Bendigo Bank Spirit coach Bernie Harrower has slammed a proposal to reduce the number of WNBL games for next season.
Harrower labelled the possible reduction from 24 games to 16 “an absolute joke”.
It is believed Basketball Australia and host broadcaster ABC TV are behind the proposal for the nine teams to play each other once at home and away.
“It’s apparently something that BA is pushing for; if that happens it will be an absolute joke,” Harrower said.
“It’s just a waste of time putting a season together for 16 games, it’s nowhere near enough – 24 was ideal.
“The players get to improve because they’re playing more and you get a chance to get over injuries because the season’s longer.
“It would just be a waste of time having a league, if that was the case we might as well disband it all together and filter it back into the SEABL and play it from there.”
Harrower believes a reduction in games would also have a negative impact on the Spirit’s profitability.
“It certainly would, it would have inroads into that. How do you get sponsor exposure over 16 games, eight home games compared to 12?” he said.
“We’ve got one of the best leagues in the world and we don’t want to showcase it? “How do you even build a fan base over eight home games? I’m not sure how you do that.”
Any change would have to be ratified by the clubs, the WNBL Coach of the Year nominee said.
Meanwhile, Harrower has lauded his daughter Kristi’s season following her nomination for the WNBL’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player awards on Sunday.
“It’s a huge effort when you look at how injured she was last year, but it certainly shows you what she’s capable of doing when she’s not injured and even at her age still to be able to play at that level,” he said.
“To be in the top-three in the league after having an injured year is sensational for her, but then I think it’s also a reflection of where we were at as a team this year as well.
“We were better because she was better – it certainly makes a big difference.”