Founded 1988, Merger with Sydney Westars & the Sydney Supersonics Stadium The Kingdome, Sydney Entertainment Centre Capacity 10,500 Owner The Kings Consortium Head Coach Damian Cotter Championships 2003, 2004, 2005
2014-15 Sydney Roster 2013-14 Sydney Roster 2012-13 Sydney Roster 2011-12 Sydney Roster 2010-11 Sydney Roster
Ben Madgen 2013 Ben Knight 2005 Bruce Bolden 1997 C.J. Bruton 2004, 2006 Steve Carfino 1988 Damian Keogh 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 Dwayne McClain 1991 Darnell Lazare 2013 Ebi Ere 2004 Greg Hubbard 1994 Glen Saville 2008 Isaac Burton 1997 Jason Smith 2005, 2006 Leon Trimmingham 1994, 1995 Mario Donaldson 1994 Melvin Thomas 1996 Mark Dalton 1988, 1990 Matthew Nielsen 2004 Mark Worthington 2008 Shane Heal 1996
The Sydney Kings once retired Shane Heals jersey but it has since been un-retired and the Kings have decided to have a 'Hall Of Legends' instead.
Most Points in a game 51 Shane Heal, 10/02/01 3 Pointers made in a game 12 Shane Heal, Twice Most Assists in a game 16 2 Players Most Blocks in a game 8 Matthew Nielsen, 12/11/03 Most Steals in a game 10 Dwayne, Mcclain, 31/07/93 Most Rebounds in a game 30 Marc Ridlen, 26/03/88
Games 244 Matthew Nielsen Points 4259 Matthew Nielsen 3 Pointers 608 Shane Heal Assists 1151 Damian Keogh Blocks 357 Matthew Nielsen Steals 425 Damian Keogh Rebounds 1964 Matthew Nielsen
Kings in NBL Hall of Fame
Bob Turner Ian Davies Damian Keogh Phil Smyth
Birth of the Kings
The Kings were formed from a merger between the West Sydney Westars and the Sydney Supersonics in 1988. The team adopted the purple-and-gold colours traditionally linked with the most winning team in basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers
Before the merger, no Sydney-based teams had even made the final four in NBL competition. That changed in 1989, when the Kings finished fifth with a 15-9 record and advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Tigers. The Kings were then humiliated by the Canberra Cannons 142-82. Sydney did not make the playoffs again until 1992, when, led by imports Dwayne McClain (who was named to the All-NBL First Team) and Ken McClary (ranked 5th in the league in rebounds), the Kings finished second on the ladder. This time they advanced to the semi-finals and were beaten by the Tigers, who would eventually lose to the South East Melbourne Magic in the championship series. Over the next few years the Kings, despite the rich pockets of private owner Mike Wrublewski, earned a reputation for being chronic under-achievers. They failed to make the playoffs in 1993 or 1995, and were eliminated in the first round in 1994 and 1996. The team soon received the nickname of 'the Violet Crumbles', a popular chocolate sold in purple wrapper; the joke being that the team was wrapped in purple and shattered under pressure. 'The Cardiac Kings' was another tag, for the team's frequency in getting involved in close, thrilling games.
In the late 90s the Kings could not find success, as a result they had a revolving door of imports. In 1998 & 1999 the Kings had a record 7 imports for both years. This included Kelsey Weems who was signed in the second half of the 1997/98 season by the Sydney Kings. Kelsey played well and earned a second contract for 1998/99 season. In his first & only full NBL season Kelsey played 3 scoring option behind Acie Earl & Matthew Nielsen. The Kings could not bounce back from their poor start to the 1999 season, even after a early season pick up of Earl, and the Kings missed out on the playoffs again.
The Kings would not make the NBL playoffs until 2001, when they made it to the first round before being eliminated by the Townsville Crocs Australian Olympic team guard Shane Heal was recruited to lead the team, and he finished second in the league in scoring average, behind Olympic teammate Andrew Gaze. Heal finished third in scoring average in the 2002 season, but the Kings again failed to make the playoffs.
For the 2002/03 season, Heal was joined by talented imports Chris Williams and Kavossy Franklin. The team also welcomed the NBL's all-time leader in coaching victories, Brian Goorjian. The Kings finished on top of the ladder with a 22-8 record, and swept the Perth Wildcats in the grand final series to claim their first-ever championship.
With Goorijan able to implement his defensive tactics which were so successful with the Magic and Titans, in addition to finally being able to purchase high quality superstar imports he was unable to attain due to financial constraints on the team in Melbourne, there seemed to be no stopping the Kings. This included players like league MVP Chris Williams and powerhouse players such as Rolan Roberts. In addition, many Victorian groomed players who had previously played for Goorijan such as Jason Smith and Brad Sheridan? followed him north to Sydney.
Back to back
Heal retired after the 2003 season, and C. J. Bruton was recruited to take his place, Jason Smith was signed after returning to the NBL after playing in Europe but unfortunately was injured 13 games into the season and was replaced by import Chris Carrawell. The Kings started the 2003/04 season with 12 successive wins, and would eventually win their second championship after their best-of-five grand final series with crosstown rivals West Sydney went down to the deciding fifth game. Kings player Matt Nielsen? would win the regular season and finals MVP this year before leaving to play overseas.
