The 2021 Sal's NBL season is the League's 40th year, a milestone that will be celebrated by all, but one that has only been made possible due to the enormous passion by so many across four decades.
Let's take a look back to where it all started in 1982!
The 1980s ushered in a period of exceptional growth and popularity for basketball in New Zealand. Late in 1981, six men's teams – a mixture of club and provincial representative sides – went out alone and created an inaugural national competition.
It was enough of a success to come under the control of the New Zealand Basketball Federation the following year (1982), when it grew in size and secured a naming rights partner. This was to be known as New Zealand's first season of the National Basketball League (NBL).
And from that point, 1982 has been regarded as the inaugural season of New Zealand's NBL, known then as the ‘Countrywide League’.
Auckland would go on to win the the competition's first title, defeating Waitemata in the decider.
8 teams contested the 1982 season (final standings):
Palmerston North Jets
Auckland defeated Waitemata (Referees: John Burton & Keith Milligan)
Step Back In Time - presented by
The following images from 1982 have been made possible with thanks to www.lde.co.nz