It’s September 25, 2000, a timestamp of great underestimation from the entire league of what a young Paul Pierce was capable of becoming.
It looks like a few people have been trying on their blinkers before the Melbourne Cup’s even run.
We know this because of the wayward commentary about the NBL last week, which bolted into the national spotlight like James Ennis in the open court.
Listen, I imagine these people haven’t even watched a highlight, let alone a full game.
So to settle the score, here are six scorching plays from the weekend’s games that should have doubters rethinking their position.
1. While everyone’s talking about the Wildcats’ star James Ennis, close followers of the sport have surely noticed Jermaine Beal as well.
He’s quick-thinking, can accelerate to the basket and finish while hovering in the air. Take a look at his steal and fast-break from the Friday game against the Breakers.
2. Having said that, we can hardly ignore Ennis, can we? There’s simply nobody in the league able to contain this shooting star.
The pogo-stick dunks are one thing, but try defending his inside moves too. He made a tornado-like baseline spin and pop on Friday that would have bamboozled Metta World Peace back into an Artest-style rage.
3. The Taipans’ Jamar Wilson is a dynamic talent but don’t sleep on Demetri McCamey either.
His no-look over the shoulder toss to a cutting Cameron Tragardh on Saturday struck the Sixers like, well yes, the bite of a venomous coastal Queensland snake.
4. Sydney Kings centre A.J. Ogilvy made a nifty dribble and two-hand baseline jam against Perth, a move that’s easily executed by most big men but not always so smoothly.
5. Speaking of largish individuals, Alex Pledger’s double pivot step and jump hook against the ‘Cats was a thing of beauty.
Dare I say, shades of the great Kevin McHale from the young Breaker.
6. How could you not love Rotnei Clarke’s sweeping finger roll down the right lane against the Crocs?
The Hawks’ import has a wonderful handle and delicate finish, even with players in his beak.