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New guard from NBA for Tigers

MELBOURNE Tigers coach Chris Anstey believes former NBA point guard Jonny Flynn could be the highest-profile import to play in the NBL.

The Tigers announced on Monday the 23-year-old former NBA No. 6 draft pick would replace 33-year-old import Kevin Braswell, who was sacked earlier in the day.

Flynn is expected in Australia today and as long as he passes his medical tests and gets his international clearance, will make his NBL debut against Adelaide 36ers at Hisense Arena on Friday night.

His contract with the Tigers is believed to include an ''out'' clause to allow him to return to the NBA if the chance arises, as happened when Patty Mills left the club after 10 matches last season.

Flynn spent three years in the NBA and was recently cut by the Detroit Pistons. He has a reputation as a high-scoring, athletic guard but has been plagued by injuries including a hip problem.

Anstey said the Tigers were assured Flynn was ''100 per cent fit'' and wanted to rebuild his professional career in Australia.


''You could make a genuine argument he is the most credentialled NBA player to ever come to the NBL,'' he said. ''If there was someone with higher credentials then Jonny wouldn't be far away from him.

''He likes the style of the league, he thinks it suits his game and we think it suits him.

''For all intents and purposes [the decisions were] done before the game yesterday, but I thought it was best not to tell the guys because they had trained so well this week, then post-game they deserved to enjoy the win. Kevin also deserved to enjoy the win.''

Anstey praised Braswell for his professionalism and said he expected, at full fitness, the point guard would again play in the NBL.