After guessing and discussing the location of the next NBL franchise, it is almost a disappointment that the new team will be based in Melbourne.
South East Melbourne Phoenix will be the ninth team in the NBL. The first letters of the name spell SEMP, a word for which there is not proper dictionary entry.
Nine teams will provide for an unbalance structure. Melbourne already has a team, Melbourne United. Does a new team in the city mean that the old team will have to change its name to Divided?
Does the new club represent a resurrection of some sort, in accordance with the legend of the Phoenix? Is the NBL hoping the new club will be confused with the city in Arizona that is home of the Phoenix Suns?
That would be an unfortunate choice, as the NBA team from Phoenix is one of the three worst franchises in the league in the current NBA season.
The GM of the new club, Tommy Greer, supplied this explanation, “When we announced the team we asked the fans to give us their suggestions for a name. We received hundreds of names but eventually chose Phoenix, a name that represents the rebirth of basketball in South East Melbourne.”
Ironically or deliberately, the new club colours suggest a rise from the flames, with ash grey being part of the logo and we assume part of the kit.
The head coach will be Simon Mitchell and there is perhaps no better coaching gig in any sport than to be the head of a club that has yet to play. It makes getting the axe much harder.
More announcements are forthcoming, just in time for Christmas, but how about Andrew Bogut in a Santa Claus suit sliding down a chimney that runs from Sydney Kings to SEMP headquarters?