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Old 02-04-13, 07:20 PM
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Aussie NBA rookie mistakenly credited to NZ!!!!!



By BRENDON EGAN
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New San Antonio Spurs basketball signing Aron Baynes has mistakenly been referred to as a 'Kiwi' by some in the US media, but admits he's Australian through and through.

The 2.08m centre, who was born in the New Zealand city of Gisborne, signed with the Spurs last week. He made his NBA debut in a road victory over the Dallas Mavericks, playing the last 48 seconds of the game, before registering seven points and nine rebounds against the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday (NZT).

In his first game for the Spurs, the 26-year-old Baynes confused some in the US media, who labelled him a New Zealander.

Baynes, whose parents are both Kiwi, said his family shifted to Cairns when he was a baby and very much viewed himself as an Australian.

Four years ago, Tall Blacks coach Nenad Vucinic made a pitch to Baynes to get him to commit to New Zealand, but he instead pledged his allegiance to Australia, who has gone on to represent.

Baynes said he never really had to give the decision too much thought.

''I grew up in Australia and played with a lot of the guys in the Australian team, growing up. Australia was great for me basketball-wise and I wanted to repay them for what they've done for my career,'' he said.

''People can say what they want. I know in my heart, where is home. Any recognition basketball can get in Australia or New Zealand, I'm all for it.''


The former Washington State graduate attracted the attention of NBA scouts after a fine start to the Euroleague season with Slovenian club, Union Olimpija, where he was the top rebounder in the competition.

Baynes said his agent was approached by several NBA teams, but the Spurs were the most obvious choice, given their success over the past decade, and strong Australian connection.

Baynes' Boomers' team-mate Patty Mills is also on the Spurs roster, while former Australian coach, Brett Brown, is one of the team's assistant coaches.

''It's such a great organisation and a great bunch of guys. It's one of those things, I wanted to grab the opportunity with both hands. It's one of the best places for me to learn and develop as a basketballer.''

With 14-time NBA All Star Tim Duncan and fellow Spurs' big men Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner all ahead of him in the rotation, Baynes is likely to only see minimal court-time for San Antonio this season.

He said his goal was to learn off his more experienced team-mates, continue to develop as a player and make the most of any opportunities he received on court.

''We've got a lot of great players and a lot of great creators. I just want to go in there and bring some toughness and energy and be able to finish for them.

''I don't know how many minutes I'll be getting, but when my number is called, I want to go out there and bring energy and do as much as I can.''
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Old 02-04-13, 07:47 PM
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He would have been forced into Rugby if he grew up there so Straya saved him and kept him on track to provide this big man support.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kager View Post
He would have been forced into Rugby if he grew up there so Straya saved him and kept him on track to provide this big man support.
I can see if Baynes spent most his life in Aussie how much attached he is to think of it as Home.

Glad we got him here now!!!
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Old 02-04-13, 10:34 PM
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Definitely.... as a comparison think of New Zealand like Canada is to USA, smaller with a funny accent and they hate being called Australian.

And all those combined make them more prone to agression and loudly proclaiming NZ as the greatest on Earth.... from the bar of their job providing adopted homelands abroad. Usually Bondi Beach in Sydney.
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Old 02-04-13, 11:45 PM
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Am I mistaken, or is Sean Marks, a New Zealander left out of this conversation and report?

PS. Why are there no Tazmanians on the Spurs Team?
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Old 02-04-13, 11:59 PM
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Yeah Sean was a Kiwi through and through.

And Tasmania is part of Australia but is like Alaska, isolated and a lot of Wilderness on the edge of the earth and not many people.... so not many national sportsman come from there. They have produced some cricketers and the MJ of Woodchopping David Foster.
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