Tuesday, March 31, 2020

2018 Aussie Basketball Tour: Notes from a week in Melbourne

The 2018 Australian Tour (NBL and FIBA)
Round 19, Feb 18: ILL def. MEL (94 - 84)
FIBA Qualifier 1, Feb 22: AUS def. PHI (84 - 68)
FIBA Qualifier 2, Feb 25: AUS def. TPE (88 - 68)
Melbourne was the last stop of my Aussie basketball odyssey. The FIBA qualifying calendar coincides with the end of the NBL season so I'd be hanging around to watch 2 games of International play with the Aussie Boomers as well. My plan was to watch the league leaders play the season's final round, roadtrip with a local mate down the Great Ocean Road and return in time for the FIBA games. My stay would total 8 nights in 5 different beds. A combination of hostels, AirBnBs and crashing at a mates. I'd be back home in Sydney for the start of the NBL playoffs.

Being Australia's cultural capital, I've been to Melbourne close to a dozen times for everything from wrestling, comedy and basketball. I made the trip to see freshman Ben Simmons headline his LSU Tigers against his hometown team. I've watched the Aussie Boomers play New Zealand and the PAC-12 All Stars, including exhibition games in neighbouring Bendigo.

Pre-game vibes outside Hisense and Margaret Court Arena
First up was the final round showdown between the Hawks and Melbourne United. Illawarra sat outside playoff contention at a distant fifth but looked to upset the Championship favourites. The game at then-named Hisense Arena was tight until the Hawks broke free in the final stanza. The upset victory meant I finished my NBL roadtrip on a two-game losing streak. I watched the game with my friend Dom, her first basketball game live. We would embark for the Great Ocean Road the following day.

I had a 3 day reprieve from hoops action to hit the road. The trip south allowed me to visit iconic Aussie landmarks like the Twelve Apostles and Bells Beach, as well as do some bushwalking. It also yielded some nice vintage finds. We stocked up on classic CD albums for our drive and I scored some sweet gear. Most notably a South Dragons' Shane Heal jersey.


The first of two FIBA qualifers with the Aussie Boomers was against the Philippines. Being of Filipino heritage and having experienced the fandom behind Gilas Pilipinas firsthand during FIBA Asia, I knew that the visitors would have plenty of support in Melbourne. The game was competitive to start and plenty of fun with the cheeky banter from the Gilas faithful. As many observers reported, the contest "felt more like an away game" for the Boomers. The joviality a far cry from the shameful display their following matchup on Filipino soil. That game made international headlines, tarnishing the reputation of both programs as the contest devolved into a melee which spilled into the stands. I wish people could've witnessed the good spirits of this game instead of the lasting impression from that "basket-brawl".

Philippines and Chinese Taipei fans
The following Boomers match against 'Chinese Taipei' was a bit more traditional. A home crowd experience with only pockets of Taiwanese fans in attendance. Despite Taiwan's gutsy showing after the half, the Boomers had a dominant 20 point win over the visitors. Both international qualifiers were held at Margaret Court Arena (7,500 capacity). A smaller venue compared to United's home floor (10, 500) of Hisense Arena, now named Melbourne Arena.

The main highlight of this trip was reconnecting with different hoopsheads as I criss-crossed the country. Annie and her family of Wildcats' fans, as well as German backpackers Jakob and Lars. I met them in different parts of Australia and caught up with each of them over a game. Basketball has been an invaluable way to connect — #ThisisWhyWePlay.



It was an awesome feeling completing my first set of basketball missions. I'm halfway through the NBA cities and have two more FIBA tourneys to go. I wouldn't say I'm a completionist, I just really enjoy these adventures and would like to continue having them whilst I'm able to. Its actually taken me a while to polish off these diaries. Being cooped up with this global pandemic finally giving me the impetus. I realise that I'm driven by creating and living these types of experiences. Recounting these stories whilst the world is on lockdown reminds me of the privilege I've had to explore and why it was all worth it.

Thank You Basketball.

