Founded 1982 as Adelaide City Eagles Stadium Adelaide Arena "Brett Maher Court" Capacity 7,800 Owner Save Our Sixers Consortium Ceo n/a Coach Joey Wright Championships 1986, 1998, 1999, 2002 Other Names Adelaide City Eagles
2014-15 Adelaide Roster 2013-14 Adelaide Roster 2012-13 Adelaide Roster 2011-12 Adelaide Roster 2010-11 Adelaide Roster
Adam Ballinger 2008 Adam Gibson 2013 Brett Maher 1996, 1997, 2005 Butch Hays 1991 Daniel Johnson 2013 Dusty Rychart 2006 Darryl Pearce 1990 Jason Cadee 2013 Leon Trimmingham 1996, 1997 Mark Davis 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Mike McKay 1989, 1992, 1994 Martin Cattalini 2004 Nick Horvath 2007 Phil Smyth 1993, 1994 Robert Rose 1995 Stephen Weigh 2013 Willie Farley 2005, 2006, 2007
#5 Brett Maher #33 Mark Davis
Most points in a game 48 Darryl Pearce, 48 20/02/88 3 Pointers made in a game 11 Darryl Pearce, 20/02/88 Most Assists in a game 17 Butch Hays, 27/09/91 Most Blocks in a game 9 Darnell Mee, 25/11/00 Most Steals in a game 7 Robert Rose, 22/04/95 Most Rebounds in a game 31 Dan Clausen, 05/05/84
Largest Win 75, 20/07/85 V Illawarra Hawks Largest Loss 48, 19/01/08 V Brisbane Bullets Longest Winning Streak 14, 22/06/85 - 10/08/85 Longest Losing Streak 8, 04/02/11 - 18/03/11 Most Team Points 160, 18/03/84 V Hobart Devils Most 1st Half Points 89, 10/08/85 V Sydney Supersonics Most 2nd Half Points 88, 09/07/88 V Hobart Devils Most Points in a Quarter 55, 10/05/98 V Sydney Kings Lowest Team Points 57, 19/02/83 V Brisbane Bullets Most Free Throw Attempts 56, 07/02/07 V South Dragons Most Free Throws Made 40, 14/10/05 V Wollongong Hawks Most 3 Pointers Made 20, 09/04/01 V Victoria Titans Most Assists 38, 30/03/90 V Brisbane Bullets Most Blocks 16, 03/03/84 V Hobart Devils Most Steals 22, 08/09/95 V Gold Coast Rollers
Games Played 526 Brett Maher Points 8941 Brett Maher Three Pointers Made 1162 Brett Maher Three Pointers Attempted 2835 Brett Maher Assists 2267 Brett Maher Blocks 301 Mark Davis Steals 703 Brett Maher Rebounds 5200 Mark Davis
1982 7th (15-11) 1983 6th (11-11) 1984 3rd (16-7) Elimination-Finalists 1985 2nd (20-6) Grand-Finalists 1986 1st (24-2) CHAMPIONS 1987 1st (21-5) Semi-Finalists 1988 1st (19-5) Semi-Finalists 1989 6th (15-9) Elimination-Finalists 1990 9th (11-15) 1991 4th (16-10) Semi-Finalists 1992 9th (11-13) 1993 7th (14-12) Quarter-Finalists 1994 4th (18-8) Grand-Finalists 1995 4th (17-9) Semi-Finalists 1996 6th (16-10) Semi-Finalists 1997 7th (14-16) 1998 2nd (19-11) CHAMPIONS 1998-99 1st (18-8) CHAMPIONS 1999-00 1st (22-6) Semi-Finalists 2000-01 6th (16-12) Semi-Finalists 2001-02 3rd (17-13) CHAMPIONS 2002-03 5th (16-14) Elimination-Finalists 2003-04 8th (14-19) Elimination-Finalists 2004-05 5th (19-13) Quarter-Finalists 2005-06 4th (19-13) Quarter-Finalists 2006-07 11th (11-22) 2007-08 9th (14-16) 2008-09 6th (15-15) Elimination-Finalists 2009-10 8th (10-18) 2010-11 8th (9-19) 2011-12 9th (8-20) 2012-13 8th (8-20)
The Adelaide 36ers were born as the Adelaide City Eagles when they joined the NBL in 1982. Mike Osborne was appointed as team coach, Chris Stirling? was captain and the team played out of the 3,000 seat Apollo Stadium. The Eagles performed well in their first season but missed the playoffs finishing in 7th place on the ladder with a 15-11 record.
