Melbourne United

Australian basketball team

       CEONick TruelsonGeneral managerMark BoydHead coachDean VickermanTeam captainChris GouldingOwnershipLK Group
Simon Hupfeld
Aaron SansoniChampionships6 (1993, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2018, 2021)Retired numbers6 (6, 8, 10, 21, 25, 50)WebsiteMelbourneUtd.com.au
Home jersey
Team colours
Home
Away jersey
Team colours
Away

Melbourne United is an Australian professional basketball team based in Melbourne, Victoria. United compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at John Cain Arena.

The team made their debut in the NBL in 1984 as the Melbourne Tigers, as an extension of the Melbourne Basketball Association (MBA). The franchise entered into private ownership in 2002, ending the team's relation with the MBA. The Tigers were led by coach Lindsay Gaze and his son Andrew from 1984 until 2005, with the pair guiding the Tigers to two championships in the 1990s. The pair were supported by fellow club legends such as Dave Simmons, Lanard Copeland and Mark Bradtke. Four consecutive NBL Grand Finals followed between 2006 and 2009, with championships coming in 2006 and 2008 behind the likes of Chris Anstey and Darryl McDonald. After 31 seasons of using the Melbourne Tigers name, the franchise was renamed Melbourne United in May 2014, a controversial change that was met with opposition by Tigers fans, former Tigers players and the wider NBL community.[1][2] Four years later, the franchise won their first championship since adopting the Melbourne United name. The franchise won their sixth championship in 2021. Their six championships is second only to the Perth Wildcats (ten) for most titles in NBL history.

Franchise history

Gaze era (1984–2005)

Melbourne United's history stems back to 1931 with the beginning of basketball in Victoria. The Melbourne Tigers brand came into use in 1975, and after the Tigers won the South Eastern Basketball League (SEBL) title in 1983, a new Melbourne Tigers entity was entered into the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1984, as an extension of the Melbourne Basketball Association (MBA). The Tigers struggled initially, given a lack of financial resources.[3] During the early struggles of the 1980s, the Tigers were led by coach Lindsay Gaze and his son Andrew. Andrew Gaze was a prolific scorer, as he set a still-standing NBL record with 44.1 points per game for the 1987 season. During the year, he had a 60-point game against the Newcastle Falcons. Despite his dominance, the Tigers finished with a 3–23 record. The addition of imports David Colbert and Dave Simmons in 1989 saw the Tigers make their first-ever finals appearance.

Melbourne Tigers logo (1998–2006)

The addition of Lanard Copeland in 1992 led to the Tigers reaching their maiden NBL Grand Final series, where they were defeated 2–1 by the South East Melbourne Magic. Gaze and Copeland formed arguably the best back-court partnership in NBL history, with Copeland happily playing second fiddle to Gaze and almost always stepping up as the "go to" man when Gaze was absent.[4] Joining Gaze, Copeland and Simmons in 1993 was Mark Bradtke, as the foursome led the Tigers back to the NBL Grand Final, where they faced the Perth Wildcats. Having split the first two games, Game 3 in Perth went down to the wire. A tense and tight affair led to a frantic final minute – with the Wildcats trailing by three and Andrew Vlahov holding possession, his three-point attempt from the top of the arc looked oh-so-good, before completing a near-full circle of the rim and hitting the backboard before rattling out.[5] It was a fitting maiden championship win for Andrew and Lindsay Gaze, with the father-son duo embracing in a memorable teary breakdown following the game.[6]

The Tigers returned to the NBL Grand Final in 1996, where they were once again beaten 2–1 by the South East Melbourne Magic. Following the 1996 season, the Tigers parted ways with Dave Simmons. The 1997 season began with import Jarvis Lang being released and replaced by Marcus Timmons. Behind Gaze, Copeland, Bradtke and Timmons, the Tigers reached their fourth NBL Grand Final series, as they finished the 1997 season on a 17–1 run that included a record 16-game winning streak.[3] They once again faced the Magic, this time claiming a 2–1 victory to win their second NBL Championship.