- Follow my daily snapshots on the @30HomeGames Instagram and hashtag #30HGoztour
- Check my tour notes from Wollongong and Adelaide
- Check my tour notes from Cairns and Brisbane
- Check my tour notes from Perth and Auckland
- Check my tour notes from my week in Melbourne

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

2018 Aussie Basketball Tour: Notes from Perth and Auckland

The home stretch of my NBL tour took me to Perth and Auckland for Round 17 and 18. These two franchises have shared the NBL trophy the entire decade so far at 4 apiece. I was especially looking forward to Perth as they're widely known for having the most raucous home court in the league.

On my maiden away game in Adelaide, I'd met Annie. She was the matriarch of a die-hard family of Wildcats' fans. I told her I'd be heading to Perth and hoped to reconnect with them for an insider's view of the Red Army.


Perth knows how to put on a show. I've been to a dozen NBA arenas and to games all around the world. I'd rate Perth number one among all my game day experiences. The very blue Perth Arena was awash in red. In the playoffs, it's tradition for teams to outfit spectators with freebie shirts so they're coordinated for the home team and TV audience to feed off. In Perth, it seemed everyone was already decked in a red and white jersey, sporting a members' lanyard.

I met with Annie and the family before the game. She insisted I grab seats early to catch Wilbur the Wildcat's pre-show entertainment. He rappelled from the rafters to unveil a "Welcome to the Jungle" sign.
Game Day in Perth and Auckland
It had the feel of a playoff game. Sworn enemies the 36ers were in town, the final round of the "Cattalini Cup". The vibe in the city on game day was palpable, red jerseys snaking through the main streets. The game lived up to the hype in spite of Perth's smothering 21 point win. Let's just say, Perth is a hostile environment for the opposing team. Especially if you happen to be Adelaide.

My New Zealand leg was unconventional in that I had a running mate in my close friend Sam. Apart from my maiden NBA trip in 2015, all my hoops adventures have been solo. Having parallel interests in comedy and punk rock would help, I'd also traveled with him previously in Melbourne where I adopted his vegan diet. I did the same during my NBA trip to the Pacific and was looking forward to going plant-based again for Auckland. My first time on the North island.

Foot Locker representing
Western Australia and the North Island
I like gauging the penetration of hoops culture when I travel. The local Footlocker repped the game with a sprawling mural of Auckland, admittedly it only featured NBA talent. Despite the Breakers being perennial contenders, the locals acknowledged that basketball had an uphill climb uprooting the National pastimes of Rugby Union and League.

Whilst I escaped Queensland with two underdog victories, the capable Breakers were set to face championship favourites Melbourne United. My home game winning streak put to an end with the visitors trouncing New Zealand by 18. The loss did sting but the kids excitedly going through the bleachers to scoop up Breakers' balloon sticks cheered me up.

#30HGoztour:
Mission almost complete.
I was lucky to enjoy plenty of local culture with Perth's Opera in the Park and Fringe World festivities underway. I also got to watch the Super Bowl in town. In Auckland, we were able to catch some comedy and farewell a storied live music venue. A highlight of mine was K' Road (Karangahape Road), where we scored tasty vegan snacks and some solid vintage finds. It's also where got I dog tags made to commemorate this NBL oddysey.

The 2018 Australian Tour (NBL and FIBA)
Round 17, Feb 2: PER def. ADL (111 - 90
Round 18, Feb 11: MEL def. NZB (100 - 82) 
I had a ball visiting the two most remote cities of the NBL. Having the good fortune to experience hoops all around the globe, I still cite this Perth Game Day as my most riveting fan experience. From the loyal fan base to the pre-game presentation, I highly recommend watching a Wildcats home game if you get the chance.

- Follow my daily snapshots on the @30HomeGames Instagram and hashtag #30HGoztour
- Check my tour notes from Wollongong and Adelaide
- Check my tour notes from Cairns and Brisbane
- Check my tour notes from Perth and Auckland
- Check my tour notes from my week in Melbourne

Thursday, January 16, 2020

All Fantasy Everything: Ep.12 – Cities for a Weekend (NBA Western Conference edition)

'All Fantasy Everything' is a podcast by Portland comedian Ian Karmel. Each episode Ian invites comedic guests to draft their Top 5 picks on a range of random, often silly topics.

