I saw a post in the NBL Canada Facebook fan page this past week, that created quite a bit of conversation and thought maybe I should weigh in on it...
Why is there a Canadian Content rule (each team must carry 4 Canadians)?
Why not make the number higher 6 or 10?
Why not have a minimum number of Canadians on the court at all times?
Here is the logic that the league uses & keep in mind every team has Canadian ownership:
- A minimum level of Canadian talent is important because it helps develop and promote Canadian athletes. - The number has grown from 2 to 4 since our league's inception. - Our fans are fans of professional basketball (which is also why we don't adhere to strict FIBA rules) and as such want to see the best & highest level of talent that this league can afford, regardless of the nationality. - Based on the reality of the economics our players will average somewhere around $3,000 CAD per month (plus room, some food & travel to & from the market that they play in). - For every 1 Canadian that will play for that amount of money there are 100-1,000 Americans that would gladly take that opportunity. - With the relatively limited talent pool, we compete with other countries who do pay considerably more and play longer seasons, so guys who could impact our teams we often simply cannot afford AT THIS TIME. - The NBA DLeague plays with 10 guys on a roster and we carry 12. It is very difficult for any coach to utilize a full 12 man roster in most games.
These are simply the economic facts as they exist today. The good news is teams are doing better financially and the ability to pull more top Canadian talent home is increasing.
Based on some of the comments on the fan page it would appear as though our Canadians are all tokens & never play.
- London has 4 guys (Williamson, Johnson, Cadougan & Friesen) who either start or play significant minutes every game... - Windsor has as its leading scorer Warren Ward and plays Shaquille Keith & Rudolphe Jolly significant minutes. Rookie Noel Moffatt doesn't see a ton of time but he's a young pro from Newfoundland with nice potential. - Kitchener/Waterloo has Tramar Sutherland as a veteran & main contributor, Jason Caliste as a great shooter, Tyrone Dickson as late season strong power forward & Greg Morrow as a rookie with a bright future... - Orangeville has had 7 Canadians contribute through the year, a very good big man in Stefan Nastic, former #1 pick Alex Johnson having his best year, Jameson Tipping have a nice comeback year and Enrico Diloretto as a nice threat off the bench... Also Nick Wiggins was showing real promise before he got hurt. - Niagara has a veteran guard in Tyler Murray starting & playing heavy minutes, Richard Amardi has become a fan favorite & rookie Josiah Moore contributes off the bench and has started in eight games this season. - Halifax the defending champions start tough power forward Tyrone Watson, have long time favorite Joey Haywood & last year's surprise Renaldo Dixon contributing nice minutes. Kenny Ottieno who is coming back from injury is primed to add value as well. - Saint John has veteran Olu Famutimi, Jahmal McQueen & Mike Anderson contributing nicely as well as Rookie Alex Campbell brought in to take veteran Jabs Newby's place who went to Mexico. - PEI has a Canadian who has to be considered as a league MVP candidate in Terry Thomas, veteran bigs Robert Nortmann & Mike Allison as well as 2 promising rookies in Brad States & Harris. - Moncton has Tyrell Tate & Theo Davis playing their best ball of their career, veteran Cordell Jeanty who has had a nice impact when needed and a promising rookie in Jamal Gatali who will develop into a nice player in this league. - Cape Breton has Chadrack Luflie as one of the best young bigs in the league, Springer as a nice wing off the bench, Skeete as a promising rookie & Luby a 7' tall big guy with potential as a fan favorite.
This year a record number of 60+ Canadians will have played in our league & 5 Head Coaches (another record) are Canadian as well.
Personally I look forward to the days when we don't have to have "minimums" because we can afford to bring all of the top talent home & more rookies want to springboard their career by coming through their national league. I believe that the natural evolution is occurring and that day will be sooner than later.
Until that time occurs it is my hope that everyone can see the growth of the talent of this league from year 1 to year 6 and continue to enjoy what promises to be a very competitive close to this year...