NBL – National Basketball League 2021

The National Basketball League (NBL) is the premier professional men’s basketball tournament held in Australasia. Inaugurated in 1979 the competition currently pits nine NBL teams – up from eight for the 2019/20 NBL season on – against each other across the season for the Championship title.

For the 2021-22 NBL Season, a tenth club will enter the competition with the addition of the Tasmanian JackJumpers.

The regular NBL season runs from October to February of the following calendar year across a 28 week regular season that sees each team have 14 home games and 14 away clashes.

The 2020-21 NBL season start was delayed and got underway in mid-January due to COVID-19 interruptions to the schedule. 

The NBL Finals traditionally take place from late February – March to decide the NBL Champions and are played between the top four teams on the NBL Ladder at the end of the regular season. Originally the NBL season ran during the winter, but since in the 1998-99 season it has run over the summer to avoid a clash with the famous Aussie football codes over the winter including the NRL and AFL whose Grand Finals are held in October.

This is a far cry from the NBL’s American counterpart – the NBA – which features a huge 82 game season and features the world’s premier pro-basketballers.

NBL Semi-Finals

The NBL Semi-Finals tip-off on Thursday night with a battle between the second seed Perth Wildcats and the fourth seed Illawarra Hawks from RAC Arena.

The Wildcats and Hawks went toe-to-toe only a week ago in Sydney, but the bookies are firmly siding with Perth to bounce back on home court.

The second Semi-Final matchup features another edition of the ‘Throwdown’ between Melbourne and United and the Phoenix.

Melbourne’s ongoing COVID situation has forced the game to be played in Sydney behind closed doors, leaving United as the short-priced favourites to win both games across the weekend.

For analysis on both matchups, be sure to read our NBL Preview below!

  • Round: Semi-Finals
  • Start Date: June 10th, 2021
  • Games: 4
  • Highlight: Melbourne United v South East Melbourne Phoenix
  • Best Bet: Melbourne United to Cover the Line – BET NOW

The current NBL Teams are the:

  • Adelaide 36ers
  • Brisbane Bullets
  • Cairns Taipans
  • The Hawks
  • Melbourne United
  • Perth Wildcats
  • Sydney Kings
  • South East Melbourne Phoenix
  • New Zealand Breakers
Ladbrokes offer the best NBL Odds and Betting.

The only one of these NBL clubs to have played every single season since 1979 is the Illawarra Hawks – formerly the Wollongong Hawks – and from 2020-21 onwards known simply as The Hawks. The New Zealand Breakers are the sole NBL team based outside of Australia.

The South East Melbourne Phoenix are the newest NBL club to join the competition playing their first season in 2019/20.


  • 2020/21 NBL Season Dates: January 2021 – TBA
  • 2020/21 NBL Finals Dates: TBD
  • Defending NBL Champions: Perth Wildcats
  • 2020 Champions: Perth Wildcats (10th title)
  • 2021 Champions: TBD

The 2020/21 NBL Season got off to a delayed start in January of 2021 after nearly a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, the 2019/20 NBL Season came to an early finish due to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the final two games of the 2020 NBL Finals series being cancelled.

The Perth Wildcats were awarded their 10th title leading the series against the Sydney Kings 2 – 1 when the season was cancelled on March 15.

NBL Betting

Betting on the NBL is open right across the season with a range of top NBL odds on offer from head-to-head pricing on each game to futures markets on the NBL Championship Winners.

NBL Finals

The NBL Finals are held from late February to early March each season. They are contested between the four highest-ranked teams on the season’s table and are made-up of two semi-finals series and the coveted NBL Grand Final series that decides the current Championship winners.

NBL Finals betting is open across the season on the teams most likely to be crowned the NBL Champions.

NBL Awards

The NBL also awards a Most Valuable Player (MVP) each season who takes out the Andrew Gaze Trophy, named in honour of a former champion player in both Australia and America for such clubs as the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Bullets and Melbourne Tigers. Gaze is the current head coach of the Sydney Kings and won the MVP award seven times. This award is the NBL equivalent of the NRL’s Dally M and the AFL’s Brownlow Medal.

Odds are open each season on the NBL Most Valuable Player and are a great exotic basketball betting market to get involved in.

Other notable NBL awards given out each season include the:

  • Larry Sengstock Medal for the Most Valuable Player in the Grand Final Series
  • Lindsay Gaze Trophy for the NBL Coach of the Year
  • NBL Rookie Of The Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Best Defensive Player
  • Best Sixth Man


Below are the NBL Most Valuable Player winners dating back to 1979.