Following in the footsteps of JJ Redick and Jalen Rose' selections for best cities to Champagne & Campaign in, I've excerpted the Western Conference destinations drafted by Ian Karmel, Sean Jordan and David Gborie. Sean and Dave were frequent guests in early episodes of the show when it was founded in 2016. They've since become touring regulars in the AFE family with producer Marissa.

'All Fantasy Everything' podcast (Episode 12: Dec 1, 2016)
Cities for a Weekend (w/ David Gborie and Sean Jordan)


Skipping to the end, the draft picks for each comedian went as follows:

Sean Jordan
1) Sioux Falls, South Dakota
2) Minnesota, Minneapolis
3) Las Vegas, Nevada
4) Deadwood, South Dakota
5) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

David Gborie
1) San Francisco, California
2) Reno, Nevada
3) Denver, Colorado
4) Omaha, Nebraska
5) Arcana, California

Ian Karmel
1) New Orleans, Louisiana
2) Portland, Oregon (The "Rose City", Top of the food chain, Jewel of the PNW,)
3) New York City, New York
4) Austin, Texas
5) Chicago, Illinois

I've excerpted the NBA cities from the west which I'd been meaning to since I heard the pod in 2016. To this date I've yet to visit any of the five destinations below. Hopefully the spots mentioned for each city are still around by the time I come around.

Ian Karmel: First round, Second pick.
New Orleans (Southwest Division) 
New Orleans, Louisiana
IAN KARMEL: (22m 33s) I have the second pick in the first round for 'Fun cities to spend a weekend in' and as much as it breaks my heart to do so I can't take the Rose City. I can't go PDX up top. I gotta go with New Orleans, Louisiana. There's not a more fun city. Just three days! Four might kill you. 5 probably, definitely will.

Things they did once...
DAVE: I was walking down there one time [Exposition Blvd] and I stumbled onto a Jamaican block. It was crazy, they had grills in their trucks. Like meat, they were making meats. Yooo! This is lit.
IAN: I was just in New Orleans. I bought meat out the back of a truck, or the trunk of a car, not even a truck... he was selling like these jerk meatballs.

Neighbourhoods mentioned:
- French Quarter
- Bourbon street
- Exposition Boulevard
- Mississippi River

Dave Gborie: First round, Third pick
Golden State (Pacific Division)
San Francisco, California
DAVE GBORIE: (32m 13s) Honestly I gotta go with my second city, my home away from home. The Sucker Free, San Francisco man. It is the best freak town ever... I've never gone to a city and gone out and got drunk and been like "everyone here is gonna get laid tonight".

Things they did once...
DAVE: We started drinking at 6pm. By 3 o'clock in the morning I was bombing a shortboard down a San Francisco hill on the way to the beach and hit the tracks.
SEAN: I went to a spaghetti restaurant and got a 40 [malt liquor beer] with a spaghetti. That's fantastic.

Neighbourhoods mentioned:
- Chinatown
- North Beach

Ian Karmel: Second round, Fifth pick
Portland (Northwest Division)
Portland, Oregon
IAN KARMEL: (44m 57s) I'm gonna keep it West Coast and redeem my first pick. I had to get New Orleans cuz I was afraid it was going to fall off the board but I have to redeem myself to my home city, my people. The people of Portland, Oregon.

Things they did once...
SEAN: We went there [Fire on the Mountain] on the crazy-regular. Like that's how we would start if we knew we were gonna have a real fun night.
SEAN: I'm not a big strip club guy. Portland has the only strip clubs that I've ever been to where most of the girls dancing don't look like they're having a horrible time.

