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Pirates out of 2013 NBL

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November 2, 2012
James Blond Auckland Pirates win 2012 NBL title (Photosport)

James Blond Auckland Pirates win 2012 NBL title (Photosport)

James Blond Auckland Pirates will not defend their Bartercard NBL title next season.

After much deliberation, Basketball Auckland has decided that it will not be entering a team in the 2013 National Basketball League.

BA undertook a thorough review of the on and off-court operation of the Pirates, and found the financial model, in particular, to be unsustainable in the short term.

While the players, coaching staff, team management, sponsors and supporters have every reason to be disappointed with the decision to withdraw the Pirates from the NBL, it has been made in the best interests of basketball in Auckland.

Basketball Auckland chairman Chris Ford said there remained every intention to field an Auckland Pirates NBL team in the future.

“The NBL remains New Zealand’s premier domestic basketball competition and Auckland teams have a great history of success over the years,” says Ford. “While it’s disappointing not to have the Pirates in the league next season the BA board is committed to working with its partners to find a workable solution for future years.”

Bartercard NBL chairman Sam Rossiter-Stead adds: “Obviously it is disappointing that the Pirates will not compete in 2013, especially having come such a long way in a short time. The NBL Board will continue working to ensure that the league has full representation from the greater Auckland region.”

Moving forward, Basketball Auckland considers there are several reasons why a strategic approach to development of the game in Auckland will see the Pirates return to the NBL at a later date.

With the recent creation of Auckland Basketball Services – a joint venture between Basketball Auckland and Counties-Manukau Basketball – the establishment of best-practice administration and delivery of basketball in the Auckland region remain top priorities.

Meantime, the Pirates programme will continue to operate locally with a focus on player development.