Anonymous
Earlier this year

Kings owner slams NBL, Wildcats over Grand final decision

Sydney Kings owner Paul Smith has sensationally claimed both NBL owner Larry Kestelman and the Perth Wildcats reneged on a handshake agreement by awarding the championship to the Wildcats.

Kestelman broke the hearts of Kings fans late on Thursday when he announced Perth as grand final winners after Sydney agreed to abandon the best-of-five series this week because of the coronavirus crisis.

The NBL was adamant it made the right call after seeking advice from its board, external lawyers and international governing body FIBA.

But a furious Smith told the Herald a deal had been struck between all three parties before game two in Perth last Friday that no champion would be declared if all five games of the series were not played. Games four and five were abandoned with the Wildcats leading the series 2-1.

"We had an explicit three-way conversation last Friday because the NBL could provide no guidance, they hadn't a clue what to do, with the scenarios that were unfolding," Smith said. “It was explicitly stated by the Wildcats and the Kings that neither was to have the championship without completing the five-game series. Explicit.

“That was last Friday before we played game two. We won game two. Imagine if we limped home two-down? That was before we won the game.”

The Wildcats earlier this week said they had wanted to play the series over three games — but the Kings refused.

On Tuesday, the Kings made the decision to abandon the series, not least because their overseas players said they wanted to fly home to their families.

“They [the NBL and Wildcats] have disregarded an agreement to put down the guns and play the five games out,” Smith said. “We both decided to not play in front of crowds to ensure player and community safety. The league had no interest in buying that. Larry Kestelman said, 'I just want you to realise that you can't come back for compensation from us’. That is the mentality of what you are dealing with.

“This is a void of leadership because it’s not leadership, it's ownership.”

There has been palpable tension between the Kings and the Wildcats all season. It escalated when Smith made disparaging remarks on Twitter about Perth trying to “corporatise” the Indigenous round with a self-indulgent playing strip.

He has also had run-ins with Kestelman, who phoned Smith minutes before the media conference.

“I think there’s always going to be an asterisk next to this season for all sorts of different reasons,” Kestelman said. “I don’t think this is a normal season. Whether it’s a physical asterisk or an asterisk in our head, we’re all gonna remember this one.”

NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: "We've concluded that there is only one outcome that is appropriate in the circumstances of the league having made the decision to cancel games four and five of the finals series. Consequently, the champions of the 2019-20 NBL season are the Perth Wildcats ... In this instance, games four and five were cancelled by the League due to unforeseen circumstances pursuant to rule 34 of the NBL Operations Manual."
As for claims of a handshake agreement, Loeliger told RSN Radio on Wednesday: “There were a number of phone calls but to the best of my memory there was no agreement to that effect,” Loeliger told RSN radio on Wednesday. We discussed it as a possibility but I don’t believe there was any agreement.”

Late on Thursday night, an NBL spokesman said: “There was 100 per cent categorically no agreement.”

The club confirmed it was not going to appeal the decision, but was "confused" how rule 34 was applied to reach that decision.

Source: https://amp.theage.com.au/sport/basketball/they-ve-reneged-kings-owner-slams-nbl-perth-over-grand-final-decision-20200319-p54bxs.html


Topic #47074 | Report this topic


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Listening to the Sydney owner speak, guy sounds and acts like a complete moron.

Reply #800933 | Report this post


koberulz  
Earlier this year

Why does he even care? It's not like it's cost his team anything.

Reply #800934 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Sounds like a guy who clearly cares about his players and believes their welfare is bigger than the game. That the result did not matter.

Reply #800938 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

He's literally complaining about the result!

Reply #800943 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Smith is just making sure Wildcats fans enjoy it even more.

It's definitely working! #10

Reply #800946 | Report this post


Timberball  
Earlier this year

So he says they agree to award no championship if the series is not complete, then when he's 1 loss away and on the road he refuses to play and says there should be no winner...seems completely legit.

It's sounds like the negotiations with this guy are lin a playing a board game with a 5 year old, the rules keep changing to suit him and you are just meant to smile and let it happen.

Reply #800949 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

Paul Smith, despite the money, is the worst owner in NBL history.