The Tigers were unable to recapture their championship form throughout the rest of the 1990s and the early 2000s. In 2002, the franchise entered into private ownership after the organisation had racked up a $2 million debt. Poor management has led losses to mount rapidly in the so-called professional phase of the Melbourne Basketball Association's ownership of the franchise. A new ownership consortium under Melbourne businessman Seamus McPeake and the Gazes saw financial stability restored to the organisation for the 2002–03 season.[7]

New championship era (2005–2009)

Melbourne's championship banners

The Gaze era ended in 2005 with the retirement of coach Lindsay and the sport's greatest Australian player, Andrew.[4] In addition, the Tigers parted ways with both Mark Bradtke and Lanard Copeland. Darryl McDonald and imports Rashad Tucker and Dave Thomas were joined by Chris Anstey for the 2005–06 season. Fellow stalwarts in the team included Daryl Corletto, Stephen Hoare and Tommy Greer. Behind coach Al Westover, the Tigers reached the 2006 NBL Grand Final series, where they swept the Sydney Kings 3–0.

Melbourne Tigers logo (2006–2012)

The 2006–07 season saw the Tigers return to the NBL Grand Final, where they were defeated 3–1 by the Brisbane Bullets. The 2007 off-season saw the Tigers acquire David Barlow and Nathan Crosswell, joining a core of Anstey, McDonald, Thomas, Corletto, Hoare and Greer. Import Sean Lampley joined the Tigers mid-season and helped them reach their third straight NBL Grand Final, where they once again faced the Sydney Kings. The series was tied at 2–2 heading into the deciding Game 5. Game 5 saw the Tigers complete the job they were so close to doing in Game 4 at home by winning 85–73 at the Kingdome to celebrate Darryl McDonald's last game in style. Both Anstey and Thomas finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.[8] In 2008, the Tigers acquired the services of Sam Mackinnon and Ebi Ere, while long-time swingman Dave Thomas departed for Cairns. However, following an injury to Mackinnon and the mid-season departure of Rod Grizzard, Thomas and Luke Kendall were acquired in January 2009. The 2008–09 season saw the Tigers return to the NBL Grand Final for a fourth straight year, but they were defeated 3–2 by the South Dragons.

End of Tigers era (2009–2014)

Melbourne Tigers logo (2012–2014)

In May 2009, the Tigers made a short-lived decision to sit out the 2009–10 season, after losing money in 2008–09 for the first time in five years. The franchise felt that NBL reforms had not gone far enough to make it feasible to play.[9] They ultimately continued on in the now eight-team competition in 2009–10.[10]

Sam Mackinnon continued on with the Tigers in 2009, while Mark Worthington was acquired following the demise of the South Dragons. Star imports Ebi Ere and Dave Thomas parted ways with Melbourne after the franchise decided to go with an 'all-Australian' roster.[11] The policy was short-lived as Julius Hodge joined the Tigers in November, while Mike Rose joined the squad in January.

In the off-season of 2010, the Tigers roster was dismantled after the departure of Hodge, Worthington and Nathan Crosswell, as well as the retirements of NBL greats Mackinnon and Anstey. The team picked up imports TJ Campbell and Eric Devendorf, as well as Australians Cameron Tragardh, Matt Burston, Wade Helliwell, Luke Nevill and Lucas Walker. Corletto and Greer continued on with the Tigers, as did Bennie Lewis. 2010 NBL MVP Corey Williams joined the squad in November in place of the outgoing Campbell, while Nevill and Devendorf were let go in February. Club legend Darryl McDonald completed the 2010–11 season as coach of the Tigers following the sacking of Al Westover.[12]

In the off-season of 2011, the Tigers acquired the services of coach Trevor Gleeson, and recruited Ayinde Ubaka, Ron Dorsey and Daniel Dillon from Cairns. They also acquired Liam Rush to go along with the addition of Patty Mills for the duration of the 2011 NBA lockout. In January 2012, following a 13-point loss to the Gold Coast Blaze, owner Seamus McPeake made a post-game address to the playing group and then sacked Ubaka on the spot, while Gleeson was at a press conference.[13]

In 2012, the Tigers acquired Chris Goulding, Nate Tomlinson, Adam Ballinger, and imports Seth Scott and Kevin Braswell. Burston, Walker, Rush, Lewis and Greer continued on, while club legend Chris Anstey became head coach. In November of the 2012–13 season, Jonny Flynn replaced Braswell, but the Tigers missed the post-season for the fourth straight year.

