CJ backs Bullets revival bid
IF THE Brisbane Bullets manage to rise from the ashes in the next few years, they may not have to look far for the first member of their coaching panel.
New Zealand Breakers point-guard CJ Bruton is entering the twilight of his stellar NBL career that includes the Bullets' last NBL championship.
Bruton, who sat out last Friday night's Ipswich game due to a left knee problem, said Brisbane was the only place he wanted to be when his playing days were over.
"I love it, this is my home," Bruton said.
"I'm not going to lie, everyone on my team knows this is where I'm going to end up eventually."
As the son of NBL legend Cal Bruton, a foundation member of the Brisbane Bullets in 1979, CJ has watched the 30-year evolution of the NBL from the front row.
The 35-year-old admits to being frustrated at the loss of much of the history of the NBL as foundation teams folded under financial pressure.
With the Wollongong (formally Illawarra) Hawks now the only remaining foundation club, Bruton said the demise of the Bullets remains a touchy subject for him.
"Having teams in Townsville and Cairns and not in Brisbane just doesn't sit well with me," he said.
"What happened in the past can't be taken back but you can always move forward."
When asked whether he would be involved with a new Bullets team, Bruton was enthusiastic.
"I definitely would, I wouldn't say no," he said.
"Of course they'd need to want me to be a part of it and we would have to determine how much and in what capacity.
"Overall, like everybody else, I just want basketball to come back to Brisbane, not only for the league's standpoint, but also for the city of Brisbane.
"To be a foundation team and no longer be there just isn't right.
"To see Wollongong go through all the struggles they have and still compete is great.
"They're now the only surviving team from '79 so for Brisbane to be there as well would be fantastic."
As a key member of the Bullets' last championship team in 2007, Bruton said his memories of the city were all positive.
"I was there for a special moment, a special time, not only for the Bullets, but for Brisbane as a city," he said.
"All the players still talk about it when we run into each other."