The Adelaide City Eagles changed their name after the 1982 season to the Adelaide 36ers to reflect on the history of South Australia's proclamation in 1836. Mike Osborne continued as head coach while David Winslow was named team captain. The 36ers once again missed the NBL playoffs in 1983 finishing 6th on the ladder with an 11-11 record.
The 1984 NBL season saw the first time the 36ers would reach the NBL finals, finishing the regular season in 3rd place in the Western Division with a 16-7 record. The team lost their Elimination Final to the Nunawading Spectres 108-101. Following the season, Mike Osborne was not retained as coach.
Former Australian Boomer and 1964 Olympic representative Ken Cole was signed as coach of the Adelaide 36ers for the 1985 NBL season. Under Cole, the 36ers became one of the leagues premier teams. Import players including 6'9" (206 cm) centre Bill Jones, New York born guard Al Green (who had been drafted by the San Diego Chargers as a Defensive back in the 1979 NFL Draft despite not playing football) and an NBL rookie in 24 year old forward from Philadelphia, Mark Davis, combined with local players Darryl "The Iceman" Pearce, team captain Peter Ali and veteran Ray Wood to help Adelaide to a 20-6 record and second on the regular season ladder. The team had a bye going into the semi-final where they easily defeated for the Newcastle Falcons 151-103 at home in what is still a record semi-final win in the NBL. In the last single game NBL grand final ever played, Adelaide were up against the Brisbane Bullets on the Bullets' home court (Sleeman Sports Centre). Going into the final period the game the Bullets were leading 78-74 but a 42-21 last period in favor of the home team saw Adelaide fail to win their first grand final going down 95-120. Al Green would set a still standing single season points per game record for the 36ers when he scored 31ppg in 28 games played.
1986 would see the Adelaide 36ers win the first of their four NBL championships. Bill Jones replaced Peter Ali as captain while Ken Cole would win the NBL Coach of the Year award after guiding the team to a 24-2 record, 5 more wins than the second placed Canberra Cannons. The 36ers were also undefeated at home during the regular season going 15-0, the first time in the clubs history. The two games the 36ers lost in the regular season were both last second shots that ultimately denied Adelaide a perfect season and locally the team was known as 'The Invincibles". Again earning a bye into the semi-finals, Adelaide this time accounted for the Illawarra Hawks 116-92 before moving onto their second grand final in a row, this time to be played over three games instead of the single game that had been in place previously. Once again facing the Brisbane Bullets, the 36ers won the first game of the series 122-119 in overtime at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Back home in Adelaide the 36ers would lose only their third game of the year (and first at home) when they lost game two 83-104. The final game played at home in front of a packed Apollo Stadium saw the Adelaide 36ers win their first championship with a 113-91 victory. Mark Davis finished second in the NBL in total rebounds (15.8 per game), won the NBL Grand Final MVP award and also won selection in the All NBL First Team.
Despite the on court success there was controversy at the club during the 1986 season with coach Ken Cole suspended towards the end of the regular season by the club board over his smoking of marijuana joint during a road trip to Brisbane, a situation that Cole was open about and never denied. Indeed, he stated that he was recommended it by his family doctor as a way of dealing with health problems and physical pain. After the story was broken in local Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser by journalist Andrew Both, Cole was suspended by the club for the last two games and the team was coached by his assistant Don Shipway. Before the playoffs, the players got together and went to the club board demanding Cole's return, going so far as to tell the board that they would refuse to play unless Cole was coaching them. Under immense pressure from not only the players but the general public of Adelaide who supported Cole despite his admitted use of the drug, the club board relented and Cole returned for the 1986 playoffs, though it was known that he would be sacked over the incident at the end of the season regardless of a championship win or not.
