NBL Says It Wants 40th Anniversary To Count

November 3, 2020 by

New Zealand’s National Basketball League next year gets to celebrate its 40th season – and following the New Zealand men’s recent Showdown performance, says it fully expects a slam-dunk 2021.

The Kiwi men’s NBL gets to look forward to a 10-team home-and-away competition scheduled to be played next year. Rivals headed for the competition include Southland Sharks, Wellington Saints, and the Hake’s Bay Hawks. Interestingly enough, the mentioned three sides – one of which happens to be 11-time champions – all sat out the recently-concluded Showdown event, leaving only seven teams in play. The competition was played at Auckland’ Trusts Arena spanning six weeks across June-July this year.

The seven sides set to join the Hawks, the Saints, and the Sharks in next year’s championships are: the Auckland Huskies, Taranaki Mountain Airs, Nelson Giants, Franklin Bulls, Canterbury Rams, Manawatu Jets, and defending champions the Otago Nuggets.

NBL General Manager Justin Nelson has been making no secret of the fact that he wants the NZ league’s 40th season to be a season regarded worthy of a celebration of the NBL’s longevity as one of New Zealand sport’s great survivors. Also in celebration of the NBL’s 40th birthday, will be the league’s planned naming of its all-time top 40 players from the last 40 years.

Due to obvious challenges associated with the ongoing global health crisis, all players interested in competing in the 2021 NBA will be required to register themselves “free agent” from November 1st. The free agency period will officially open on November 16.

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