If basketball players were selected singularly
on statistics, Dillon Boucher knows he wouldn't have played
He averages 3.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per
game, but there are other numbers which are more revealing.
Against Cairns tomorrow night, Boucher will play his 200th
game for the Breakers - only Paul Henare (250) has played
more - and 305th ANBL match overall.
He could also count in the thousands the number of screens he
has set for teammates and hundreds the amount of advice he
has dished out or basketballs he has dived on a court to
Those numbers will soon dry up. The 36-year-old will finally
call time at the end of the season on a remarkable career
that has tasted both extremes the game can offer, and he's
hoping it will end on another high.
With three ANBL and eight New Zealand NBL titles to his name,
there are few more decorated basketball players in the
country. Those are the things that are important to him, not
the number of games he has played.
"It's not really [a big deal]," Boucher said. "I guess my
whole career has never been about stats or games played. It's
more about results.
"If I was being selected on stats, I probably wouldn't make
any team. I have made a career from setting screens and
giving guys easy opportunities. That's where I get my
satisfaction. I am also able to do things on a court through
my intelligence rather than athleticism or skill."
Boucher's 200 games for the Breakers have been achieved in
two distinct phases. There was the dreadfully awful period
when they languished at the bottom of the competition, went
through coaches and players like they were on trial and
Boucher was even embroiled in controversy when a text message
to friend and former coach Jeff Green about Frank Arsego's
coaching style landed him in hot water.
He went off and played a season with Perth (2006) and then
secured a title in his two seasons with Brisbane (2007/08)
before returning to the Breakers. His second stint has been
altogether more successful and a principal reason for his
"There have been days when it's felt like I have played 300
games but most of the time I feel pretty good," he said.
"Towards the end of my career I've been heavily on the
winning side of things and it's amazing how much better the
body feels after a win rather than a loss. I haven't had to
deal with too many losses.
"I know within myself it's getting harder and harder to come
to training and kickstart the body. That's when you know your
career is coming to a close. Things you used to enjoy are all
of a sudden becoming a chore."
There's still enough fire to chase a third consecutive title
and a win at Vector Arena over Cairns tomorrow night will
help. The Breakers are still equal-top with Perth - the two
teams everyone expects to play in the grand final series -
but have lost two of their last three, including an abject
75-62 defeat to Sydney last weekend.
The match against Cairns will be their last at home before
four away games over the Christmas period when momentum could
be gained or lost.
A decision on the health of Will Hudson, who was concussed
against Sydney, will be made tomorrow. If he can't play,
there's one fairly handy player who doesn't possess the best
statistics in the world who could help fill in.