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National Basketball League in doubt -

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ELEANOR HALL: One of the founding teams of the National Basketball League is set to fold.

The Brisbane Bullets problems began earlier this year, when owner Eddie Groves from ABC Learning
came under financial pressure.

He tried to sell the team but the new owners say they're pulling out of the contract because they
can't find a major sponsor.

With both the Bullets and the Sydney Kings facing uncertain futures, questions are now being asked
about the entire league's viability.

Donna Field spoke to five-time Olympic basketballer Andrew Gaze about the game's future.

ANDREW GAZE: Whether it is one owner or whether it is a multiple of owner or whatever membership
based club, whatever the formula is, it really is irrelevant if the economics don't stack up.

Unless you can have the club on a profitable foothold, then it is going to be very, very difficult
regardless of the ownership situation. I think Eddie Groves was an outstanding owner that had a
great passion for the game and brought a lot of organisations to the sport and I think that is
outstanding so I think it would be wrong to say that the Eddie Groves model is not correct but
ultimately, the sport and the clubs have to be to stand up on their own two feet and be financially

DONNA FIELD: And what is the problem at the moment? What do you see as the big problem as to why
clubs like the Brisbane Bullets aren't financially viable?

ANDREW GAZE: Well, in a very simplistic sense, they are spending more than they have and what I
think the situation is, a lot of it is created because of lack of control over your venues. Some of
these clubs pay exorbitant leases to use their venues and despite getting in basketball terms, very
reasonable attendances and good support, corporately these types of things.

If you don't have a situation where you can generate significant profits from your home games, it
makes it very, very difficult.

DONNA FIELD: And what does it mean for the future of the game if you do have teams within the NBL
experiencing this financial difficulty and the possibility of folding?

ANDREW GAZE: Well right now I think the future is outstanding. Yes there are some problems with a
couple of our clubs in the NBL but across the board over the last two or three years, there have
been some tremendous improvement in the viability of most of the teams so you know, obviously when
teams go under it gets a lot of exposure and it is clearly very disappointing but it is not
something that is exclusive to basketball so I think that it would be wrong to assume that the
sport is at its knees or that there is radical problems with the sport as a whole.

As a whole it's in a very healthy situation but clearly there are some issues with a couple of the
elite level teams that is unpleasant and needs to be addressed.

DONNA FIELD: Are you hopeful for the future of the Sydney Kings and the Brisbane Bullets?

ANDREW GAZE: Absolutely. I think that the sport is going through a reform over the next six to 12,
well it is in the process right now but very soon there is going to be some announcements about
what direction the NBL and Basketball Australia and the various programs are going to take and I
think it is an exciting time and there will be some significant changes to the structure of the NBL
and the number of teams and all those types of things I think are being discussed and I don't think
it will happen for the upcoming season, well it won't happen for the upcoming season but when you
look ahead, I think that the foundations are there for continued growth.

Obviously the Sydney Kings and the Brisbane Bullets are significant issues but they are not ones
that I think you look at to say well, that means that the whole sport is done and dusted and it is
all over.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Olympic Basketballer, Andrew Gaze speaking to Donna Field.