Neighbourhoods mentioned:
- Kachka (Russian restaurant)
- Paley's Place (Bar & Bistro)
- Ava Gene's (Italian restaurant)
- Bunk Sandwiches
- Fire on the Mountain (Wing joint)
Holman's Bar & Grill
- Wunderland: Cinema and Nickel games
- High Dive (Neighbourhood joint)
- Belmont, Southeast

Sean Jordan: Second round, Sixth pick
Minnesota (Northwest Division)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
SEAN JORDAN: (59m 54s) I'm gonna go with Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its always been my favourite city in general. Where I wanted to live, I wanted to move there but we used to go up for weekends constantly... It was the first real downtown we went to. That downtown actually has stuff going on. A lot of cities you go downtown and it'll shut at 10 o'clock or midnight or something.

Things they did once...
SEAN: This is a specific sort of weekend. For me, this is the weekend. You go into Fifth Element [RSE store] and you just look around. Maybe you see like Slug, a famous rapper in there.

Neighbourhoods mentioned:
- Emma Krumbees (Orchard Farm, Restaurant, Bakery)
- Green Giant Statue Park
- Juicy Lucy Burger in Minneapolis
- Fifth Element (Rhymesayers Store)
Deja Vu Showgirls
- Gay 90's
- First Avenue (Downtown Danceteria)
- Acme Comedy co.
- 3rd Lair (Skate Park)
- Dinkytown
- Mall of America
- Bde Maka Ska [Lake Calhoun]

Dave Gborie: Third round, Ninth pick
Denver (Northwest Division)
Denver, Colorado
DAVE GBORIE: (1h 29m 47s) I'm sorry to wait for the third pick for you guys. I'm sorry but with the third pick I made the earth sick. Denver, Colorado. Mile High till I die baby! It's the best. Here's the thing with Denver, it has everything a great city has and top of it the people are fan-f*cking-tastic...
It's a spicy town, it's a hard drinking town.

Things they did once...
IAN: It was the first major city to go legal weed. I got to be there for the last High Plains I did. Two, three years ago. It was legal there but not legal anywhere else yet which was fun. It was a fun time to be there...
DAVE: Me and you did that dab in some dude's office.

Neighbourhoods mentioned:
- High Plains Comedy Festival
- 16th Street Mall
- Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park
- Fire on the Mountain
- Torchy's Tacos
- Voodoo Doughnut
Illegal Pete's

Explore links to other Champagne & Campaign recommendations:
- Former LA Clippers teammates Spencer Hawes and JJ Redick share their favorite NBA Road Cities
- Champagning and Campaigning in the NBA Cities: Eastern Conference edition
- Champagning and Campaigning in the NBA Cities: Western Conference edition
- Jalen Rose's City Power Rankings aka Black Guy City Power Rankings

Thursday, September 12, 2019

How basketball leads to connection: Isaac Eger on the 'Dear Adam Silver' podcast by Abigail Smithson


Writer and baller Isaac Eger AKA @gluten_daddy

I founded my 30HomeGames mission in Vilnius, Lithuania. I created the project after an unforgettable month traveling the country as the hoopsmad nation hosted EuroBasket 2011. It was my way of preserving that spirit and hopefully a way to keep chasing that high. It was the highlight of my year backpacking Europe, unlocking experiences and connections through a shared love of basketball.

My approach to travel is an extension of how I approach life: Wherever you are, be an interesting and interested person. Basketball becoming my wayfinder these past few years since founding @30HomeGames. I consume and follow plenty of hoops writers. Whilst traveling for work can be standard in sports journalism, I hadn't found many writers with the travel experience or approach that resonated with me.

Rafe Bartholomew was one I admired, he's an American who traveled deeply around the Philippines. Immersing himself in the culture and learning the language in order to understand why a small island nation was obsessed with basketball.


