NBL 'deeply concerned' over assault charge against Mitch Creek

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
South-East Melbourne Phoenix player Mitch Creek has been stood down by the NBL after being charged with assault. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
South-East Melbourne Phoenix player Mitch Creek has been stood down by the NBL after being charged with assault. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

NBL star Mitch Creek has been stood down from the league after being charged with assault.

The 28-year-old South-East Melbourne star, who also played briefly in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has denied the charges.

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Basketball Australia's integrity unit has begun a preliminary investigation, with no timeframe placed on any return to the court for Creek. 

In a statement, the NBL said the league was 'deeply concerned' about the charges levelled against Creek, a marquee player for the recently formed Phoenix.

"The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix are deeply concerned by the nature of the charges against Mitch Creek and take this matter extremely seriously," a statement released by the NBL said on Monday.

"The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix have held urgent discussions with the Australian Basketball Players' Association and Basketball Australia's Integrity Unit in respect of the allegations.

"The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix also understand that Mitch Creek denies each of the charges and will deal with the matter appropriately through the court process.

"The NBL, South East Melbourne Phoenix and Mitch Creek have all agreed that he will not train or play with the club until further notice."

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Creek has averaged 21 points and seven rebounds this season, playing a crucial role in the Phoenix's second-place finish at the NBL Cup, which secured a $100,000 windfall for the relatively young club.

The small forward would have been in line to earn a place on the Boomers squad for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, however it remains to be seen if his case will be resolved in time.

Creek has starred for the Phoenix this NBL season, averaging 21.2 points and 7.25 rebounds to help lift his team to a 9-7 record.

Simmons helps the Sixers slam the Spurs

Ben Simmons was back for the Philadelphia 76ers, so too were the fans, as the NBA's eastern conference leaders crushed the short-handed San Antonio Spurs 134-99.

Missing the the first two games after the All-Star break due to COVID-19 protocols, Simmons returned to the Sixers' line-up that put on a show for a limited crowd of 3071 that was back in the Wells Fargo Stadium stands for the first time in 368 days.

Simmons had 14 points and nine assists in Philadelphia's biggest ever win over the Spurs.

The guard is oft-maligned for his inability to shoot beyond 15 feet but has a defender in San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.

"It would enhance his game, obviously. That can't be argued with," Popovich said.

"He's so elite already, who gives a damn if he can't shoot?"

Not that the 76ers needed Simmons to shoot much, as they dominated despite being without MVP favourite Joel Embiid.

The star centre - averaging a career high 29.9 points to go with 11.5 rebounds - is out for at least a fortnight with a bruised knee suffered in Friday's win at Washington.

Tobias Harris carried the bulk of the scoring load against the Spurs with 23 points while Seth Curry added 21.

However, Simmons was not getting carried away post game.

"We've got to hold it down," he said.

"We've got all the pieces to win."

With AAP

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