NBL vows to fix slippery courts

NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman says the economics of virtual signage are not ‘viable’, but the league is determined to work with the Players’ Association to resolve the competition’s issues with slippery decals.

A day after retired champion Andrew Bogut took to Twitter describing the on-court stickers as a “ticking time bomb” to cause serious injury, the NBL met with the Players’ Association and player delegates in a bid to fix the problem.

The meeting resulted in the NBL vowing to address the players’ concerns with court maintenance.

Kestelman also served a reminder that on-court advertising was vital revenue for the league.

“It provides an essential source of revenue for the league and clubs to fund NBL operations, including items such as referee costs and the production of our broadcast, which in turn is essential to the revenue generating capacity of our clubs,” Kestelman said.

“The NBL uses multipurpose courts, which are owned by multipurpose venues, and as such painted courts are simply not an option at this stage.

“The economics of virtual signage have been closely explored but are not viable. However, we will continue to look at all options and work closely with all venues and clubs to ensure best practice for player safety is protected.”

NBL says virtual signage not ‘viable’. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Australian Basketball Players’ Association CEO Jacob Holmes said the ABPA would observe the NBL’s next move on the slippery decals and act if they weren’t satisfied.

Holmes made it clear that the players’ safety must come first.

“The ABPA has again raised significant concerns with the NBL about the safety of the league’s court decals, and despite the NBL’s initial response, the problem has not been resolved,” Holmes said.

“Over the past 48 hours the ABPA has been meeting with delegates from all nine teams as well as the league regarding a solution as a matter of urgency.

“The league will be implementing further actions and measures based on the direct feedback of players, and the ABPA will be monitoring the outcomes closely.

“It is critical that NBL players are provided with a safe workplace, and dealing with this issue is a top priority.”

NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger revealed the league’s decals sit close to FIBA’s “ideal” standards.

Nevertheless, Loeliger said the league would work with the ABPA to find the best solution for the slippery on-court sponsorship decals.

“Player safety is paramount and the NBL is working closely with the ABPA, clubs and venues to ensure all appropriate measures are taken to protect this,” Loeliger said.

“This includes addressing the drying and cleaning of courts.

“It is a longstanding issue with our sport, not just the NBL, that any moisture on polished wooden floors can contribute to unnecessary slippages, and we are working closely with the clubs to ensure that moisture on the court is addressed quickly and rigorously during the course of any game and that courts are kept as dry as possible.”

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