The ink had barely dried on Will Magnay’s Perth Wildcats contract when Melbourne United star Jock Landale started wading through film of Magnay to brace himself for the NBL’s newest, and perhaps best, big man battle.
Landale will clash with Magnay when United travel to Perth to take on the Wildcats on Thursday night.
The marquee matchup between two Boomers Olympic hopefuls will pack out RAC Arena as the league’s top two sides look to claim an early edge before the finals.
Landale is pumped to test himself against an NBA and G League experienced big like Magnay.
“I’ve already started really watching Will’s game and just checking out some bits and pieces on him to see what I would come up against,” Landale said.
“From the league’s point of view, having Magnay around furthers our push to become a legitimate league worldwide.
“It is also about being able to create narratives out of those match-ups. I know there was a bit of a rivalry created by everyone between Adelaide’s Isaac Humphries and I early on given we are both Boomers.
“Now you can add Magnay to the equation.
“It is always great to go up against players of that quality and calibre, and Will is a good player.”
Thursday’s clash against the Wildcats will also be Landale’s first NBL game at Perth’s parochial home court, known as ‘The Jungle’.
The Cats’ faithful are arguably the league’s most enthusiastic fans, and have the championships to back up their boisterous approach.
But as player who has experienced the passion of European basketball via stints in Serbia and Lithuania, Landale is ready to embrace the hate.
“For someone like me who has come from Europe and come up against crowds like that, I tend to feed off that energy and those vibes of being the bad boys,” he said.
“They (the Perth fans) get into it and they are very combative in how support, and there is a lot of trash talk that goes on to create an atmosphere.
“I like riling those fans up because it rubs off well on me.
“Going into a hostile environment like that might scare some people, but for me it just fires me up even more.”
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson confirmed Magnay would play his first minutes for Perth against United, and a match-up with Landale may be brief.
“We don’t want him to think too much and play instinctively,” Gleeson said.
“That’s when he’s really good.”
Originally published as NBA big man back for marquee NBL showdown