Bruton, McEachin 'bringing old school back'

24. září 2012 v 8:46
They won't be pulling on the short shorts or reliving their glory years as NBL superstars, but the duo believes the tournament can be a stepping stone to future basketball success.
Canberra Cannon's legends (L) Herb McEachin and (R) Cal Bruton.
Canberra Cannon's legends (L) Herb McEachin and (R) Cal Bruton. Photo: Colleen Petch
"Black Pearl" Bruton and "The Snake" McEachin were rivals on the court.
They played against each other in the first NBL match in 1979 and went on to become legends of the game.
Crowds flocked to 'The Palace' in Canberra when the Cannons dominated the competition in the late 1980s.
McEachin kept playing in the Canberra competition and only stopped 12 months ago while Bruton has had just one game in two years.
But when the tournament heats up, two of highest profile players in NBL history might get the itch to pull on a singlet and relive their golden basketball years.
"We bringing the old school back," Bruton said.
"If this snowballs the way we think ... we take kids on tour, we take kids to the United States to watch NBA games, it's going to be great.
"All great teams have great two-man combinations, Cal Bruton and Leroy Loggins, when I played against the Cannons it was Herb and Phil Smyth.
"If I got past Phil, 'The Snake' would be there to knock me back down.
"This tournament is about the fundamentals of the game, hopefully it creates competitiveness, competence and confidence.
"We want to make this fun and the bottom line is get your game on, bring it on."
One of Australia's great basketballers, Andrew Gaze, will be a star attraction - as well as a host of retired greats including Tad Dufelmeir, Dave Nelson and Rodney Overby.
Basketball was at its peak when Bruton and McEachin were leading the NBL.
Crowds piled into stadiums and the players were superstars.
But in recent years, the game has been trying to recapture the excitement and hype of the 1980s and 90s.
It's been almost a decade since the Cannons went broke and the franchise moved to Newcastle.
But Bruton hopes his 2 on 2 tournament will bring a spark back into the game.
The competition will travel Australia with the winners to play in a final in Sydney and the duo which triumphs winning a trip to the United States.
To make things interesting, there's a 14-second short clock, you have to pass the ball three times before you score and there are no referees.
In a bid to promote sportsmanship, the defensive team is given the responsibility of calling the fouls and if the teams disagree, they'll toss a coin to make a final decision.
"It's the ad-lib part of the game which makes players become exceptional and that's what 2 on 2 is ... you have to respond to what happens out there," McEachin said.
"We old school, we played playground ball and you're just with your partners.
"You've got to come with your stuff, we might want to flash it up or we might want to be with business ... you've got to play with heart."


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