Isaac Eger was another. I found him through some streetball articles a few years ago. I enjoyed his gonzo approach to life and basketball and followed him since. He was a recent guest on artist Abigail Smithson's podcast 'Dear Adam Silver'. She discovered him the same way, describing him in the episode intro thusly:
Isaac is a writer and pickup basketball player, he has played the game all over the world. From Sarasota, Florida to New York City, to Cuba, Israel, Lithuania and Tibet. I reached out to Isaac a couple of years ago after reading an essay he wrote for Los Angeles Magazine about playing street basketball in LA.
In the episode, Abigail and Isaac discuss the power of games and how it allows us to connect with strangers and strange lands.
'Dear Adam Silver' Episode 12: Isaac Eger on the Art of Playing Pickup Basketball
ISAAC EGER: (43m 08s) We play basketball for reasons beyond just the game itself. I think that playing pickup basketball forces you to interact with people in a way that you wouldn't otherwise. I love playing basketball in different countries because I don't feel like a tourist. You know I feel very much on the level with everybody else...
ABIGAIL SMITHSON: Yeah it just seems like a powerful way to sort of build belonging where there is no belonging.
Abigail continues with a point that I've personally lived by. I backpacked Europe in 2011, then South America in 2013.  All my travels since have been Stateside or around Australia, always instigated by basketball. The beauty of this calling is it allows me to explore overlooked locales and find appreciation for any destination.
SMITHSON: (45m 12s) Yeah and I think when you're going to a new place and you get off a plane and then all of a sudden there's this other language around you and everything that you're used to is different. The fact that knowing you have a starting point is really a nice thing. It's like you can always go back to basketball to interact with that place. Rather than feeling like you have nothing to do or feel very groundless. 


My @30homegames Instagram project has been a handy catalyst for me to seek adventure. Because I've designed it so every post is basketball related, plenty of life experience goes uncatalogued. It's these times that are often the most unforgettable. Lost in the moment with newly made friends, wandering the unbeaten path. Feeling like Alice in Wonderland.
EGER: (45m 38s) That's the first place I always go to whenever I travel. I always look for the basketball court and I let everything else happen on the way to the basketball court. I'm very frequently on foot and a lot of the stories I write about that have nothing to do with basketball, I discover to and from the basketball court. When I go travel, I don't look to go to museums any more. I always found it to be a funny phenomena where people don't go to the museums in their hometown but the second they're in Paris, "We got to go to the Louvre". It's just like "Why?". Why do you feel like you have to go? So I almost avoid that and so if there's a basketball court on the way to the Louvre or I meet an employee there that can get me in for free or I get some special treatment then hell yeah I'll go. Otherwise I don't want to follow the same grooves everyone else has gone through in their travels...
Playing streetball with Colombian locals on Christmas Day 2013
My camera roll is odd and cryptic, devoid of selfies or tourist photos much to my parents chagrin. I have an archive of obscure jerseys in the wild, hoops of the world and nerdy stealth shots. I do it because I enjoy it. I learnt a while ago that one has to find joy in the process. In travel as in life, doing things to impress others is a fool's game if you're not enjoying the lived experience.
SMITHSON: (47m 17s) I don't think that following that blueprint of "these are the places you can't miss". It leaves you feeling a little bit like you've experienced this place in a very enclosed way and your idea of that place hasn't necessarily changed based on your experience.
EGER: Think about the way people share or position themselves relative to these places they have to go visit? I'm sure you've seen the people who are always holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
SMITHSON: Yeah, of course.
EGER: It becomes–It's no different than a green screen at that point.
SMITHSON: Totally. I have to say if I was there, it would be hard for me not to do it. I mean I've never been. I would just do because maybe that's why we interact with that space but I understand I'm trying not to seek them out because I think it lessens the chance that there's this unknown and a variable and when you have a list and when you have a travel book of all the sights you should see. Those variables you can't hear them as much.
Read Isaac Eger's articles:
What Pickup Basketball Reveals About L.A.
- ‘I Got Next’: Exploring New York Through Pickup Basketball
- @gluten_daddy on Instagram

Find Abigail Smithson's work here:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

30HomeGames goes Hollywood 2019 (LA and Sacramento): NBA Roadtrip wishlist

30HomeGames is going Hollywood for #NBLxNBA 2019.
Follow the journey at #30HGpacific
I'll be returning to California in October. My last visit to the Golden State was in summer 2017. I watched a bunch of comedy and went to my first WNBA game, a Finals rematch between the LA Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx. As with most 30HomeGames trips, this coming trip was a confluence of events which led to an impulse decision. The 3 California games I watch on this trip takes my tally of NBA arenas visited at 15, the halfway point of my mission.
  • Favourable dates for #NBLxNBA III. Melbourne United playing two Californian teams in the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings
  • The Warriors playing the Lakers in that span
  • Affordable flights from Sydney to LA
  • The blockbuster trades that make LA the undisputed centre of the basketball universe
  • Any excuse to binge on LA's comedy scene again