The Kings again performed strongly in the 2004/05 season despite a disastrous early game against Townsville which saw C. J. Bruton out for weeks with an elbow injury, and a season ending torn ACL for rookie of the year candidate Luke Kendall. The Kings managed without their starting backcourt until Bruton came back and they signed import forward Mark Sanford, moving Jason Smith down to shooting guard. Arguably stronger than before the Kings finished on top of the ladder and crushed the Wollongong Hawks in three games to become the first team in Australian league history to win three consecutive championships. Jason Smith won the finals MVP with many Kings fans thinking he also deserved the regular season award.
In the 2005-06 season, the Kings again finished atop the ladder and made it to the grand final. Import centre Rolan Roberts suffered a torn pectorial muscle imitating a Vince Carter dunk during the All Star dunk competition and was replaced by Sedric Webber. In the finals they were swept 3-0 by the Chris Anstey led Melbourne Tigers.
Money Troubles/Kicked out
The club was then purchased for $2 million by the chairman of fuel technology company Firepower International, Tim Johnston. Johnston later purchased the team outright and sold a part share in 2007 to 31 year old Dorry Kordahi, CEO and owner of DKM, one of the fastest growing companies in Australia. On 24 March 2008, coach Brian Goorjian quit the club after a mutual agreement. He was hired by the South Dragons on 1 April. On 12 June 2008, the NBL terminated the Sydney team's licence as Firepower collapsed and the Kings were unable to pay player salaries.
Re-entering the NBL
On Wednesday, 24 April 2010, it was formally announced that the Sydney Kings would be a part of the reformed NBL competition. The reformed league was the result of a merger between Basketball Australia and the National Basketball League.
The Sydney Kings return to the NBL was a bumpy one with the team only winning 8 games, most of these games came in a late season surge. They had lost 14 games in a row at one point, A record for the team. Season ending injury to Luke Cooper (who was in the running for ROTY) was a big blow for the team and they never really recovered. After the 8 - 20 season the Kings shuffled their roster for the 2011/12 season, signing big man Jerai Grant & former Boomer Aaron Bruce.
The Kings started the 2011-12 season well and many people picked them to finish either 4th or 5th. They added Jerai Grant, Aaron Bruce, Kevin Ratzch and future rookie of the year Anatoly Bose. But the season may best be remembered as the year that Andrew Bogut was almost a King, after he was jobless because of the NBA lockout. But this never happened due to insurance issues. Julian Khazzouh played at MVP level for the first half of the year, and as a result he was called up to the NBA mid season. This only lasted for 1 pre-season game. When he returned, his play slipped and so did the Kings.
Anatoly Bose held the team together but after Aaron Bruce went down to a season ending injury the Kings playoff hopes were squashed. Ian Robillard was promoted from head coach to the front office and they hired former King Shane Heal as the head coach. The Kings played well, late in the saeson. But they were too far out of the playoff race to make any real runs. Import Kevin Ratzsch fell out of the rotation once Heal took over, but other young players such as Anatoly Bose and Alex Gynes were given more court time.
At the end of the 2011-12 the Kings announced that they had re-signed Shane Heal as the Kings head coach for 2012-13.
The Kings signed imports Corin Henry & Darnell Lazare for the 2012-13 season. James Harvey & Tom Garlep signed with the Kings when the Gold Coast Blaze folded. Sydney also welcomed back former King Ian Crosswhite to bolster their front court. Heal also took a chance on SEABL stand outs Kevin White and Daniel Joyce. Many predicted the Kings to finish last but the surprise play of Henry & Lazare helped the Kings overachieve throughout the season. Ben Madgen emerged an MVP candidate until he hurt his shoulder mid-season, slowing down his season. He was however able to secure most improved player award. Sydney also managed a win over the NZ Breakers, who were only 1 of 2 teams to beat the Breakers during the season. Corin Henry. Ian Crosswhite & Darnell Lazare were selected to the NBL All-Star team but Henry & Crosswhite were unable to play due to injury. The Kings were in prime position to take a playoff spot until a season ending injury to Corin Henry set the team in a tailspin. However Sydney were able to secure 4th position for the first time since returning to the NBL after they beat the Townsville Crocs in the final round of the season.
The Kings faced the defending champions NZ Breakers in the semi-finals, but lost 0-2 in a best of 3 series. Ben Madgen made the All-NBL First Team & Ian Crosswhite made the All NBL-Third Team.
During the off season the Kings signed AJ Ogilvy, Cody Ellis, Shaun Gleeson, Kyle Armour and Brad Hill. Jesse Sanders and Charles Carmouche were signed as the Kings imports for the 2014 season. After starting the season 4-4 the Kings decided to change the roster up by releasing import Jesse Sanders and replacing him with former NBA player Sam Young. Sydney would then go 1-4 over their next 5 games pushing them out of the top 4, however after a strong rounds 13 and 14 the Kings would slide back into 4th place on the ladder.
Cody Ellis debuted for the Kings in December 2013 and made an immediate impact for the Kings. Sydney made another roster move late in the the season after Charles Carmouche returned home to America due to a family emergency. Jesse Sanders was re-signed by the club as they made their push into the top 4. Sydney however lost their season series with the Wollongong Hawks 4-0 and as a result were knocked out of the playoffs in the final round of the season. After the loss to the Hawks Shane Heal stepped down as head coach.
After Shane Heal stepped down as head coach the Kings signed rookie head coach Damian Cotter as well as signing Sydney local Jason Cadee along with other locals Angus Brandt & Josh Duinker. In August 2014 the Kings signed one of the biggest names to have ever played in the NBL, former NBA player Josh Childress.