Ken Cole, the 1986 NBL Coach of the Year and the 1986 championship winning coach was replaced for the 1987 NBL season by Gary Fox who would continue the work started by Cole by coaching Adelaide to their second minor premiership in a row with a 21-5 record. For the third season running the team hard earned a bye to the semi-finals where this time they would face the Perth Wildcats who were in their first ever playoffs. In a major upset the defending NBL champions lost the series 1-2 to the Wildcats. They won 99-98 in Perth but then lost games two and three 99-101 and 93-103 on their home court. Mark Davis would continue to have a major impact on the NBL when he jointly won the leagues Most Valuable Player award with Brisbanes Leroy Loggins. He also led the league in rebounding averaging 17.8 for the season.
Adelaide finished with their third minor premiership in a row and the second under Gary Fox after finishing with a 19-5 record in 1988 but would again be beaten Semi-Finalists. Bill Jones, who was still playing with the club, was replaced as team captain by Australian Boomers representative Darryl Pearce. Against the Ken Cole coached Falcons in Newcastle during 1988, Darryl Pearce would set a still standing single game scoring record for the 36ers when he scored 48 points including 11 of 14 three point attempts. 1988 also saw local 6'10" (208 cm) centre Mark Bradtke make his NBL debut for the 36ers, playing in 23 games and averaging 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Both Pearce and Bradtke won selection for Australia at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul.
1989 was Gary Fox's last season with the Adelaide 36ers and it saw the team drop to 6th on the regular season ladder with a 15-9 record. Adelade were eliminated from the playoffs in the Elimination Final. Mark Bradtke's star continued to rise with the Boomers representative winning the NBL's Most Improved Player award.
Former 36ers assistant coach Don Shipway was appointed coach of the team for the 1990 NBL season which was the team miss the playoffs for the first time since 1983 when they finished 9th with an 11-15 record, the clubs first ever losing season. Mark Davis became captain of the team in 1990, a position he would hold until the end of the 1996 season.
Shipway was retained as coach for the 1991 NBL season despite the teams worst ever performance in 1990. The team turned their form around finishing the regular season in 4th place with a 16-10 record. They lost their semi-final series to defending and eventual league champion the Perth Wildcats, missing out on their third grand final appearance. 1991 was the last season that local favourite and former captain Darryl Pearce would play for the club, signing with the North Melbourne Giants from 1992. The season was also the teams last playing out of the 3,000 seat Apollo Stadium which had opened in 1969. A new venue was due to be opened for the 1992 season.
Adelaide had played at the Apollo Stadium since the teams inception in 1982. However ticket demand was more than double that of what Apollo could hold so in conjunction with the Basketball Association of South Australia (BASA), a new home for basketball in South Australia was opened in 1992. The 7,800 seat Clipsal Powerhouse quickly became a fortress for the 36ers with every game a sell-out. However their road form wasn't so good and they dropped to 9th on the table with an 11-13 record. Team members Mark Bradtke and Mike Mackay would go on to represent Australia at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. 1992 was also the rookie NBL season for Brett Maher who would go on to play a record 526 games for the club.
After their second losing season, the 36ers replaced Don Shipway with Don Monson as coach for the 1993 season. The team had lost centre Mark Bradtke to the Melbourne Tigers during the off-season but gained Adelaide born veteran Phil Smyth and veteran 7'0" (213 cm) centre Willie Simmons from Canberra. Adelaide improved to a 14-12 record under Monson and made the playoffs finishing in 7th place but were beaten Quarter-Finalists. Local junior Chris Blakemore was named the 1993 NBL Rookie of the Year while 8th year guard and future team coach Scott Ninnis was voted as the NBL's Most Improved Player scoring a career best 20.1 points and 4.4 assists per game after returning from two seasons in Melbourne with the Eastside Spectres and the South East Melbourne Magic.
The Adelaide 36ers pulled off a major signing between the 1993 and 1994 seasons when they signed the league's 1993 MVP Robert Rose for two seasons. They also had a new head coach in former NCAA coach Mike Dunlap. Finishing in 4th place with a 19-8 record, the 36ers won their semi-final series against the defending champion Melbourne Tigers to win their way into the 1994 NBL grand final series against the North Melbourne Giants. Adelaide went down two games to none however, losing game one at the Powerhouse 93-95 in overtime and game two at The Glasshouse in Melbourne 117-97. Robert Rose averaged 32 points for the 36ers over the two grand final games.