Year Player Nationality NBL Team
1979 Ken Richardson Australia West Adelaide Bearcats
1980 Rocky Smith United States St. Kilda Saints
1981 Mike Jones Australia Illawarra Hawks
1982 Al Green United States West Adelaide Bearcats
1983 Owen Wells United States Sydney Supersonics
1984 Leroy Loggins United States Brisbane Bullets
1985 Ray Borner Australia Coburg Giants
1986 Leroy Loggins United States Brisbane Bullets
1987 Leroy Loggins United States Brisbane Bullets
1988 Joe Hurst United States Hobart Devils
1989 Scott Fisher United States North Melbourne Giants
1990 Derek Rucker United States Brisbane Bullets
1991 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1992 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1993 Robert Rose United States South East Melbourne Magic
1994 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1995 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1996 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1997 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1998 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1998–99 Steve Woodberry United States Brisbane Bullets
1999–2000 Paul Rogers Australia Perth Wildcats
2000–01 Robert Rose United States Townsville Crocodiles
2001–02 Mark Bradtke Australia Melbourne Tigers
2002–03 Chris Williams United States Sydney Kings
2003–04 Matthew Nielsen Australia Sydney Kings
2004–05 Brian Wethers United States Hunter Pirates
2005–06 Chris Anstey Australia Melbourne Tigers
2006–07 Sam Mackinnon Australia Brisbane Bullets
2007–08 Chris Anstey Australia Melbourne Tigers
2008–09 Kirk Penney New Zealand New Zealand Breakers
2009–10 Corey Williams United States Townsville Crocodiles
2010–11 Gary Ervin United States Wollongong Hawks
2011–12 Kevin Lisch United States Perth Wildcats
2012–13 Cedric Jackson United States New Zealand Breakers
2013–14 Rotnei Clarke United States Wollongong Hawks
2014–15 Brian Conklin United States Townsville Crocodiles
2015–16 Kevin Lisch United States Illawarra Hawks
2016–17 Jerome Randle US/Ukraine Adelaide 36ers
2017–18 Bryce Cotton United States Perth Wildcats
2018-19 Andrew Bogut Australia Sydney Kings
2019-20 Bryce Cotton United States Perth Wildcats
2020-21 TBD TBD TBD

NBL Results & History

NBL results date back to the competition’s inaugural season in 1979 won by the St Kilda Saints. Of the current NBL Teams the most successful is the Perth Wildcats who have won nine NBL Grand Finals series to take out the Championship since they entered the league in 1982.

Two other current clubs boast an equal four Championship wins in NBL history with the Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers. Overall Melbourne United have enjoyed five NBL Championship titles, but their first as a rebranded outfit came in the 2018 NBL Grand Final Series.

Defunct NBL clubs to have won the Championship include the Canberra Cannons (1983, 1984, 1988) and the North Melbourne Giants (1989, 1994).


Team Titles Season
Perth Wildcats 10 1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020
Adelaide 36ers 4 1986, 1998, 1999, 2002
Melbourne United 5 1993, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2018 (first as rebranded club)
New Zealand Breakers 4 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
Canberra Cannons 3 1983, 1984, 1988
Sydney Kings 3 2003, 2004, 2005
Brisbane Bullets 3 1985, 1987, 2007
St. Kilda Saints 2 1979, 1980
North Melbourne Giants 2 1989, 1994
South East Melbourne Magic 2 1992, 1996
Launceston Casino City Tigers 1 1981
West Adelaide Bearcats 1 1982
Illawarra Hawks 1 2001
South Dragons 1 2009

NBL Hall of Fame

The NBL Hall of Fame has been in place since 1998, which was the 20th NBL Season anniversary. It recognises outstanding service to the NBL from players, game officials and other pro-basketball contributors.

NBL Players need to have been retired from the game for at least four seasons and have played a minimum of 100 games to be eligible for induction into the National Basketball League Hall of Fame. Coaches have to have been retired for at least four seasons and been head coach of a NBL club for at least 10 seasons. There are also eligibility restrictions for NBL Referees and NBL Contributors.


