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 32 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, there has been plenty to celebrate, including the club's 30th Anniversary Season in 2018/2019, a year that featured the stunning addition of NBA champion and Australian superstar Andrew Bogut. The very next season, Bogut led the club to a Grand Final appearance in a remarkable campaign when several franchise attendance records were set, including the all-time NBL single game attendance record when a monster crowd of 17,514 flocked to Qudos Bank Arena to see the Kings take on the Illawarra Hawks.
The 2021/2022 season represents the Sydney Kings’ 33rd season in the National Basketball League, and the club is determined to bring home the fourth NBL championship in the history of this proud franchise.