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BEFORE there was John Cena, and Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar, before there was Triple H and Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold, there was Spiros, and Brute Bernard and Killer Karl Cox.
ONE round back, Brisbane was in second spot and Cairns in the four, NBL life looking blissful in the sunshine state.
IT'S the most even season in not only the NBL's history but, arguably in the history of team sports in Australia.
THERE were a host of notable efforts in the NBL to collect this round's B.O.T.I. Player of the Week honours, and a WNBL stand-out.
ARE you old enough to recall the Chicago song "25 or 6 to 4"? Doesn't matter if you're not because this round in the NBL, it is "36 from 8 to 2".
DANDENONG is for real. Anyone who had any doubts had them partly erased last round but it was powerfully confirmed in the WNBL's Round 10.
THERE was a smattering of overblown talk last round about "statement" games but there are a few opportunities this weekend for delivering serious shots across the bows of our elite leagues.
THE NBL has never been more even - I'm sure we all get that - and the WNBL also is far more than a one-horse race.
SOME weeks are definitely harder than others and Round 9 certainly is a case in point for B.O.T.I. Player of Week nominees.
EXPECT the Sydney Kings to have to make a call on whether to bring in a new backup guard very quickly because it now appears Steve Blake will not be returning.
HATS off to Perth Lynx, the WNBL club this week announcing the biggest free-to-air TV news of the season with two games to be live on Channel 7.
*FLASHBACKS, my irregular "lucky dip" where I just reach into my drawers of old Australian basketball stuff and transcribe or post whatever I find for you.*
THE problem with NBL referees, in particular, taking only discretionary action against players who so regularly travel, is it opens all kinds of dangerous doors.
THAT's right, it's December already and you'll be thinking Christmas gifts. That was made easy for NBL fans in 2001 with the league's first nude calendar and today we reach the end of the road of our year-long revisit.
THE NBL in 2016-17 is a tipster's nightmare and a promoter's dream, Round 9 this week presenting a menu of mouth-watering matchups.
WHAT a week! What a cracker round of NBL and WNBL basketball. It just doesn't get much better, although we should all be sad to see Steve Blake and Chante Black departing.
THAT was the NBL round to end all NBL rounds. Rest assured, coaches and star players aren't looking for symnpathy or making excuses when they say this is the most even season on record, even if Sydney just lost Steve Blake.
IT'S getting tougher by the round for defending WNBL champion Townsville to keep sight of the potential threepeat it should be chasing.
PERTH'S Lynx have strengthened their ranks with the addition of LA Sparks' WNBA shooter Brianna Butler, finally replacing injured Monica Wright.
LET'S get serious here. There were several outstanding individual performances across the WNBL and NBL in Round 7 but two stood head-and-shoulders above the pack.