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Good move to bring back Lloyd

Justin Marville

Good move to bring back Lloyd

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In this edition of On The Ball, NATION basketball writer Justin Marville reviews another week of action in the Co-operators General Insurance Premier League season.
Insights, observations and musings of another eventful week in top flight basketball.
Well, if Nigel Lloyd can do it, I guess just about anyone should let bygones be bygones.
Of course, it also helps that each and everyone associated with his unceremonious sacking is about seven years removed from the sport’s governance.
Not that I would really blame Lloyd if he gave this current administration a big Freundel Stuart-like “NO” to its proposal of him coming back to coach the national programme again.
I mean, what would you do if you led the greatest era of Bajan basketball as a player and coach, and the immediate response to a historic Commonwealth Games showing is your rather abrupt dismissal?
Yea, I could see me not coming back to Barbados for the next six years too.
But it looks like the past is just that now, although this is one very large coincidence that Lloyd’s return just so happens to accidentally align with the comeback of a certain one-time manager and former teammate to the executive.
Make no mistake, though, the biggest winner here is that said national programme, unless, of course, one also thinks it’s merely coincidental that Barbados’ worst era took place directly following Lloyd’s departure.
Then again, he was dropped in the same year long-serving president Gay Griffith decided to call it quits after 15 years, so maybe there is something to be said about coincidences.
Uh huh.
• On the topic of happenstance, one’s head would have to be as hard as rock to think the sudden interest from overseas-based players is also by mere chance.
And yes, there are those so bullish enough to believe such. But let’s put aside feeling and emotion for a minute and use stats to dismiss this folly.
Fact: Zero foreign-born players that ply their trade professionally expressed an interest to, or attended trials for the 2007 and 2009 regional men’s teams under local coaches.
Fact: Three foreign-born players that ply their trade professionally have expressed interest to attend trials for the 2014 regional men’s team under Lloyd.
You see, as was correctly pointed out to me, it’s just that much different when local president Derrick Garrett calls an international player than when professional English coach and one-time pro player Lloyd makes that same call.
And don’t think for a minute that Lloyd’s great pedigree as an international player, coach and scout doesn’t play a huge role in attracting such players.
But then again we could always bring back Barry Rock and Adrian Craigwell and see how that works out again.
• Count me among those who are over the moon about Lloyd’s return, but the willy-nilly replacing of Brian Good still doesn’t sit well with me.
Maybe it’s because I’ve developed some sort of personal relationship with Good. However, there’s something seriously wrong about swapping out a coach whot wasn’t given an opportunity to fail.
Sure, it’s not as straightforward as saying the American NCAA collegiate coach was sacked, because Good was appointed under another executive, and any new council has the right to choose its man.
Unfortunately, though, the president remained the same, so there is the perception Good was just dumped. This was after the 2013 tournament was abandoned, thus giving the current executive no true reason to look for another coach.
Of course, Rock and Craigwell can also point to being the victims of council changes, but at least they were given a chance to fail.
Again, I’m not nearly suggesting Lloyd isn’t the best option, because he really is without a shadow of a doubt.
But he who forgets history is doomed to repeat it, and we all know what happened the last time a highly-qualified coach needlessly got the unceremonious axe.
• Along with the overseas-based players, the selection committee just about got it right as I can see no glaring omissions from the men’s trial squad.
It is somewhat damning, though, that not one schoolboy player made it to the squad of 23, even if it is a real indictment on the level of our basketball more so than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong; not one of the Tridents is truly deserving of a spot, and I’m not high on sending players to trials just because.
But a point can be made that inviting a junior like Anand Joseph-Thorne, Nikolai Burton or Kelan Phillips would only fast-track the development of players who are certain future nationals when they compete against the country’s best.
You wouldn’t exactly want their first taste of that level coming in their 20s when they are finally ready to represent Barbados.
Of course, you could always argue that with a short practice schedule ahead of the July tournament there’s just no time to try to bring along an unprepared youngster.