On Monday, Carolina legend Brady Manek signed with the Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). This move effectively puts an end to Manek’s hopes of playing on an NBA roster this season, but it does get him a spot with a great team in a competitive league.
The Perth Wildcats have won the most NBL championships (10) of any team in the league, with Melbourne United coming in second with six titles. Perth also has some of the highest attendance figures in the league, and regularly sells out the 13,000 seat RAC Arena. It’s a really interesting venue, designed to resemble the Eternity puzzle.
Here’s what the arena looks like for a basketball game. I’m not gonna lie. It looks lit:
Manek could have a transformative effect on the Wildcats, similar to how he did with Carolina last season, when he shot 40.3% from 3, at 6.2 3PA per game. Last season, Perth’s highest 3P% was forward Todd Blanchfield at 38.1%, with 4.2 3PA per game. Blanchfield is more of a wing at 6’6” than a stretch-4, and he doesn’t rebound or block shots as well as Manek.
Perth’s Twitter video seemed to highlight more of Manek’s defense and playmaking than his long-range shooting, something that may seem curious to most Carolina fans that are familiar with his game.
“I think I can be more than just a shooter, I can be a guy who plays well with others, a guy who works hard and someone who tries to bring the best out of his team.”— Perth Wildcats (@PerthWildcats) August 1, 2022
Welcome to the west, Brady! pic.twitter.com/jM6bvLJChV
Aside from getting a paycheck for playing basketball, Brady Manek is about to experience a wide variety of cultural experiences in Australia and New Zealand! Aussies are some of the friendliest people in the world, and while he will be a little isolated on Australia’s west coast (Perth is the only major city on the west coast, and the middle of the country is largely uninhabited. 80% of Australians live on the east coast, and 75% of those living on the west coast are in Perth), he will be able to enjoy lovely walks in Kings Park, Queens Gardens, the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, Hyde Park, or Elizabeth Quay (pronounced “key”). Also, according to a 2011 Cosmopolitan survey, up to 20% of Australian women have either had or would like to have a threesome, so there’s always that to look forward to!
Flights from RDU to Perth will take a minimum of 28-ish hours. I’d recommend flying American Airlines to DFW, then switching to Qantas onwards to Sydney, before taking the last leg from SYD to PER, a five-hour flight. If you were ever going to treat yourself to international business class, do so on the 17-hour flight from Dallas to Sydney on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner:
The NBL season starts on October 1st, but Perth won’t play until 2 October, when they host the Brisbane Bullets. NBL games can be streamed via NBL TV, a subscription service and app available on Apple TV that shows all games live and on demand, if you want to watch Brady Manek, but can’t stay up until 2am to do so.