LOS ANGELES
Basketball

STAPLES Center
1111 S Figueroa St,
Los Angeles, California 90015

Los Angeles Clippers NBA schedule
Thu Oct 10 - Denver
Sun Oct 13 - Melbourne UTD (12:30pm) ----------

Los Angeles Lakers NBA schedule
Mon Oct 14 - Golden State (7:30pm) ----------
Wed Oct 16 - Golden State

- The Pistol Shrimps (Oct 15, 8pm at North Weddington) ----------
WNBA Finals (Last possible Finals date Oct 10)
Agua Caliente Clippers (Nov 9 start)
South Bay Lakers (Nov 9 start)

Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
- 'You Got it Dude' Bar Wrestling (Oct 9)

Comedy
- 'Motherland Comedy', Thursdays [Oct 10] 8:30pm at Kusina Filipina ----------
- 'Good Looks', Wednesdays 8pm at UCB Franklin
- Neal Brennan shows, Tuesdays at Westside Comedy Theater
- 'Pete Holmes Living at Largo' (Oct 11, 8:30pm at Largo) ----------
- "Hi I’m Rachel and This is My Show" - Starring Rachel Bloom (Oct 15, 8pm at Largo) ----------
- Team Coco House Shows (Oct 3-5)


Pinball
9 Arcades and Bars to get your Pinball fix
EightyTwo
Button Mash

VIDEO: Kyle Kuzma's Guide to Los Angeles | FLY BY

Itinerary:
- The Exchange (Alex Chang)
- Solomon's Studio (Victor Solomon)
- Amiri Studio (Mike Amiri)

Other
- Rose Bowl Flea Market (Oct 13)
- Round Two Store LA + Hollywood (Melrose Ave)
- For All To Envy (North La Brea Ave.)
- Melrose Trading Post
- Gallery 1988 (7308 Melrose Ave)
- Museum of Jurassic Technology (9341 Venice Blvd)
- Levitated Mass at LACMA (5905 Wilshire Blvd)
- New Beverly Cinema (7165 Beverly Blvd)
- Spoon by H (7158 Beverly Blvd)
5 ways to get into the Magic Castle
- Value suits: LA Suit Outlet 3 (380 E 15th), Giorgio Rossi (830 S LA), Mens Suit (1208 Santee)

___________________________________________________

SACRAMENTO
Basketball

Golden 1 Center
500 David J Stern Walk,
Sacramento, California 95814

Thu Oct 10 - Phoenix
Wed Oct 16 - Melbourne UTD (7pm) ----------

Comedy
- Sac Comedy Spot (Sac Comedy Fest, Oct 3-6)
- Punch Line Sacramento

Pinball
Coin-Op Game Room
In the Sacramento area, pinball retains its allure in a digital age (Sac Bee)

VIDEO: Comedian Hasan Minhaj talks to ABC10 about being a die-hard Kings fan

The Return of the "King" (Hasan Minhaj for Sactown Mag)
Natomas In-N-Out
Dos Coyotes

Other
- 50 things to do in Sacramento (SAC Mag)
19 super-fun things to do in Sacramento (Time Out)
Explore Sacramento With This Lady Bird Tour
- The Cheesecake Factory (Arden Fair)

Californian comics: Jensen Karp, Hasan Minhaj and Larry David
Check out my previous NBA wishlists:
North Carolina All Stars 2019: Basketball roadtrip to Charlotte, Davidson, UNC and Duke
NBL x NBA Wishlist for Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Phoenix
- Basketball Never Stops 2017 (Seattle and LA): NBA Roadtrip wishlist
The South 2017: NBA Roadtrip wishlist
Texas Triangle 2016: NBA Roadtrip wishlist
- Coolspotting: 30HG '2015 NBA RoadTrip' Champagne and Campaign spots (2 of 2)
#30HGroadtrip on Instagram

