With the AFL season now over, you may be wondering how you’re going to fill the football void for the next six months.
Even though it happens every off-season, we’re still never used to no footy on weekends, and this year seems no different.
However, this time around we’ve found a solution.
Since the NBL had a major revamp a few years ago, the League has come on leaps and bounds, and is now of the most popular sports in the country behind Aussie rules and rugby league.
With the season running from Thursday, October 11 to mid-March, it’s the perfect summer sport to get around, given it ends right on the eve of the 2019 AFL season!
This year’s competition is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever, with former NBA star and Australian basketball royalty Andrew Bogut returning to his homeland to play for the Sydney Kings.
The Kings – coached by Australian sports legend Andrew Gaze – boasts one of the best rosters in NBL history, with Bogut joined by former NBL MVP Jerome Randle, Boomers guard Kevin Lisch, as well as NBL stars Brad Newley and Daniel Kickert.
However, they’ll have to go past the reigning premiers in Melbourne United, who also have a very strong squad.
Boomers star Chris Goulding finally got his first NBL ring last season, alongside former NBA guard Casper Ware and ex-NBA big man Josh Boone.
Casey Prather left United over the off-season, but the additions of Mitch McCarron and Alex Pledger should keep United around the top of the table this season.
Reigning MVP Bryce Cotton will lead the Perth Wildcats into battle this season, as they look to continue their unbelievable finals record.
The Wildcats have made the finals a record 32 seasons in a row (that’s true!), and have eight championships to their name, including three of the past five.
Adelaide will be out to go one better after falling to Melbourne in the Game 5 decider during last year’s Grand Final series, although the loss of Mitch Creek to the NBA could hurt them.
Their roster has largely remained unchanged, although the addition of Harry Froling and Jack McVeigh, who were both in the US college system last season, should add some extra depth.
New Zealand, Brisbane, Cairns and Illawarra should all be pushing for a finals berth too this season, as there’s no clear top and bottom four, which is one of the many reasons why this campaign should be one of the closest yet.
It all kicks off on Thursday, October 11 with a double header, as New Zealand host Brisbane and Adelaide take on Perth.
So look no further this off-season, the NBL has all you need, and more!