Reply #800950 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Hopefully Sydney are allocated more imports next season to help them go one further next time.

Reply #800951 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

No wonder the league changed the rules so they could sign Didi...he must have whinged them into submission.

Reply #800952 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

""That was last Friday before we played game two. We won game two. Imagine if we limped home two-down? That was before we won the game.""

What's the point he's trying to make here? I don't get it.

Reply #800958 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

#10 championships.

Reply #800960 | Report this post


krayola  
Earlier this year

Bit of an anticlimax if you're Perth players? You legit didn't get to win the competition because it was cancelled. I've won a GF before because the other team forfeited and it felt a bit weird being give the trophy.

Based on the head-to-head throughout the year you could argue that they deserve it but the reality is that they didn't win it and Sydney didn't lose it because the series was best of 5.

I'm a Kings fan but Smith is a bit halfcocked here. Just because his own company believes one interpretation should be applied to the virus doesn't mean everyone should agree to interpret it that way. Clearly the NBL don't and they're the only group that matter.

The NBL have pretended throughout this that they care about the players. They don't, they want revenue and this decision proves it, letting teams choose whether to play or not and then penalising a team when they choose not to. If they had said to Sydney "if you choose not to play Perth will be named champions" then the Kings may have played after all but I doubt that was said.

Reply #800962 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

A handshaje deal that I'm sure there was a caveat that all parties agree to not play? Or that the league was the one to call it off?


Not that one team can drop a game down and call it off. It's literally the kid that picks up his ball and goes home when he starts losing.

Basically , we didn't win so you can't either, suck it up princess. Both results are you don't win so it's cost you nothing but your pride.

Reply #800964 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year


The argument they're having now about what was or was not agreed before game 2 probably comes down to the exact wording, and makes a good case for putting things in writing. Did one side legitimately think that if the whole thing is called off because a player *contracts* Covid-19 then there's no winner? And did the other side legitimately think that if the whole thing is called off "because of Covid-19" (i.e. any disruption that is clearly caused by the virus) then there's no winner?

What would the fair result have been if there had been some other issue relating to the virus that just rendered the whole thing impossible to complete (something to do with travel that caught the teams out in different locations, or perhaps a 50 person event limit or something that would have ruled the games impossible to run safely and successfully in any form)? Would you take the running result then, or go with no-winner?

I don't know - but I think the Wildcats could have taken a classy and mature position and have instead managed to completely land several rungs below that in a pretty embarrassing place, and that at the same time there was absolutely no reason for the Kings to follow them down there to this pretty petty place. Kings should take the high-road and just STFU and let the Wildcats run around in their Champions T-Shirts continuing to make themselves look really silly.

The *real* shame I think is that there won't be any chance of a true re-run series next year, as at least the Kings lineup will have several major changes.

Reply #800965 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Lol, Paul Smith is the "worst owner in NBL history". You sure about that? The list of contenders is, unfortunately, quite long. I mean, even just in Sydney he's going to have to really **** a whole lot of things up to have a shot at even cracking the Top 3.

Reply #800966 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Sydney Queens with all the drama they've created

Reply #800967 | Report this post


Lovebroker  
Earlier this year

I think there is something wrong with the Kings owner.

At the presser they literally said "it couldn't matter less to us in the scheme of things the competition'.

Once LK called Smith, Smith tweeted that he expressed no disappointment at the decision of the NBL.

https://twitter.com/psmithtse/status/1240498102596845568

Nekt minute...accusations of treachery and deal breaking.

Is there a new strain of the Corona Virus that alters one's gender as well?

Reply #800970 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Sorry Paul you'll have to speak up ...we can't hear you over the sound of our 10 banners flapping in the breeze.

Reply #800974 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

How was perth petty? Sydney is the only team that feels its currently unsafe, the AFL just started!!! Sounds like their imports were leaving and they knew that was a loss, so rather than play it out, they tried too jag a shared championship or perth not getting it. I'd say if anyone is on the lower rung its sydney

Reply #800976 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I didn't say Perth were petty, I said Sydney were petty. I said Perth embarrassing themselves - different.

Reply #800977 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Don't think they are embarrassed themselves at all. Don't think they 'look silly' either.