Name Award Inducted ABF / NBL
Michael Ah Matt Player 2010 ABF
Frank Angove Contributor 2007 ABF
Barry Barnes Coach 1998;2007 NBL;ABF
Sandy Blythe Player 2010 ABF
Ray Borner Player 2006 ABF;NBL
Mark Bradtke Player 2013 ABF;NBL
Sandy Brondello Player 2010 ABF
Cal Bruton Player 1998 NBL
Ivor Burge Contributor 2004 ABF
Steve Carfino Player 2004 NBL
David Carmichael Contributor 2010 ABF
Wayne Carroll Player 1999 NBL
Jenny Cheesman Player 2004 ABF
Ken Cole Player;Coach 2012 ABF;NBL
Norma Connolly Contributor 2007 ABF
Kevin Coombs Player 2007 ABF
James Crawford Player 2013 NBL
Eddie Crouch Technical Official;Referee 2006;2007 ABF;NBL
Karen Dalton Player 2006;2007 ABF;NBL
George Dancis Player 2006 ABF
Ian Davies Player 2001 NBL
Mark Davis Player 2006 NBL
Lorraine Eiler Player 2007 ABF
Bob Elphinston Contributor 2007 ABF
Merv Emms Coach;Technical Official;Contributor 2010 ABF
Trish Fallon Player 2010 ABF
Scott Fisher Player 2007 NBL
Jean Forster Player 2016 ABF
Kathy Foster Player 2013 ABF
Inga Freidenfelds Player 2007 ABF
Andrew Gaze Player 2004 ABF
Lindsay Gaze Coach 2004 ABF
Shelley Gorman Player 2010 ABF
Ricky Grace Player 2010 NBL
Al Green Player 1999 NBL
Elaine Hardwick Player;Coach;Contributor 2010 ABF
John Holden Technical Official 2006 ABF
Adrian Hurley Coach 2004 ABF
Maree Jackson Player 2006 ABF
Michael Johnson Player 2004 NBL
Greg Love Referee;Contributor 2010 ABF
Damian Keogh Player 2000 NBL
Brian Kerle Coach 2006 NBL
Leroy Loggins Player 2006 NBL
Luc Longley Player 2006 ABF
Robyn Maher Player 2004 ABF
Tom Maher Coach 2006 ABF
Herb McEachin Player 1998 NBL
Karin McRobert Player 2010 ABF
Arthur McRobbie Contributor 2007 ABL
Patricia Mickan Player 2013 ABL
Keith Miller Coach 2007 ABF
Danny Morseu Player 2002 NBL
Julie Nykiel Player 2010 ABF
Bill Palmer Contributor 1998 NBL
Ed Palubinskas Player 2007 ABF
Darryl Pearce Player 2002 NBL
Henry Perazzo Technical Official 2007 ABF
Alistair Ramsey Contributor;Legend 2004;2006 ABF;ABF
John Raschke Contributor;Contributor;Legend 1998;2004;2007 NBL;ABF;ABF
George Russell Contributor 2006 ABF
Avis Scullin Technical Official 2007 ABF
Larry Sengstock Player 2001;2006 NBL;ABF
Phil Smyth Player 2000;2004 NBL;ABF
Malcolm Speed Contributor 2000 NBL
Rachael Sporn Player 2007 ABF
Bob Staunton Player 2006 ABF
Jan Stirling Player / Coach 2013 ABF
Sid Taylor Technical Official 2004 ABF
Michelle Timms Player 2006 ABF
Ray Tomlinson Coach 2006 ABF
Bob Turner Coach 2000 NBL
Andrew Vlahov Player 2007 NBL
Betty Watson Contributor 2006 NBL
Jenny Whittle Player 2016 ABF
Michael Wrublewski Contributor 2010 NBL
Bill Wyatt Player 2010 ABF


The Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is the women’s equivalent of the NBL and is the marquee pro-basketball competition for female players held in Australia. The tournament was formerly known as the Women’s Interstate Basketball Conference (WIBC) and was founded in 1981.

The league is currently comprised of eight WNBL Teams:

  • Adelaide Lightning
  • Bendigo Spirit
  • Melbourne Boomers
  • Perth Lynx
  • Southside Flyers
  • Sydney Uni Flames
  • Townsville Fire
  • University of Canberra Capitals

A number of these WNBL clubs have NBL counterparts playing in the men’s league. A number of international players from America’s WNBA competition player during their off-season for the WMBL down under. And vice versa, the WNBL can be a major stepping stone for Aussie players looking to make it in the WNBL in the USA.

The WNBL runs across a 24-game regular season beginning in early October and the WMBL Grand Final to decide the WNBL Champion club.