Friday, August 2, 2019

Perth, Melbourne and Sydney for the FIBA World Cup Exhibition games: Team USA, Canada Basketball, Tall Blacks and the Aussie Boomers

30HomeGames is traveling Australia
for FIBA World Cup Exhibition Games.
I traveled around Australia in 2018 for NBL basketball. In a few weeks I'll be retracing my steps in Perth and Melbourne as I make return visits for the love of the game. This time for the FIBA World Cup Friendlies featuring Team USACanada Basketball, the Tall Blacks and our Aussie Boomers.

Though I watched Team USA during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, this will be the first time I'll see them in FIBA Action. I've gotten a taste of the Canadian team and the Tall Blacks with FIBA Americas and FIBA Oceania respectively. Canada are of particular interest as they have the potential to load their team with NBA stars, much like Australia. Whether they can attract them for this World Cup campaign is another matter.

A bonus of this trip will be reconnecting with a charming family of hoopsheads I first met in Adelaide at the start of my #30HGoztour. I reunited with them pre-game for the Perth leg of my national tour and joined them for dinner. I'll be cheering on the Boomers alongside them this time around.




Perth (Thu Aug15 - Sun Aug18)

Team Canada VS Aussie Boomers
FRI Aug16 (5:30pm tip-off)
Sat Aug17 (5:30pm tip-off)

RAC Arena
700 Wellington St,
Perth WA 6000

------------------------------------------------

- Embargo Lifted: One night of Australian basketball & NBA talk in Perth (Aug14)
- The Nostalgia Box, Perth Game Console Museum
- Freo.Social
- Perth Craft Beer Festival (Fri Aug16 - Sun Aug18)
- lo-fi Store
- MJ Toy Historian

COMEDY
Lazy Susan's Comedy Den
- Comedy Lounge
- The Laugh Resort (The Shoe Bar and Cafe)

WRESTLING
- New Horizon Pro-Wrestling, Guardians of Wrestling (Sat Aug24)
- Explosive Pro Wrestling, Hell or High Water (Sat Aug31)

PINBALL
- Game City
- Perth Pinball Community
- Where to Play Pinball in Perth

Melbourne (Thu Aug22 - Sun Aug25)

Team USA VS Aussie Boomers
Thu Aug22 (7:30pm tip-off)
Sat Aug24 (2pm tip-off)

Marvel Stadium - Docklands
740 Bourke St,
Docklands VIC 3008

------------------------------------------------

- Sticky Institute
- NBL1 Championship Game (Aug17)
- Poutine Festival at Ascot Loft (Aug24)

COMEDY
A Guide to Melbourne’s Comedy Rooms
- Attik [Stand-up in the Attik] (Thursdays, 8pm)
- Basement Comedy Club (Saturday 8pm)
- Catfish Comedy (Tuesdays 8pm)
- Comedy at the Coopers Inn (Fridays 8pm)
- The Comic’s Lounge (Tuesdays to Sunday)
- Crab Lab (Wednesday 8:30pm)

WRESTLING
- Magica Battle (Fri Aug9)
- MCW New Horizons (Sat Aug31)

PINBALL
- Pinball Paradise
- Bartronica
- Melbourne Pinball Finder
- Mr Pinball Australia (Flip Out 2019 in October)

Sydney
Team Canada vs Tall Blacks
Tue Aug20 (7:30pm tip-off)
Wed Aug21 (7:30pm tip-off)

Quaycentre
Olympic Blvd, Sydney
Olympic Park NSW 2127

Team USA vs Team Canada
Mon Aug26 (7:30pm tip-off)

Qudos Bank Arena
19 Edwin Flack Ave,
Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

------------------------------------------------

- Find my Game Day posts for Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats
- Follow my daily snapshots on the @30HomeGames Instagram and hashtag #30HGoztour
- Visiting the 8 NBL cities: An 8 Home Games tour of Australia for the NBL and FIBA Basketball