MVP launched ten years ago today – and what a decade it’s been.

From a quiet start on this website, to the massive debut of MVP Magazine, to its sad demise four years and a mere 16 issues later, we’ve covered all the ups and downs of British basketball and elsewhere.

So from 1-10, let’s look at some of our favourite, most interesting or simply curious tales of the MVP era.

1. The glory era of Great Britain’s men

We probably took it for granted, a spell when the national side had NBA talent aplenty in its ranks under the tutelage of a future NBA associate head coach and a future NBA-championship winning playcaller.

From Luol Deng to Pops Mensah-Bonsu, from Joel Freeland to Robert Archibald, this was a classic group that, with hindsight, might even have scaled further peaks if it had remained together beyond London 2012. And the fun part wasn’t the Olympics – it was following the five years in the build-up, in small anonymous towns around Europe, on an ascent which was joyous to watch.

2. The dominance of Newcastle Eagles

Forget his homespun toothpaste or quirky customs, Fab Flournoy’s construction of the BBL’s greatest winning machine to date merited admiration as well as respect. It’s hard to repeat, season after season. The Eagles, with tweaks and tinkering, maintained their supremacy for longer than anyone else. And yes, we miss his fire on the sidelines.

3. EuroBasket Women 2019 – wow!

Arguably this writer’s most enjoyable experience, covering a fantastic GB line-up making history in Riga and Belgrade, with a glorious and emotion-filled run to the semi-finals of the 2019 Euros. No fluke either, with a knotted chemistry, an astonishing resolve and genuine world-class talents in Temi Fagbenle and Jo Leedham (the latter, the most inspirational player the UK has delivered surely). Let’s hope it sets a standard, rather than a footnote.

4. EuroBasket 2011 – fun!

Each of the quintet of EuroBaskets we’ve chronicled in MVP has been unique and formidable but there was nothing quite like three weeks in European basketball’s spiritual home: Lithuania. Despite a bout of food poisoning which had this writer and a certain Raptors head coach comparing the relative effects of medication to a classic Spain v France finale, it was time well spent.

5. The Dwight Howard Cover

Issue 3 brought the current Lakers but then in-his-peak Magic centre on the phone from his car as he cruised around Orlando chatting to MVP. The reception kept dropping, Dwight kept dropping tales and good cheer without bemoaning the connection. You could only wish him well.

6. EuroLeague Final Four 2013

Europe’s finest teams came to London. Nobody paid any attention. Despite the meme of the current Prime Minister shooting a ball by the Thames, it came as a shock to absolutely no-one within basketball that the capital failed to bat an eyelid at a showpiece which is centrally important elsewhere, even with a smoking hot Juan Carlos Navarro on our cover. Olympiacos triumphed. The second year of a two-season deal to hold the event at The 02 was quietly dropped.

7. The BBL takeover that wasn’t

BBL licence up for review. Alternative options allowed by Basketball England. A new bidder emerges to whisk it away, from a consortium which – from our investigation – happens to be registered… at the home of the then-BE chief executive. Cue conflicts of interest, resignations, slaps on wrist, and a whole bag of revelations.

8. The sad, premature demise of Robert Archibald

Our most-read story ever, and the one which, personally speaking, impacted the most. The only Scot to feature in the NBA, taking his own life at the age of 39. A reminder that even rocks can crumble, a huge loss as we mourned one of the funniest and most generous figures ever to grace our pages.

9. The coup, the collapse, the critique. 

In a double-cross befitting a script from the very worst of the Bond films, the BBF was abruptly wrestled away from its independent board and slammed back until the control of the home nations, despite an apparent lack of authorisation from its members. It was a reminder that, well beyond the past decade, British basketball has maintained an addictive habit of pulling apart rather than forging unity, the perception of amateurism left in the public eye.

There have been significant strides made since our inception. The BBL is in better shape, even if it may stall if another stride forward does not soon arrive. The WBBL’s arrival has been welcome, although it too needs further nurturing. The governing bodies, now as then, own few credits. Too many voices, precious little listening, potential unrealised. An immense shame.

10. Our thanks 

Firstly the fellow members of our founding gang: Greg, Jake and Harry, not forgotten. To our contributors, so many, but especially our ace snapper Mansoor Ahmed and Niall Gray, you are appreciated. To all those who have given up their time to talk to us and share your story, our sincere gratitude.

And for you, for continuing to read, thank you.


If you enjoy our work, please consider making a small payment to help us produce more original basketball content into our second decade.

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