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National Basketball League (Australia)

From Academic Kids

The National Basketball League is Australia's top-level professional basketball competition.

It was formed in 1978, playing a winter season (April-September). In 1998 the competition was shifted to a summer competition between October and April, mainly to avoid competing directly against Australia's various football codes.

There are currently eleven teams in the league, with teams in all major capitals, and provincial centres Cairns, Newcastle, Townsville and Wollongong. For the 2003/4 season, there will also be a team from New Zealand. A second Melbourne team, the Victoria Giants, withdrew from the 2004/05 competition.

The league's best years were in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it has struggled recently and many of the teams have shifted to smaller venues to cut costs. A number of teams have folded or ceased to compete at the NBL level. Despite these issues, at the start of the 2004/05 season the league struck a new television deal with Fox Sports in Australia and a multi-year naming-rights sponsorship deal with electronics manufacturer Philips. There are future plans to expand into South East Asia with a possible Singaporean team being considered.

The standard of the league is well below that of the American NBA, and a touch below that of the best European leagues.

Most teams have historically featured at least one and sometimes two American imports; teams are limited to having two non-Australian players on the roster at any one time. Some of these players have moved to Australia permanently and become Australian citizens; a few have even played for the Australian national team (under a rule that allowed one naturalized player to compete for a national team).

Contents

Current Teams

The current teams in the NBL are:

Defunct Teams

There are a number of teams that are either defunct, merged, or relocated over the league's history. These include:

  • Hobart Devils (last season - 1996)
  • Gold Coast Rollers (last season - 1996)
  • Geelong Supercats (last season - 1996)
  • Newcastle Falcons (last season - 1999)
  • South East Melbourne Magic - merged with the Giants to become the Victoria Titans, later Giants
  • North Melbourne Giants - Originally known as the Coburg Giants. Merged with the Magic in 1998 to become the Victoria Titans, later Giants
  • Canberra Cannons (became Hunter Pirates)
  • St Kilda Saints - Later known as Westside Melbourne then, in 1991, Southern Melbourne. In 1992, merged with Eastside Melbourne Spectres to form South East Melbourne Magic
  • Nunawading Spectres - Later known as Eastside Melbourne. Merged with Southern Melbourne Saints to form South East Melbourne Magic before the 1992 season.
  • Bankstown Bruins - Became known as West Sydney Westars before merging with Sydney Supersonics to become the Sydney Kings
  • Sydney Supersonics - Were originally known as City of Sydney Astronauts, then became known as Sydney Supersonics before merging with West Sydney Westars to become the Sydney Kings.
  • West Adelaide Bearcats - Merged with Adelaide City Eagles to form Adelaide 36ers.
  • Adelaide City Eagles - Merged with West Adelaide Bearcats to form Adelaide 36ers.
  • Launceston Casino City - Joined the NBL in 1980. Won a championship in 1982. Finished 5-21 in 1983 season and left the NBL.

Notable Figures in the NBL

NBL Title Winners

1979: St Kilda Saints (def Canberra Cannons 94-93 in final)
1980: St Kilda Saints (def West Adelaide Bearcats 113-88 in final)
1981: Launceston Casino City (def Nunawading Spectres 75-54 in final)
1982: West Adelaide Bearcats (def Geelong Cats 80-74 in final)
1983: Canberra Cannons (def West Adelaide Bearcats 75-73 in final)
1984: Canberra Cannons (def Brisbane Bullets 84-82 in final)
1985: Brisbane Bullets (def Adelaide 36ers 121-95 in final)
1986: Adelaide 36ers (def Brisbane Bullets 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1987: Brisbane Bullets (def Perth Wildcats 2-0 in best-of-three final series)
1988: Canberra Cannons (def North Melbourne Giants 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1989: North Melbourne Giants (def Canberra Cannons 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1990: Perth Wildcats (def Brisbane Bullets 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1991: Perth Wildcats (def Eastside Melbourne Spectres 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1992: South-East Melbourne Magic (def Melbourne Tigers 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1993: Melbourne Tigers (def Perth Wildcats 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1994: North Melbourne Giants (def Adelaide 36ers 2-0 in best-of-three final series)
1995: Perth Wildcats (def North Melbourne Giants 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1996: South-East Melbourne Magic (def Melbourne Tigers 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1997: Melbourne Tigers (defeated South-East Melbourne Magic 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
1998: Adelaide 36ers (defeated South-East Melbourne Magic 2-0 in best-of-three final series)
1999: Adelaide 36ers (defeated Victoria Titans 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
2000: Perth Wildcats (defeated Victoria Titans 2-0 in best-of-three final series)
2001: Wollongong Hawks (defeated Townsville Crocodiles 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
2002: Adelaide 36ers (defeated West Sydney Razorbacks 2-1 in best-of-three final series)
2003: Sydney Kings (defeated Perth Wildcats 2-0 in best-of-three final series)
2004: Sydney Kings (defeated West Sydney Razorbacks 3-2 in best-of-five final series)
2005: Sydney Kings (defeated Wollongong Hawks 3-0 in best-of-five final series)

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