Manu Fieldel
Last year

Sydney Kings overall dominance

While Melbourne is the home of basketball in Australia, Sydney is absolutely humming right now. They're speaking hoops capital into existence.

I'd guess +8000 to every game at the moment, certainly the best team in the comp, shrewd owners and management that's seemingly on the same page.

The dominance seemed to start when Bogut came over. On the court they were the best team in the league under Will Weaver, and now it is an overall juggernaut.

How did the Kings get to this point?

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AngusH  
Last year

I think that's 3 games straight with 11k or more - possibly 4, I didn't make the Xmas game.

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Anon  
Last year

7k Xmas day

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Dunkman  
Last year

Smith.

He comes across as loud mouth nobody, but he had plans to make money. His appointment of Pondgrass and Weaver at the start and to follow up with Buford after the one year with Forde, kings equal fourth that season, has kicked off. Would probably happened earlier if not for Covid.

It's nice to have nba guys chipping in money to own clubs but you need ceo, gm, that no what there doing in players recruiting and money management. There is only so many LK and smiths around. Add Pondgrass to that gm roll.

It’s amazing that I believe smith was a rugby man and again I believe went to a hawks game and thought this was great. Again I believe he was happy to take the hawks on but got Sydney instead. The rest they say is history.

God luck to them.

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Perthworld  
Last year

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Perthworld  
Last year

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Graham  
Last year

As someone who's been to 6 or 7 Wildcats GF winning games (1995, 2000, 2010, 2013, 16, 17, 19) I like the league sharing around the success a bit more

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Graham  
Last year

Oh and 2 losing ones, 93 ;;;;;;;;;( and 13

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Dew95  
Last year

Yes, Smith is a localish Wollongong boy who wanted to get involved. Typically, we knocked him back.

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Bol  
Last year

As much as it pains me to say it kudos to Smith for what he's done there so far. Its the best thing for the league that the Sydney market is humming. Its up to everyone else to get better right now. At this rate it wont be long until they overtake the wildcats off the court too.

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KET  
Last year

9,200 is still a fair way from perths 10,500 but it's definitely a positive growth for the kings in an otherwise super tough market.

Love the work they’re putting in

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WC95  
Last year

I think this is great to see. The Kings kind of stuffed it up the first time around when they started dominating on court (the 3 peat years coincided with small crowds at that tine as the NBL was im the peak of its struggles), so its great to see bumper crowds consistently and the people of Sydney have finally started to embrace the Kings.

I couldn't read the linked article referring to Perth, but I can assume it's a healthy competitive goal to want to overtake the Wildcats on and off the court. It's good to see some rivals starting to match the Cats. Adelaide and Melbourne are in that ball park too.

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Bol  
Last year

PW the article is behind a pay wall :(

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Perthworld  
Last year

Sydney Kings reveal ambitious plan to surpass the Perth Wildcats to become the NBL's new crowd Kings

The Perth Wildcats have long led the league in crowd attendance, but the Sydney Kings are packing out stadiums with an ambition to buck the trend.

Matt Logue
January 6, 2023 - 12:00PM
The Daily Telegraph

The high-flying Sydney Kings believe they’re primed to overtake the Perth Wildcats’ long-time average attendance record to become the NBL’s new crowd Kings.

The Wildcats - the most successful franchise in Australian sport with a record 35 straight years of making the playoffs between 1987 and 2021 – has long been the highest-drawing attendance team in the league.

The men from Western Australia again led the average attendance this season with 10,503 from eight games but Sydney is nipping at their heels.

The Kings are averaging 9,274 this season from 10 games on the back of a host of bumper crowds, headed by 12,467 fans against Tasmania in round 13.

The club will also open the upper level 3 at Qudos Bank Arena for the remainder of the season in a bid to maximise crowds.

Reliable guard Shaun Bruce says it’s only a matter of time before the defending champions eclipse Perth’s longstanding average crowd mark.

"If we keep winning, that is going to be above it (Perth’s mark) in no time," Bruce declared ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster home clash against the Wildcats.

“Our front office has done a great job of capitalising on the success we had last season and what we are trying to do this year.

“It has been fun to play in the last few weeks in front of big crowds, but throughout the whole year because the crowds have been great.

“The crowds are only going to get better as we make a playoff push and the games get even more exciting.