The team had recruited well going into 1996 obtaining forward Martin Cattalini from Perth and 2nd year guard John Rillie from Brisbane and despite continued good form which saw the 36ers make the playoffs under Mike Dunlap in 1995 and 1996, the 36ers were eliminated in the Semi-Finals both times. Following the death of his father, coach Dunlap decided to return home to the United States following the 1996 season and the club hired Dave Claxton as his replacement for the 1997 season. This season also saw Brett Maher take over the team captaincy, something he would hold until his retirement in 2009. Adelaide finished with a 14-16 record in 1997, finishing in 7th place and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1992.
Phil Smyth Era
Claxton was sacked as head coach following the 1997 season and was replaced by rookie coach and former player Phil Smyth. The 36ers turned their fortunes around under Smyth and finished the regular season in 2nd place with a 19-11 record. The club head recruited centre Paul Rees from North Melbourne and former NBA player Darnell Mee from Canberra. They won through to the 1998 NBL Grand Final series against the South East Melbourne Magic where they would win the clubs first championship since 1986 defeating the Magic 2-0, winning Game 1 100-93 at home and Game 2 90-62 at Melbourne Park. Former NBA player Kevin Brooks was named the Grand Final MVP in what was the last ever winter season for the National Basketball League.
Following the 1998 season, the NBL moved from being a winter league to playing during Australia's summer, meaning that seasons would start near the end of one calender year and finish early in the next. The change in time slot didn't stop the defending NBL champion 36ers though as they finished the 1998-99 regular season with their first minor premiership since 1988 with an 18-8 record. Again winning their way into the Grand Final series, they became three time NBL champions and the first team to win back to back titles in nearly a decade by defeating the Victoria Titans two games to one. Captain Brett Maher was voted the Grand Final MVP and coach Phil Smyth had his second championship in two years of coaching.
The 36ers form would continue in both the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons, despite losing star import forward Kevin Brooks to the Sydney Kings for the 99-00 season, though he would return in 2000-01. They were again minor premiers in 1999-2000 with a 22-6 record but missed out on becoming the first team to win three NBL championships in a row when they lost in the Semi-Finals. After falling to 6th on the ladder at the end of 2000-01 and just scraping into the playoffs, the 36ers would again only advance as far as the Semi-Finals before losing to the eventual champions, the Wollongong Hawks. The 2001-01 season was also the last for longtime player and former club captain Mark Davis who retired from playing after 482 NBL games, all with the Adelaide 36ers. At the time of his retirement, Mark Davis was the NBL's all-time leading rebounder having grabbed 5,200 in his career, averaging 10.7 per game. Import Darnell Mee, in his fourth year with the club would win his third consecutive NBL Best Defensive Player award but would be lost to the club at the end of the season due to salary cap restraints.
2001-02 would see the Adelaide 36ers win a then record fourth NBL title and the third for coach Phil Smyth. The team would finish the regular season in 3rd place with a 17-13 record before winning their way into their sixth NBL Grand Final. Facing the West Sydney Razorbacks, Adelaide were victorious two games to one. Adelaide's 125 points in game 3 is the highest ever score in an NBL Grand Final game while they also hit a Grand Final record 19 three-pointers in the game. Adelaide captain Brett Maher became only the second player in NBL history to win two Grand Final MVP awards.
Under Phil Smyth, Adelaide were beaten Elimination-Finalists in both 2002-03 and 2003-04 despite the addition of imports Willie Farley and the debut of local forward Oscar Forman. They were beaten Quarter-Finalists in both the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. The 2006-07 NBL season saw the 36ers miss the playoffs for the first time since Smyth took over as coach, finishing a club record wost place of 11th with an 11-13 record. They would again miss the playoffs in 2007-08 finishing in 9th place with a 14-16 record. Following his second losing season, the team decided to replace Phil Smyth as head coach with former player and Smyth assistant Scott Ninnis.
