Philippines will make it harder to call on Australian NBA stars for international duty
Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis fears the ugly scenes in the Philippines will make it harder to call on Australian NBA stars for international duty. Aside from the physical and emotional toll on players and the reputational damage on the sport, Monday nights all-in brawl could have further consequences for the Boomers.
NBA teams are already reluctant to release players as it is for the two FIBA windows that fall in the leagues off-season. But the ugly events in Bulacan could provide them with another excuse to withhold top-line stars like Ben Simmons from joining the Boomers for anything short of World Cups or the Olympics.
Alternatively, players themselves may not want to risk their own safety for qualifiers in countries like the Philippines, where security measures were clearly not up to scratch.
Two current NBA players, Milwaukee Bucks pair Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavadova, were on Australia’s roster for the match. Maker is facing a possible Fiba suspension after he attempted numerous fly-kicks on Filipino opponents in amongst the carnage.
Obviously thats one of the concerns … what it means generally in terms of players willingness to participate and put their hand up, Lemanis said.
Daniel Kickert admitted he overstepped the mark by elbowing Philippines guard Roger Pogoy in the face. Kickert is likely to receive a long suspension from the global governing body for his hit on Pogoy, which sparked the ugly third-quarter brawl.
I was put in a position where I obviously made an action which was regrettable and unfortunate, Kickert said in Brisbane. I think I’ve overstepped a little bit with my response to the escalation in the game, I regret those things.
Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley alleged Philippines coach Chot Reyes incited his players to act violently, blaming him for the ugly brawl that marred the game. He described the all-in fight as the worst thing hed ever seen on a basketball court.
Longley rushed to the aid of Chris Goulding as he was set upon by a dozen Filipino players and officials. It was horrifying … really disturbing, Longley said.
Guard Goulding escaped serious injury despite also having a chair thrown at him by one of the Filipino coaches. Goulding touched down at Melbourne Airport early on Wednesday morning but declined to address the incident. I’ll speak to everyone at a more appropriate time, he said.
Lemanis said Goulding and Nathan Sobey, who was punched by an official and also hit by a chair, only had a few bumps and bruises to show for the fracas. The emotional scars, well see over time. Thats hard to tell, he said.