Post by Solly on Apr 1, 2020 15:39:42 GMT
Some of you may know that I have for many years written articles for the Wolves' programmes.
Thought it might now be an appropriate time to expose those articles to a wider audience.
The material I can still locate was published post-2005, so I'll start the postings with my Part 1 of 3 entitled BBL Legends, written in 2006.
Feel free to discuss/disagree, I won't take offence
Having followed pro basketball since the 80s, I have seen ups and downs in the British game. In the early days of Channel 4, we were actually given a primetime slot, between 8 & 9 on a Monday evening, where live coverage of the second half of that week’s top game would be televised.
Back then, the top teams were the likes of Cinzano Crystal Palace, Ovaltine Hemel Hempstead, Planters Leicester & Barratts Birmingham Bullets – halcyon days indeed.
Here’s my take on some BBL Legends.
If I was being self-indulgent I could detail the legends I have seen over the years at Bullets but, in the interests of being even-handed, l am going to put forward just a couple of players who have played for each current BBL team.
As I go through the rundown, it will have to be recognised that I can only comment on players I have seen myself, and, for some current teams with little BBL history, I might have to tenuously link them to now-defunct setups i.e. London Capitals = London Towers, Birmingham Panthers = Birmingham Bullets, Plymouth Raiders = Solent Stars/Brighton Bears.
Right then, Part 1 of the countdown, in no particular order –
11. Leicester Riders
Gene Waldron – a deadly three-point shooter who roamed the court. Rather in the style of his guard partner, Karl Brown, tended to whinge somewhat. Can recall being taken aback one season to see him turn out for the Kareem-Abdul Jabbar All Stars vs Harlem Globetrotters up in Manchester (a game also featuring a pre-BBL (grumpy big man) Shawn Jamison).
Dip Donaldson – veteran greybeard, now off-court head honcho at Coventry Crusaders, but had a good game in the Trophy W for Covo against us last season, and just itching to have another runout, despite advancing (near 50 methinks) years.
10. Chester Jets
Loren Meyer – played a year or two in the NBA, and carried his class over to the UK. Came over here as a gesture to his buddy James Hamilton, and in a bid to get back to fitness, and back to the big-time. Don’t think he made it, but one of the best ever big men to play in our humble league.
Alan Bannister – made the roster at the Utah Jazz, but some unkindly remark that this was more about his 7ft 6 in height, than his basketballs smarts. Only used to average about 8 ppg, but it was said that Chester supremo Mike Burton had a wager that he would get 20 points in a single game before the end of his time at Jets. Apparently he had to be kept on court near 40 minutes, & be deliberately fed by his teammates, but the bet was won.
9. Birmingham Panthers
Tony Dorsey – made a huge impact back in the day. A class above in his two spells at the Bullets, taking up big-money deals in Europe, and even now still eking out minutes at Guildford Heat.
Nigel Lloyd – Bullets used to have a ‘Ciro Citterio (menswear)’ man-of-the-match award. Can only wonder at the number of fine threads that Lloyd and Dorsey must have accumulated. Came over to Bullets in the mid-90s, the season after winning League MVP. A supremo at the point. Now Panthers coach (giving himself the chance to show off those snazzy suits).
Future instalments to follow………………………………………