The sports wrap with Nicky G

Monday 17 January 2011

The sports wrap with Nicky G


by Nick Gibson

The Taipans had a week of mixed fortunes, splitting their games but remaining masters of their own domain. They lost in Auckland in a top of the table entertaining match and then dismantled the Melbourne Tigers at home in emphatic fashion.

The Tigers, who’ve been around longer than the NBL itself - were barely a blimp on the Snakes radar as they cruised to a 20 point win and record breaking nine on the trot at home.

I’m looking forward to the rematch against New Zealand at home on 30 January as all signs are looking positive for Cairns to go deep into the post season.  Are they good enough to win it all? No!
Now that may sound harsh but let’s put it into perspective.

Championships are extremely tough to win, which is what makes them so special. I’ll never forget an interview with Mark Price who coached briefly in the NBL. Mark was a former point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 – 1998, a perennial All Star and basically dominated the sport over this period.

How many championships did he win? 0! He put this doughnut down to the fact that he played in the same era as a bloke named Michael Jordan who didn’t let anyone else win anything!

Whilst our basketball no longer has such a player (Gaze for example), titles still elude many great players and franchises, and the Taipans I feel are still learning and are a few years away.

Wouldn’t it be special if we got one before the Townsville Crocs however... That’s possible!
Mark Prices’ view is also very valid with today’s tennis stars and with the Aussie Open around the corner it puts the topic on our door step.

Roger Federer has already won 16 slams and if Rafael Nadal wasn’t around (who has somehow also chalked up nine) he could possibly have 20. Scary!

But how many champion players are gonna miss out on the ‘ultimate success’ because they played in the era of the Nadal – Federer duopoly? Guys like Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro, Davydenko etc. may never taste it.

Djokovic and even our Lleyton know the feeling but can’t get back there and then there are endless talents waiting for these guys to get old or injured so they can be the next best.
I’m not a huge tennis fan but I do love watching the Aussie Open and Wimbledon, and with both these two superstars confident of winning the “slam’ (all four majors) this year it makes for some exciting sport.

All I know for sure is that they both can’t do it – not in the same calendar year anyway.

Let’s hope some Aussies cause a stir to give us all something to cheer about. I’m sticking with the Fed Express to grab number 17!