Arguably one of the best-ever guards to come out of NZ, Lindsay Tait has announced that season number 19 will be his last.
Tait made his debut back in 2000 for the Auckland Stars, and success would come quickly for the young teenager, winning the first of his seven NBL titles.
At close to 6’4”, Tait was tall for a point guard and his combination of speed and size would make him a difficult opponent against opposing guards.
Tait’s signature hesitation dribble would allow him to get into the paint at will, and quickly he became one of the best scorers in the competition, averaging over 20 points per game though 2004-2007 seasons with the Stars. In 2005 Tait was also named Most Valuable player of the competition with a career best 24 points per game.
After a successful eight seasons with the Stars which included titles in 2004 and 2005, Tait joined the Wellington Saints in 2008, and would be there for seven of his next eight seasons, leading the franchise to three more titles. Tait would briefly return home in 2012 to guide the Auckland Pirates to one title.
In 2013, Tait won his second MVP award averaging 20.1 points and 8.1 assists and was gunning for his fourth consecutive NBL title. But after suffering a thumb injury later in the season, Tait had to miss the last few games of the regular season, he would be quickly rushed back for the semi-final which the Saints were upset by the Southland Sharks who then went onto win the title.
Tait’s competitive greatness would show the following season, bouncing back from the shock loss the season before to lead the Saints to the championship in 2014
After going back and forth between Wellington and Auckland, Tait decided to return for good to his home town Auckland where he could spend more time with sons Mikaere and Marley.
Tait joined the Supercity Rangers where he has led the franchise to their first ever grand-final in 2016.
Tait is currently at 290 career games. The number 4 will hopefully join NBL greats and former Tall Black team mates such as Phill Jones, Pero Cameron and current team mate Dillon Boucher to reach 300 plus games.
NBL Career Stats
NBL Debut: 2000
NBL Seasons: 19th season
NBL Games: 290
NBL Titles: 7 (2000, 04, 05 with Auckland Stars, 2012 Auckland Pirates, 2010, 11, 14 Wellington Saints)
Stats: 4943 points (17ppg), 1038 rebounds, 1533 assists, 416 steals
• 7 x NZNBL Champion: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
• 3 x NZNBL Finals MVP: 2010, 2011, 2014
• 3 x NZNBL MVP: 2005, 2010, 2013
• 3 x NZNBL NZ MVP: 2005, 2013, 2015
• 7 x NZNBL Most Outstanding Guard: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
• 9 x NZNBL Most Outstanding Kiwi Guard: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
• 3 x NZNBL Assist Champion: 2010, 2013, 2015
• 9 x NZNBL All-Star 5: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Letter from Lindsay
I would like to thank my parents for a lifetime of sacrifice they have made for me that words can’t express my true appreciation. Thank you for my dad for teaching me the love of the game & damn near everything else that comes with it.
I would like to thank my sons for the sacrifices they were forced to make in allowing their father to be away from home so often, not only in an effort to keep a roof over their head but to chase my hoop dreams.
On Oct. 9 2017, I underwent a 7 hour surgery to remove my entire thyroid gland of the cancer it contained that had gotten into my lymph nodes. I must thank my angel / surgeon Kevin Smith for giving me a second chance at life. My girl Brooke Watt. You faced my mortality with me & never wavered. I can never thank you enough. You were the first one there when I opened my eyes.
Thank you to ALL my coaches, teammates, front office & support staff who I’ve been to war with over the years. Too many to name but you know who you are. The brothers.
I have nothing left to prove in the NZNBL. The sole reason I decided to play this year is to show my sons that when life knocks you down you have two choices. You stay down, or you get back up.
We get back up. I will always compete to win but just being able to play competitive basketball still is a blessing so many of us take for granted.
I walk away from competitive play at peace. I will miss my teammates & the competition most of all but… it is now my duty to give back so much that has been given to me. It’s the circle of life. From the brothers at Youthtown who beat me down & taught me to be tough to the bright lights of the international stage, it is my turn to give back these teachings & help NZ keep producing the likes of the next Shea ili.
The Basketball Auckland Talent Accelerator Program I lead is now active. This is an additional skills-based training layer for representative level athletes U13-19 to workout & learn in a challenging environment. For enquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I plan on spending my days coaching our youth & watching my family grow.
Much love. LT