Tbh I think the nbl should have said games 3,4,5 in 1 location and do it in a neutral state and don't give them a choice, with no crowd who cares, change the time line to speed it up.

Clubs had too much sway in the decisions, accept the league's decision or nobody play. Sydney took the league's open discussions rejected everything and they are the ones that pull out when it was obviousl before that coronavirus was on this track. Anyone with half a brain could see how the numbers would increase because it's the same pattern seen in about 10 countries

Reply #800980 | Report this post


Yinka Dare  
Earlier this year

Any decent business owner knows that a handshake deal means basically nothing and hard to prove what was agreed to. Rookie mistake. Bad luck Paul

Reply #800981 | Report this post


Dave Q  
Earlier this year

"Sorry Paul you'll have to speak up ...we can't hear you over the sound of our 10 banners flapping in the breeze."

Even as a Kings fan that made me smile. Well played sir.

Wish Casper had shown up... but there ya go.

Reply #800982 | Report this post


KET  
Earlier this year

These are weird and different times, finishing the full series would have been untenable.

Given the circumstances Perth being up 2-1 going back to Perth, either neither win, or Perth wins.

Sydney are pretty a shitty and petulant organisation to be reacting like this, realistically they weren't deprived anything given it was either Perth or nobody.

Reply #800985 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Why was finishing the series untenable? The AFL with all their experts and dialogue with government obviously think playing is tenable and their game is just a tad more physical.

Reply #800987 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

" The NBL have pretended throughout this that they care about the players. They don't, they want revenue and this decision proves it,"

How did they gain revenue from this decision?

Reply #800989 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

They didn't take the deal seriously because it ended up with them bumping elbows instead.

Reply #800990 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Paul Smith is not even in the top 10 worst owners in history! That's just some lazy ass hot take. He’s a very good owner.

In saying that he looks foolish here. You don’t get to essentially forfeit (I know that’s a big scary word) and get to share the rewards. You took your bat and ball for the reasons you said, and now the league has enforced its rule book, instead of whatever "handshake/bar room napkin" arrangement you thought you had.

Reply #800991 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

AFL and NRL are literally the only sports happening around the world right now. Their own advice or government dialogue or just some big fish in a small pond who can never see far beyond themselves, whatever it is, they're the global outliers.

There's a decent argument for some demonstrations of normality like this being in the public good, but there's also a decent argument that demonstrations of a *lack* of normality are what is more important right now.

I could imagine the Morrison Govt erring on the former. Restrictions might be about to get a whole lot tougher, we'd better make sure the bogans at least have their footy or things might get out of control...

Reply #800993 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

" Paul Smith is not even in the top 10 worst owners in history! That's just some lazy ass hot take. He's a very good owner. "

I think when all is said and done, his ongoing petulance will see him take his bat and ball and go home permanently when he doesnt produce a successful team on the court to make him seem like he’s good for the game. If Bogut retires, that will be a huge blow for his team.

Reply #800997 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"AFL and NRL are literally the only sports happening around the world right now."

Such a lie!!! There are plenty of leagues still playing, and preparing to begin playing around the world! There are a number of countries getting a handle on this. Have a bit of a read before you put out mistruth

Reply #801002 | Report this post


Joe  
Earlier this year

if he doesn't produce a successful team? 23 + 11, biggest crowd of the NBL history. Coach that came in second in Coach of the Year. Led the league the whole regular season. And with that dinosaur that sucks up most of the money gone next year trust me they'll have a good team. And if their leading scorer would have gone 2 for 17 instead 1 / 17 in that first game it would have been 2_1 Sydney. and without cotton Perth comes in 5th.

Reply #801006 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Gotta respect the winners in Perth. Win at all costs. *Champions*

Reply #801008 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

First things first.....I'm not mad at Paul Smith for these comments but his previous take on the Perth Indigenous jersey qualifies him as an all world flog.

Second thing....this sort of stuff is actually good for the league. Two powerhouse clubs now have a legit beef which in turn should create a nasty rivalry. Hope this carries in to next season!

Reply #801009 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Hand shake deals, lmao. Written contracts are hardly worth anything in the sports industry now.

