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Bob's Corner: Giddey on the other side of the pond, too

BOB'S CORNER: ESPN is reporting that the long-awaited Josh Giddey triple-double, combined with the upcoming NBA draft, has created Josh Giddey news on his side of the pond, reports our US correspondent BOB CRAVEN. Giddey, the 18-year-old Adelaide 36ers tyro is the first Aussie member of the Next Stars program.


ESPN (and others) are reporting that the long-awaited Josh Giddey triple-double, combined with the news of the upcoming NBA draft, has created Josh Giddey news on this side of the Pacific

ESPN did a feature on him being the 13th-rated prospect in this year’s draft, AND a possible lottery pick AND possibly the first non-US player taken this year.

Not too shabby for being still in diapers.  I see it’s also in the genes, given his dad’s pro hoops history over your way.

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APRIL 22 marked the 67th anniversary of adoption of one of the most fundamental rule changes in (initially) pro basketball:  The NBA adopted the 24-second shot clock, to be implemented beginning with the upcoming 1954-55 season. 

In my opinion, no other single rule has changed the way the game is played, both offensively and defensively.  Even the elimination of the centre court jump ball after every score in the mid-1930’s was not as big as the imposition of the shot clock.

Most people don’t know that choosing 24 seconds as the time frame to take a shot was not random.  The NBA needed to do something to engender more interest and inject more offence in the game, as pro basketball was becoming known often to be slow and boring. 

Teams would get a lead and then start stalling, sometimes for minutes at a time.  Stalling was also popular when anyone was playing the Minneapolis Lakers and their dominant post player, George Mikan.  Get a lead and then stall was the mantra.

The owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, Danny Biasone, and his GM, Leo Ferris, started experimenting with a shot clock in early 1954, and looked at various shot clock formulas. 

Biasone looked at the stats from a number of games that he enjoyed watching where the teams didn’t stall and played a fluid game.  Then he broke the games down statistically and noticed that in those games he liked, each team took about 60 shots, or 120 shots total in a game. 

So he took 2,880 seconds in a 48-minute game and divided that by 120 shots.  That came out to a shot every 24 seconds. 

He started using a 24-second shot clock in his team’s scrimmages, and then had a few practice games with other NBA teams and liked what he saw.  So did the players.

Thus, he was able to push the rule through and have it adopted for the following season, which started a few months later in the (Northern) fall. 

FIBA adopted a 30-second shot clock in 1956, and the rest is history.  In retrospect, most people would agree that Biasone saved the game of basketball with that innovation.

* * *

STEPH Curry of the Warriors (son of former NBA sharpshooter, Dell Curry) had another sensational game last month, but this one had special meaning. 

In a win over the visiting Denver Nuggets, he started off with 21 points in the first quarter, then continued on from there to finish the game with 53 points. 

His hot shooting included 10-18 from 3-point range and 15-16 from the free throw line.  His 21-point first quarter was especially memorable because during that burst, he passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the all-time leading scorer in Warrior franchise history. 

The Warrior franchise was initially based in Philadelphia when it was founded in 1946, and it was a charter member of the then-new NBA.  They moved to the Bay Area in 1962, and Wilt set the old record in 1964 before he moved on.

Curry is a two-time league MVP, and this was his 7th consecutive game with at least 30 points, the longest such streak by a Warrior since Rick Barry during the 1967-68 season.  Curry is also the all-time franchise leader in 3-point field goals, assists and free throw percentage.

* * *

NOTHING to do with basketball, but I am saddened that we lost one of my US generation’s heroes.

Michael Collins passed away at age 90.

He was the pilot on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and, as “the loneliest man in the world”, he piloted the command module that remained in orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon and got most of the ink and adulation.

My connection with this event and Australia is strong. 

I was living in Canberra at the time and worked at the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics.  The scientists there had set up a special room with a TV and were picking up the broadcast of this live. 

Canberra time, it started relatively early in the day, and when I got to work, I just reported directly to that room to get a good seat.  I spent the entire workday in that room just mesmerised. 

It was also not lost on me that, due to the time difference and the relative positions of the earth and the moon, the communication link between the guys on the moon and the earth was received first at the dish and tracking station at Tidbinbilla, just outside Canberra, and then relayed back to the US and the world. 

We in Aussie saw it first!!!----by milliseconds, but, hey…….

May 1

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