Founded 1999 Stadium The Snakepit, Cairns Convention Centre Capacity 5,300 Owner Cairns Taipans Basketball Inc CEO Mark Beecroft Head Aaron Fearne Championships None
2014-15 Cairns Roster 2013-14 Cairns Roster 2012-13 Cairns Roster 2011-12 Cairns Roster 2010-11 Cairns Roster
Chris Burgess 2005 Clint Steindl 2013 Cameron Tragardh 2013 Jamar Wilson 2013 Kevin Owens 2007 Larry Abney 2008 Martin Cattalini 2006, 2007 Marcus Timmons 2004 Nathan Jawai 2008 Stephen Black 2008
#8 Aaron Grabau
Most points in a game 51 Martin Cattalini, 22/11/06 3 Pointers made in a game 9 Anthony Stewart, 23/02/03 Most Assists in a game 14 Brad Davidson, 21/01/04 Most Blocks in a game 6 Chris Burgess, 3 times Most Steals in a game 7 Ron Dorsey, 08/04/11 Most Rebounds in a game 28 Chris Burgess, 16/10/04
Largest Win 43, 10/01/04 V Hunter Pirates Largest Loss 54, 03/03/00 V Adelaide 36ers Longest Winning Streak 6, 23/11/03 - 14/12/03 Longest Losing Streak 21, 02/01/00 - 02/12/00 Most Team Points 129, 04/11/05 V Brisbane Bullets Most 1st Half Points 77, 01/12/01 V Sydney Kings Most 2nd Half Points 78, 02/11/01 V Sydney Kings Most Points in a Quarter 43, 11/12/05 V Wollongong Hawks Lowest Team Points 43, 17/02/12 V Townsville Crocs Most Free Throw Attempts 56, 31/12/03 V Brisbane Bullets Most Free Throws Made 42, 31/12/07 V Brisbane Bullets Most 3 Pointers Made 18, 01/12/01 V Sydney Kings Most Assists 32, 21/01/04 V Melbourne Tigers Most Blocks 12, 25/09/05 V NZ Breakers Most Steals 18, 03/10/03 V NZ Breakers
Games Played 407 Aaron Grabau Points 3187 Anthony Stewart Three Pointers Made 590 Anthony Stewart Three Pointers Attempted 1678 Anthony Stewart Assists 671 Anthony Stewart Blocks 125 Chris Burgess Steals Aaron Grabau Rebounds Aaron Grabau
1999/00 11th (2-26) 2000/01 9th (6-22) 2001/02 11th (9-21) 2002/03 8th (13-17) 2003/04 6th (16-17) Quarter-Finalists 2004/05 10th (11-21) 2005/06 5th (18-14) Semi-Finalists 2006/07 7th (17-16) Semi-Finalists 2007/08 6th (16-14) Quarter Finalists 2008/09 9th (11-19) 2009/10 7th (11-17) 2010/11 3rd (16-12) Grand Finalists 2011/12 5th (15-13) 2012/13 6th (11-17)
Start of the club
The first coach in franchise history was former Cairns Marlins ABA coach Rod Popp. Playing at the newly expanded Cairns Convention Centre, the Taipans played their first game against the Sydney Kings in front of 4,407 fans. However, there would be few highlights in their first season, finishing last with a 2-26 record.
With a large turn-over of players in their second season, expectations for Cairns were low. Headed by Guy Molloy, a former South East Melbourne Magic and Australian women's national team assistant coach, the Taipans would improve to 6-22, sell out five of fourteen home games and attract over 4,963 spectators per match.
Midway through the 2001/02 season, Taipans released import forward Matt Garrison replacing him with the exciting Jayson Wells, who made an immediate impact on the team averaging over 22 points and 10 rebounds per game including a season high 40 points against Canberra and 39 points against reigning NBL champions Wollongong. During the season the club registered their first ever wins against North Queensland rivals Townsville, Wollongong, Adelaide and Victoria. The club also recorded their biggest winning margin in a match against Canberra and won the best of head to head battles against reigning title holders Wollongong and the Victoria Titans. The club again showed significant improvement to earn nine victories.
In 2002/03, the Taipans took another significant step forward by winning 13 games while finishing in eighth position, showing that the club should make the playoffs for the first time in the near future.
The 2003/04 season proved to be an exciting one for the Taipans, with the recruitment of experienced NBL championship-winning forwards Melvin Thomas and Marcus Timmons helping the Taipans to reach their first playoffs in franchise history. The Taipans first finals appearance resulted in a win, as Cairns upset Perth 103-96. Ultimately, the Taipans maiden post-season foray was stopped by the West Sydney Razorbacks who would go on to come within a single game of the title. Timmons earned his teamís MVP award for the season.