Afl and nrl are Australian sports, they don't have imports that want to get home. Smith actually did the right thing by his imports letting them go but would have looked a lot better if they had played the series out with his Australian players or any import that wished to stay. They would have got beat but it would have been an honourable loss, not shit fight it is now.

Smith is a good owner, I hope he stays on and has success, even the best business men take time to get success, it’s not normally instant. He is brash but he’s good for the league and we need more like him.

It’s all been great publicity for the league, onwards and upwards.

Congratulations Perth, I still you are all wankers.

Reply #801010 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

" if he doesn't produce a successful team? 23 + 11, biggest crowd of the NBL history. Coach that came in second in Coach of the Year. Led the league the whole regular season."

That isn't how success is measured. No title, no success.

Reply #801011 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Regular season means nothing.

Reply #801013 | Report this post


Senator11  
Earlier this year

Smart, can't choke if you quit first.

Reply #801017 | Report this post


PlaymakerMo  
Earlier this year

The NBL made the right decision, so if they had to reneg on a so-called "handshake agreement" then so be it. What a sore loser.

This also suggests Smith only cared about his players' welfare enough to withdraw from the series because he believe it would be declared a non-result - however delusional this belief may be.

I didn't think I could dislike the Kings more than I already had this season...

Reply #801020 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

i am a Kings supporter, BUT PERTH ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

PERTH led 2/1 in the series , and The Kings decided not to come out for game 4!!!

Season games do not count. Minor premiers are NOT always championship winners.

PERTH were the BEST in the FINALS which is where the championship is decided.

WELL DONE PERF

Reply #801021 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"This also suggests Smith only cared about his players' welfare enough to withdraw from the series because he believe it would be declared a non-result - however delusional this belief may be."

Exactly right. Its actually him putting team success first (or more accurately, Perth's non-success). He's not going on the offensive, posting everything coronavirus-related so he can be seen to be really caring about the seriousness of the issue.

Reply #801023 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Common Paul, show some Dignity mate. You're team was outplayed over the three games and was down 2-1 and probably would have lost in game 4 anyway. Just let it go

Reply #801028 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Common Paul, show some Dignity mate. You're team was outplayed over the three games and was down 2-1 and probably would have lost in game 4 anyway. Just let it go

Reply #801029 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Everyone thought the kings would lose game two but they didn't, it’s all assumptions.

Perth should accept their championship and stop being so arrogant.

Reply #801031 | Report this post


PlaymakerMo  
Earlier this year

"Perth should accept their championship and stop being so arrogant."

Maybe the Kings should start us off and cut back on the arrogance themselves.

Reply #801033 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

They did accept their championship. Unfortunately, after a period of complete domination, arrogance comes with the territory.

Reply #801035 | Report this post


KET  
Earlier this year

Why was finishing the series untenable? The AFL with all their experts and dialogue with government obviously think playing is tenable and their game is just a tad more physical.


AFL there's unanimous agreement as per round 1 going ahead amongst the clubs.

Sydney refused to continue the series making it untenable.

Reply #801037 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

The afl don't have any imports that want to get back to America, it not the same.

It’s been great publicity for the nbl and next season Perth v Sydney is going to be fantastic. No such thing as bad publicity was the nfl catch cry. Times have changed but this has got excitement and sensationalism written all over it.

Reply #801039 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Perth has 3 American players too.

Reply #801042 | Report this post


proud  
Earlier this year

Dear NBL,

Please schedule game 1 of the season to be Sydney playing in Perth, unfurl the banner and really promote the hell out of the game and make the average punter feel like there was unfinished business.

Thank you for your time,

Reply #801057 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Unfurl the banner, and new court decals calling Perth the actual hoops capital.

Reply #801058 | Report this post


LC  
Earlier this year

"There is always a need to balance business decisions and transparency to the public, but it continues to be a question, that's been highlighted again in this latest series of events. There’s a need for greater transparency on impactful decisions, especially when it relates to outcomes from behind-the-scenes discussions, that will drive better accountability and trust from all parties."

NBL Grand Final fallout: On transparency, Rule 34 and why speed was critical, especially with coronavirus threat

Reply #801068 | Report this post




 

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