“We love playing at Qudos. It’s awesome and to have so many fans in that big arena is even better.”

Bruce briefly put his rivalry with Perth aside to pay homage to the club’s remarkable dominance dating back decades.

The Wildcats have come back to the field in the past two seasons, sitting in sixth place this season and missing the playoffs for the first time in 35 years last season, but they continue to set the crowd attendance benchmark.

“I guess Perth have been successful forever and you can’t blame people for wanting to spend money on a good product,” he said.

“The Kings have done a good job of in the last three or four years since I’ve been here.

“We’ve had a really good product and that goes to what Chris (Pongrass) and Paul (Smith) are doing and people want to come out and spend their money on a Kings game.

“It’s special.”

Sydney is in a strong position to finish the regular season in first position, currently sitting two wins ahead of the second-placed New Zealand Breakers.

Bruce, though, insists the Kings can’t become complacent despite their lofty position on the ladder.

He says the extended finals format, which will feature six teams and a play-in game, makes the run home even more competitive.

It’s why Bruce is extra wary of a desperate sixth-placed Wildcats side, who need to win to lock in a finals position.

“I think they are like any team that is still fighting for that top six with only 10 teams, it doesn’t matter who makes it they are going to deserve it,” he said.

“Perth is a challenge. They’ve got Bryce who is one of the best imports to ever play here, so any time you’re coming up against a guy of his calibre it is going to be a tough night.”

As everyone in the NBL knows, stopping Perth star Bryce Cotton is the key to beating the Wildcats.

Kings guard Justin Simon was known as the 'Bryce stopper’ during his season with the Illawarra Hawks in 2020/2021 as he went on to claim the league’s best defensive player honours.

According to Bruce, though, you need more than one player to restrict Cotton’s brilliance.

“You just have to make him work as hard as you can,” he said.

“You throw plenty of bodies at him and it’s about making his attempts as tough as possible.

“You also have to live with him beating you sometimes and we’ve seen what happens when you try and play him one-on-one or try and guard him straight up.

“It doesn’t go well for you.”

Sydney Kings vs Perth Wildcats at Qudos Bank Arena from 8pm (AEDT) and Live on ESPN and Kayo

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WC95  
Last year

As good as this is for the Kings and the league as a whole, Perths 10500 average would be higher if they didn't have so many mid week games, were higher up on the ladder, coming off a season where they missed the finals and finally have new owners that still need to prove themselves. These are not excuses, they're factors you have to take into account.

Kings are going great, but keep in mind they're the defending champs and on top of the ladder currently. I haven't paid attention to their schedule though. Perth are still the "crowd leaders" by a fair way here.

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Bol  
Last year

Its true it feels like they've been screwed with the scheduling this season. Friday night games have long been their cash cow

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koberulz  
Last year

As good as this is for the Kings and the league as a whole, Perths 10500 average would be higher if they didn't have so many mid week games, were higher up on the ladder, coming off a season where they missed the finals and finally have new owners that still need to prove themselves. These are not excuses, they're factors you have to take into account.

Kings are going great, but keep in mind they're the defending champs and on top of the ladder currently. I haven't paid attention to their schedule though. Perth are still the "crowd leaders" by a fair way here.
Exactly, the Kings are only getting those crowd numbers because they have a better product, it's an unfair advantage.

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WC95  
Last year

^ Well, the Kings have a much improved product and its obvious to see, and well done to them, they're capitalising very well. My point is that Perth are still better (at the moment), yet their product is much worse. I never said it was unfair.

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Moose 32  
Last year

If only NBL didnt knock back Smith's Hawks ownership bid.

His TSE marketing team and appointment of the required staff could have really helped down there. Would have been great for the rivalry and the league.

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KET  
Last year

Yeah it'll be interesting how a weaker Kings would go crowd wise.

Ideally you want the robust enough where all clubs go through a semblance of swings and roundabouts without having the same major clubs perpetually up top, but still able to maintain strong crowds through thick and thin.

For the Kings, they need to put a lot of effort in translating the attendance from the casual "only go when they’re winning" to a slightly more dedicated fanbase.

Hopefully we will see that through the years where they don’t wane too much attendance wise if they have a dip in performance.

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Dunkman  
Last year

Kings won't win continuously but while smith is owner they are going to be competitive and put on a great nights entertainment.
I could see Pondgrass getting poached by other nbl clubs or even international clubs.

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