There is immense NBA interest in this month’s NBL Blitz, according to NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger.
All nine NBL teams, along with an NBL1 All-Stars team, will descend on Tasmania next week for the Blitz, with many fans set to get their first look at Next Stars and NBA prospects LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton, Terry Armstrong and more.
It will be more than just fans who watch the stars of the NBL, though, with Loeliger telling The Advocate there has been “an unprecedented level of interest from NBA clubs” in the NBL Blitz.
“I can’t tell you how many emails and conversations I have had from clubs about the Blitz in Tasmania,” Loeliger said.
“I expect most of the NBA teams to be represented in Tasmania, as they are salivating at the prospect at having all the talent in the one place, as it really is the equivalent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
“But it is not just the talent on offer, but they love to have a reason to come to Australia, and we are proud that we can show off another part of Australia to them.”
The Blitz coming to Tasmania is part of a wider ambition to potentially establish a 10th NBL team in Tasmania, with Loeliger declaring it is an exciting time for the sport.
“We have said from the very early days that we were keen to expand the NBL, but we wouldn’t grow for the sake of growth alone, that we would only do it if it was sustainable and makes a good business sense,” Loeliger said.
“Obviously bringing the Blitz to Tasmania is a precursor to our hopes and aspirations to have a NBL team in Tasmania in the not too distant future, so rest assured we wouldn’t be doing this unless we thought it was the right time to grow and the right place to grow, and we think it is all lining up nicely for that.
“It is exciting for us to have a truly national sporting league coming into another state and making our footprint more comprehensive on a national basis.
“We are anticipating significant numbers and I know there is a lot of public support for an NBL team down there, and this is essence a litmus test to see whether the public reaction is all that it has been hyped up to be.”