From Astronauts and Bruins, to Supersonics and Westars, and finally to the Kings of basketball – such has been the journey of the three-time National Basketball League champions, the Sydney Kings.
It’s a trek that stretches back to a time when professionalism, pay television and private ownership were considered fantasy, when players wore short shorts and played as much for the love of the game as anything else.
Over the past 29 seasons, the story of the franchise – born out of a marriage between two teams who were arch-rivals for years – has been a roller coaster ride from the depths of despair, to the ultimate high of championship success, to a stunning fall from grace and then a glorious resurrection.
The three straight NBL titles between 2003 and 2005 were the ultimate, but there has been so much more to celebrate, from the highs of the early 1990s and the feats of superstars named Dwayne McClain and Leon Trimmingham, to a 1996 squad that was the highest scoring team in franchise history and a 2001 club that made the playoffs under Head Coach Brett Brown after a five year absence.
Of course, the Brian Goorjian era between 2002 and 2008 was the zenith of on court success for the Kings, including the first ‘Threepeat’ in the annals of the NBL, plus five Grand Final appearances, capped by a remarkable 27-3 regular season in 2007/2008.
Sydney was out of the league for two years before its rebirth in 2010, and while the club is yet to ascend to the heights of their championship days in the 2000s, the stunning addition of NBA champion and Australian superstar Andrew Bogut in the offseason has the team confident of challenging for its fourth crown in the Sydney Kings 30th Anniversary Season.