The 2013–14 season saw the return of Mark Worthington to the Tigers, while Goulding, Tomlinson, Ballinger, Walker and Greer all continued on under Anstey. Ayinde Ubaka had a short-lived stint with the Tigers to begin the season, before Mustapha Farrakhan Jr. replaced him in November to team up alongside fellow import Scott Morrison. Goulding was key to the Tigers reaching the finals for the first time since 2009, where they lost to the Adelaide 36ers in the semis.

Melbourne United (2014–present)

Melbourne United and Sydney Kings at Melbourne Arena

On 20 May 2014, the franchise was re-branded as Melbourne United.[14][15] The change was made to symbolise the connection to all of Victorian basketball, with the navy blue logo of Melbourne United becoming the new face of professional basketball in Victoria, replacing the Melbourne Tigers brand.[16] Owner Larry Kestelman wanted to end the partisan divisions between the Tigers (Melbourne Basketball Association) and other Victorian supporters and bring the state together behind one NBL team.[17][18] The change was met with strong scrutiny from members, fans and past legends such as Andrew Gaze and Lanard Copeland, with the latter even stating he wanted his jersey "taken down from the rafters".[19]

Melbourne's new championship banners

Tigers legend Daryl Corletto returned to the franchise in 2014 after three years with the New Zealand Breakers, while David Barlow returned after five years in Europe following the retirement of Tommy Greer. Mark Worthington, Lucas Walker and Nate Tomlinson continued on from the Tigers to United, while Daniel Kickert joined the squad alongside imports Jordan McRae and Stephen Dennis. Following an 89–61 loss to the Cairns Taipans in the 2014–15 season opener, coach Chris Anstey resigned and was replaced by his assistant Darryl McDonald in the interim.[12] United went on to finish their inaugural season in fifth place with a 13–15 record.

In 2015, United hired Dean Demopoulos as coach and acquired swingman Todd Blanchfield. The franchise also welcomed back Chris Goulding after he spent the 2014–15 season in Spain. With Kickert and Tomlinson continuing on, United recruited Majok Majok alongside imports Hakim Warrick and Stephen Holt. Brad Hill was signed as an injury-replacement for Barlow prior to the season after Barlow suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Melbourne went on to claim the minor premiership in 2015–16 with a first-place finish and an 18–10 record, before losing to the fourth-seeded New Zealand Breakers in the semi-finals.

In 2016, Goulding, Blanchfield, Majok and Tomlinson were joined by new recruits Tai Wesley and David Andersen. Barlow also returned to the line-up after recovering from the Achilles injury. United started the 2016–17 season with imports Cedric Jackson, Devin Williams and Ramone Moore, but ultimately replaced all three mid-season with Casper Ware, Josh Boone and Lasan Kromah respectively. While Kromah failed to make an impact, Ware and Boone led Melbourne to a late-season finals charge, only to miss out by two games.

Melbourne United team bench in 2021, with Dean Vickerman as head coach

The 2017 off-season saw the departure of Dean Demopoulos and the hiring of Dean Vickerman as head coach. Under Demopoulos, United underachieved due to a one-dimensional game plan and a lack of direction at the defensive end. With Vickerman came a cultural shift based around sharing the wealth offensively and leading from within.[20] With a returning cast of Goulding, Ware, Boone, Wesley, Andersen, Barlow and Majok, United acquired the services of Casey Prather, a swingman coming off back-to-back championships with the Perth Wildcats. United also signed former one-time Melbourne Tiger Daniel Dillon, but an Achilles injury to Dillon forced the team to sign Peter Hooley in his place. United were title favourites at the start of the 2017–18 season, but fell to a 2–3 record following a loss to the Brisbane Bullets in Round 4.[21] In December, Prather went down with a possible season-ending elbow injury and was replaced by Carrick Felix.[22] With defensive-minded Felix in the line-up, United went 9–1.[20] Felix was removed from Melbourne's active roster in mid-February following Prather's return from injury.[23] United finished the regular season as minor premiers for the second time in three years, earning a 20–8 record. They went on to sweep the Breakers in the semi-finals to reach the 2018 NBL Grand Final series. There they faced the Adelaide 36ers. With the series tied at 2–2 heading into the deciding Game 5, Ware and Goulding each scored 23 points with Prather adding 19 points, 11 rebounds and five steals to lead United to a 100–82 win, as the franchise claimed their first NBL Championship under the new moniker. Goulding was named grand final MVP.[24]

