The history of the Nunawading Spectres in the NBL with Barry Barnes (1980 NBL Coach of the Year)


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By Dan Boyce and The Aussie Hoopla Team. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Nunawading Basketball was established in 1969. In 1979, a Nunawading Spectres men's team entered the National Basketball League for its inaugural season. Barry Barnes would coach the team during every NBL season until the team decided to move into the CBD to facilitate more fans and in doing so were renamed the Eastside Melbourne Spectres.

The Nunawading Spectres would narrowly miss out on an NBL Grand Final appearance due to countback in 1979 and then were runners-up in 1981 to Launceston City Casino.

The Spectres' opening-night roster included Bill Palmer, Fox, Brendan Joyce, Alan Black, Dean Templeton and Barry Barnes as coach. Six men who were to play significant roles in shaping the NBL during it's for 20 seasons. Palmer became general manager of the league in the mid-90s and took the game to new heights. Fox, Joyce, Black and Templeton became NBL head coaches with a combined 565-499 win-loss record and four NBL Coach of the Year awards (two each for Black and Joyce).

Among other players who wore the red, white and blue for Nunawading in the NBL were Damian Keogh, Dean Uthoff, Bruce Bolden, Ian Stacker, Steve Lunardon, Chuck Harmison, Vince Hinchen, Darren Lucas and Robert Scrigni.

Barry Barnes would also coach the Geelong Supercats and Canberra Cannons before becoming the first full-time head coach of the Australian Men’s National Team in 1993, leading the Boomers in two Olympics (1996 & 2000) and two FIBA World Championships (1994 & 1998).

Topics include;

  • The history of the Nunawading Spectres NBL program (2:00)
  • The difference's between the Australian National program in the 1960s compared to the 1990s (10:30)
  • The NBL begins in 1979, Barry's memories of that time and the first season of the Nunawading Spectres (18:00)
  • The Spectres miss out on the 1979 Grand Final in unusual fashion (30:00)
  • The Spectres ability to produce some of the greatest Australian coaching talent in the 1980s (36:00)
  • Why Barry wasn't happy about the team moving to the CDB and becoming the Eastside Spectres (41:00)
  • A three-year stint with the Geelong Supercats which includes Shane Heal, John Dorge, Daren Rowe and Bobby Locke (47:00
  • Does winning the coach of the year award mean you're doing your best coaching? (56:00)
  • What things would he do differently as a coach knowing where the game is today (100:00)
  • Who was the hardest opposition player to stop during his time as a coach (103:00)
  • Memories of former Nunawading Spectre Robert Scrigni who sadly took his own life only a few years after playing for the Australian Boomers (106:00)
  • Thoughts on his former Boomers assistant Brett Brown being fired by the Philadelphia 76ers (108:00)

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Listen to our previous interviews with the biggest stars in Australian Basketball, head to Check out previous podcasts featuring;

Australian Basketball Legends - Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Shane Heal, Mark Bradtke, Leroy Loggins, David Andersen, Andrew Vlahov, CJ Bruton, Chris Anstey, Brett Maher, John Rillie, Tony Ronaldson, Brad Newley

Current NBL Stars - Kevin Lisch, AJ Ogilvy, Damian Martin, Daniel Kickert, Thomas Abercrombie, Jason Cadee, Bryce Cotton, Chris Goulding, Mitch McCarron, Cam Gliddon, Anthony Drmic

Our Finest Coaching Minds - Brian Goorjian, Barry Barnes, Joey Wright, Adrian Hurley, Aaron Fearne, Rob Beveridge, Phil Smyth, Ian Stacker, Shawn Dennis, Dean Vickerman, Trevor Gleeson, Lindsey Gaze, Ken Cole, Will Weaver

NBA Stars Past & Present - Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Stephen Jackson, Randy Livingston, Torrey Craig, Acie Earl, Josh Childress, Reggie Smith, Todd Lichti, Ryan Broekhoff, Doug Overton

The NBL's Greatest Imports - Darryl McDonald, Ricky Grace, Derek Rucker, Leon Trimmingham, Scott Fisher, Lanard Copeland, Mike Mitchell, Darnell Mee, Isaac Burton, Adonis Jordan, Shawn Redhage, Willie Farley, Al Green, Corey "Homicide" Williams, Andre Moore, Steve Woodberry, Mike Mitchell, Dusty Rychart, Ebi Ere, Doug Overton

And the men who run things - Larry Kestelman, Paul Maley, Vince Crivelli, Jeremy Loeliger, Chuck Harmison, Jeff Van Groningen, Bob Turner

All that and much more.

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