Once upon a time, NBA basketballers who could no longer secure a job in the elite professional league, but did not want to call time on their careers just yet, went to Europe for as long as they were welcome.
That is not exclusively the case anymore, as the NBL has taken a few players and extended their careers.
The Brisbane Bullets are importing Alonzo Gee in the hopes that Gee will bring the Bullets the missing piece to their puzzle.
Gee will be on prominent display when the NBL pre-season blitz gets underway in Bendigo.
The regular season for the NBL will run from October 2018 to March 2019.
Brisbane is already playing some trial games. They beat a U.S. college squad of tourists in Brisbane, lost to the Cairns Taipans in Rockhampton and have a game with the Illawarra Hawks in the offing.
Gee was not exactly a household name in the NBA, but the 31-year-old has six NBA teams on his resume, from 2010, including two stints with each the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets. He comes from a culture of winning environments, so the Bullets hope he will instill some sense of competitiveness and will to win.
Gee will more than likely see extended action in the Blitz, as a couple of Brisbane players are in the Bullets’ casualty ward aiming to return by the start of the A-League season.
He has 213 NBA games to his credit and playing alongside top-echelon NBA players such as LeBron James and against the likes of Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut, so once he becomes accustomed to the different style on play in the NBL compared to the NBA, he should fit in nicely.
The pre-season tournament will feature all the teams in the league, with regular season action beginning on October 11.