AFL legend Kevin Bartlett stating that the NBL is 'dead' on Melbourne radio has certainly sparked some talk and heaped some attention on the league that it has been craving.
While the NBL has been doing well in Perth and New Zealand, particularly Auckland, in recent years with those clubs dominating the league and with small communities Cairns and Wollongong especially getting right behind their clubs, the league has been just about invisible in Australia's three biggest cities.
Brisbane has not had a club in the NBL since the Brisbane Bullets bit the dust in 2008 and down the road the Gold Coast Blaze didn’t last much longer.
Melbourne had two clubs playing off for the 2008/09 championship with the South Dragons defeating the Melbourne Tigers, but the Dragons were dissolved straight after and the Tigers haven’t made the playoffs since.
The Sydney Kings have been back in the NBL for the last three seasons now, but haven’t quite caught the imagination of the Sydney public either.
Having a strong presence in those three markets and gaining traction in the mainstream media and in the general public is crucial, but the NBL took the big step to break away from Basketball Australia this year to try to grow the league.
That will be a work in progress and while having winning teams in Sydney and Melbourne could garner more attention, what has happened this week in Melbourne has put the NBL back on the map in terms of getting people, and mainstream media, talking about it again.
Melbourne Tigers captain Tommy Greer, star forward Mark Worthington and coach Chris Anstey have been right on the front foot to promote the NBL and they must be commended for that, but now the attention must be backed up on the court.
Round 3 action of the 2013/14 NBL season begins on Thursday with a grand final rematch between the New Zealand Breakers and the Perth Wildcats at Auckland's North Shore Events Centre.
The Breakers have won the last three championships and the Wildcats won the one before that with the two teams playing off in the last two grand final series.
That sets up for a mouth-watering clash on Thursday to open Round 3 action with the Breakers coming off two losses last weekend on the Sunshine Swing to Townsville and Cairns meaning they will be desperate to bounce back at home.
However, the Wildcats have won their opening three games of the season relying on James Ennis and Shawn Redhage offensively and playing some strong defence led by captain Damian Martin and rookie centre Tom Jervis.
However, the problem for the league is getting a match of this calibre seen by the masses.
While two NBL games per weekend are shown either on ONE or Channel 10, games from New Zealand are not available on television in Australia and can only be seen by the league's internet streaming of games.
One and Channel 10 has decided not to take the feed from Sky in New Zealand meaning that only the diehard basketball fans will be able to view a game that could very well be quite the spectacle.
However, with the Breakers needing to win to avoid slipping to a 1-3 record after only losing four games all of last season and the Wildcats looking to remain unbeaten, it's set to be a cracking contest.
Round 3 action then continues on Friday night with two teams trying to break into the playoffs this year, the Cairns Taipans and Adelaide 36ers, meet at the Cairns Convention Centre.
The Taipans haven’t played in the finals since making the grand final of 2010/11 but have started this season with wins over Townsville and New Zealand, and have a squad that is certainly shaping up to be one that could be considered a championship contender.
Meanwhile, Adelaide has claimed the last two NBL wooden spoons and not playing finals for four years, but under new coach Joey Wright also has a strong-looking squad and the Sixers got their first win of the season last week over the Wollongong Hawks.
There is then also just the one match on Saturday night when the Wollongong Hawks host its first home game of the season and searching for its first win up against a Townsville team coming off a win last Friday over the New Zealand Breakers.
There are then two massive matches to take place on Sunday afternoon with the winless Melbourne Tigers hosting the Adelaide 36ers at The Cage and then the Sydney Kings hosting the Perth Wildcats in a rematch from last Friday night at the Perth Arena.
ROUND 3 NBL MATCHES
New Zealand Breakers v Perth Wildcats at North Shore Events Centre
Cairns Taipans v Adelaide 36ers at Cairns Convention Centre
Wollongong Hawks v Townsville Crocodiles at WIN Entertainment Centre
Melbourne Tigers v Adelaide 36ers at State Netball Hockey Centre
Sydney Kings v Perth Wildcats at Sydney Entertainment Centre