The 2004/05 season witnessed the first-ever reversal of the Taipanís forward progress from the past five seasons, resulting in championship coach Alan Black being signed to replace Molloy. The addition of All-Star Martin Cattalini and Darnell Mee helped the Taipans to a fifth-place finish in 2005-06. Cairns defeated the Hunter Pirates in the first round, and Anthony Stewart hit a three late in overtime to help the Taipans past the Adelaide 36ers, and advance the Taipans to their first ever semi-final. The Taipans lost this to the defending champion Sydney Kings in two straight games, narrowly going down 84-82 in game two in Cairns.
The 2006/07 Taipans consolidated their form of the previous year with a 17-16 record and a sixth place finish. Many Taipans players enjoyed notable personal success. Martin Cattalini placed second in the NBL among scorers, behind New Zealand's Carlos Powell. Darnell Mee placed sixth in the league for assists, whilst new addition Kevin Owens was amongst the best rebounders and blockers in the league. The Taipans defeated the South Dragons 118-97 in the second quarter-final, and then beat the Perth Wildcats 82-78 in the fourth quarter-final to advance to the semi-final series against the Melbourne Tigers but were swept by the Tigers in 2.
Change to community model
Halfway through the 2008/09 season the Taipans were placed into voluntary administration. However a community based public ownership scheme was floated, and shares and syndicates were made available to purchase to the general public as a part of the team as a whole, in much the same way as the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. These shares raised the necessary half a million dollars of operating capital required by the new NBL guidelines and made the Taipans the first publicly owned professional sporting franchise in Australia. This same scheme of public ownership was followed by the Wollongong Hawks, who also successfully attracted enough investment to be viable for the 2009/10 NBL season.
After two seasons near the bottom. Cairns finished in 3rd spot in 2010-11 and won their first ever semi final game by beating Townsville in Game 2 74-57 to even the series and force the series to the deciding game. At the Crocodiles' home, Cairns would eventually win the decider Game 3 with a 10-point win, allowing them to go into their first grand-final series where they faced the NZ Breakers. The Breakers won game 1 (85-67), before the Taipans fought a tough battle to win game 2 (85-81) in double overtime. With the series tied at 1-1, the grand-final went to game 3. The Breakers won 71-53, leaving the Taipans as runners-up for the 2010-11
At the start free agency, the Taipans lost three key players of their championship team to the Melbourne Tigers. Ron Dorsey, Daniel Dillon and Ayinde Ubaka signed with the Tigers, leaving a large hole in the Taipans roster. Aaron Fearne filled it by signing MVP candidate Jamar Wilson and sharp shooter Andrew Warren.
The Taipans were picked to finish last for 2011-12, but they defied all odds and kept in touch with the top 4 all year. It wasn't until mid to late in the season when the Taipans lost some key games against the Crocs, that they were knocked out of the playoff race (they tied the Crocs with W & L and for 4th place but finished 5th due to head to head results).
During the 2011-12 season, the Taipans set two records for the least points scored in franchise history. Both times failing to reach 50 points. The Taipans scored just 43 points against the Townsville Crocs on 17/02/2012. Second least in league history.
At the end of the 2011-12 season the Taipans re-signed Jamar Wilson & Brad Hill, they also added Cameron Tragardh from the Tigers, Clint Steindl from St Marys College and Cameron Gliddon. Ian Crosswhite left the club, choosing to sign with the Sydney Kings
With a new revamped roster for the 2012-13 season the Taipans had high hopes of making the playoffs but stumbled during the start of the season. Cameron Tragardh had a great start to his Cairns career as did rookie duo Cameron Gliddon and Clint Steindl. Steindl was selected to play in the 3 point shootout during the NBL All-Star game. He was also selected to play in the game. Cameron Tragardh lead all players in voting and started for the Northern All-Stars. Jamar Wilson was included as an injury replacement. With the improved play of import Shane Edwards the Taipans made a run for the playoffs after the All-Star break but fell short in the final round of the regular season. Steindl's minutes declined as the season progressed but Gliddon improved leaps and bounds, winning the praise of almost every coach around the league, taking out the 2013 rookie of the year award. Jamar Wilson was also named to the All NBL Third team.
At the end of the 2012-13 season Aaron Grabau retired from the NBL. Dusty Rhycart was not re-signed by the club and Kerry Williams retired despite only being in his mid-late 20s.
On May 15th 2013 the Taipans announced their first signing for the 2013-14 season, St Mary's big man Mitchell Young. Cairns also went on to sign Australians Stephen Weigh, Matt Burston and promoting Shaun Bruce from Development Player to full contracted player. In August the Taipans shocked the NBL by signing another import guard, Demetri McCamey. After a 2-0 start to the season many predicted that the Taipans would return to the playoffs, however inconsistency plagued the team all season long and many fans took to social media calling for the sacking of Aaron Fearne. Fearne however was not let go by the club and finished the season. Cameron Tragardh went down with an ankle injury in early 2014 and did not return to the team, after which the Taipans went on a small run but could not make the top 4.