Ninnis would coach the team for two seasons of a 3 season contract, leading the team to the Elimination Finals in 2008-09. The team, which included local junior and former NBA player Luke Schenscher, finished the regular season in 6th place with a 15-15 record before losing their quarter final 131-101 to the NZ Breakers in Auckland. 2009 was also the last season for the club games record holder Brett Maher who was retiring after 526 NBL games and three championships with the 36ers. The 2009-10 season was a disaster however and the Adelaide 36ers finished on the bottom of the NBL ladder for the first time in their history with a 10-18 record. American born but naturalised Australian Adam Ballinger, in his third season with the club became team captain in 2009-10 following the retirement of Maher.
Following the club's worst ever season, Scott Ninnis was sacked as coach and replaced by former AIS coach Marty Clarke for the 2010-11 NBL season.
Marty Clarke Era
Adelaide and Clarke endured a difficult season in 2010-11. They lost guard Nathan Herbert before the season with an Anterior cruciate ligament injury. injuries to import guards Troy DeVries and Craig Winder ultimately saw them replaced in the squad. For the first time in their history, the Adelaide 36ers failed to win at least 10 games in a season, finishing with a 9-19 record. They did avoid their second last place finish in a row only because the returning Sydney Kings finished with an 8-20 record. Captain Adam Ballinger was again the club's leading player as he won his fourth straight club MVP award, finished third in the NBL's MVP voting and was selected to the NBL's All Third team.
The 36ers season started slowly and a early season injury to their import saw them struggle out of the gate. They signed a former Patty Mills college team mate Diamon Simpson. Simpson made an immediate impact becoming one of the most efficient players in the league. Chris Warren lead the league in scoring early in the season but after a few rounds his production dropped off. Nathan Crosswell and Adam Ballinger also suffered season ending injuries early in the season.
The season wasn't all gloom, the 36ers beat the #1 ranked Perth Wildcats in Perth and the 2011/12 season saw the emergence of Daniel Johnson who took out the NBL most improved player award. The 36ers played the Wollongong Hawks on the last game of the year for the wooden spoon. Adelaide lost in what was Mat Campbell's last ever NBL game, thus giving the 36ers the wooden spoon.
Before the start of the 2012-13 season Adam Ballinger signed with the Melbourne Tigers. But the 36ers managed to bring back Adelaide boy Luke Schenscher & former Gold Coast Blaze players Jason Cadee and Anthony Petrie. The 36ers decided to go with just one import for the 2012-13 season, signing SEABL star CJ Massingale.
Expectations were high for the 36ers coming into the 2012-13 season but the team struggled to stay above .500 for the first half of the season. Mitch Creek went down to a season ending injury after just 12 games. CEO Leeanne Grantham left the club mid-season. Import CJ Massingale was released just 10 games into his debut NBL season, upsetting many fans who believed he was not given a shot to perform. The one game where he saw extended minutes the 36ers upset the Perth Wildcats thanks to Massingale's 18 points. Scott Christopherson was signed as an import replacement, but he failed to impress and finished the season as perhaps the worst import to have ever played in the league.
The 36ers lost 8 straight games and fell out of the playoff race, finishing last for the 2nd straight season. Luke Schenscher went down with a back injury and missed the last month of the season. Although Jason Cadee, Stephen Weigh, Daniel Johnson and Anthony Petrie were all named to the All-Star game. Weigh won the 3 point shootout. Nathan Crosswell retired after 14 seasons in the NBL. And now the 36ers face an off season of uncertainty with their roster, coaching staff and front office.
On April 4th 2013 the 36ers fired head coach Marty Clarke.
The Joey Wright Era
On April 30th 2013 the 36ers announced the signing of former Bullets & Blaze head coach, Joey Wright, this was followed by the re-signing of Adam Gibson who re-signed for 2 more seasons on May 2nd 2013. Mitch Creek also re-signed with the club the week before. Adelaide improved dramatically from the season before as import signing Gary Ervin played at a MVP level throughout the first half of the season. Adelaide finished 2nd to the Perth Wildcats. After defeating the Melbourne Tigers in the semi-finals Adelaide faced Perth in the grand final series but fell 2-1 in the best of 3 series. Daniel Johnson was selected to the All NBL First Team but decided to leave the NBL at seasons end to chase a contract overseas. In May it was announced that Gary Ervin would not be returning to Adelaide, instead he signed with the Wollongong Hawks.