In the 2018–19 NBL season, United returned to the NBL Grand Final series, where they lost 3–1 to the Perth Wildcats.[25]

In the 2020–21 NBL season, United were crowned minor premiers with a 28–8 record behind the likes of Goulding, Jock Landale, Scotty Hopson and Mitch McCarron.[26] They reached their third grand final in four years with a 2–1 semi-final series win over their crosstown rivals the South East Melbourne Phoenix.[27] They went on to sweep the Perth Wildcats in the grand final series 3–0 to win their second championship as United and sixth as a franchise. Landale was named grand final MVP.[28]

In the 2021–22 NBL season, United were crowned minor premiers for the second year in a row.[29]

In the 2023–24 NBL season, United finished as minor premiers and returned to the NBL Grand Final series, where they lost 3–2 to the Tasmania JackJumpers.[30][31]

Home arena

The Melbourne Tigers played out of their traditional home, the 2,000 seat Albert Park Basketball Stadium, from 1984 to 1987 before moving into the 7,200-capacity Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre (more commonly known as The Glass House[citation needed]) in 1988. The Tigers played in The Glass House (which it shared with the North Melbourne Giants) from 1987 to 1991 before they and new team South East Melbourne Magic both moved into the 14,820-seat National Tennis Centre in 1992. The centre could hold up to 15,400 for basketball (almost 2,000 more than the Brisbane Entertainment Centre which at 13,500 had been the largest venue since 1986), easily making it the largest venue in the NBL at the time. The Tigers enjoyed success at the Tennis Centre, winning the NBL championship in 1993 and again in 1997 as well as making the Grand Final in 1992 and 1996. In 1996, the Tigers and Magic set a then NBL record attendance of 15,366 for a regular season game at the Tennis Centre, while the 1996 Grand Final series between the two Melbourne rivals set an NBL record aggregate attendance of 43,605 over the 3-game series, a record that still stands as of the 2016–17 NBL season.

Citing the rising costs of playing games at the Tennis Centre, the Tigers moved to the newly built, 10,500 capacity Vodafone Arena (now John Cain Arena) in 2000. Located next door to the Tennis Centre, the Tigers remained at Vodafone until 2002 before they moved again into the smaller (3,500 seat) State Netball and Hockey Centre.

Since 2012, the club has split its games between John Cain Arena and the Netball Centre, but in 2015 also played games at the newly renovated Margaret Court Arena which (as part of the Melbourne Park tennis complex) had been given a retractable-roof as well as an upgrade from 6,000 to 7,500 seats. In 2016–17, Melbourne United will play most of its games at John Cain Arena with a select number of games played at the Netball Centre during January due to the Australian Open tennis (John Cain Arena is the second largest arena at Melbourne Park).

Melbourne's all-time home game attendance record was set on 11 July 1994 when 15,129 attended a Round 14 game between the Tigers and South East Melbourne at the Tennis Centre. As Melbourne United, the team's record home attendance of 10,300 was set on 4 December 2016 against the New Zealand Breakers at Melbourne Arena during Round 9 of the 2016–17 NBL season.

Since 2018, United have trained and had their head offices located at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Albert Park.[32]

Honour roll

NBL Championships: 6 (1993, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2018, 2021)
Regular Season Champions: 7 (1994, 1996, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2024)
NBL Finals Appearances: 28 (1989–2000, 2002–2009, 2014, 2016, 2018–2022, 2024)
NBL Grand Final appearances: 12 (1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2024)
NBL Most Valuable Players: Andrew Gaze (1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998), Mark Bradtke (2002), Chris Anstey (2006, 2008)
NBL Grand Final MVPs: Lanard Copeland (1997), Chris Anstey (2006, 2008), Chris Goulding (2018), Jock Landale (2021)
All-NBL First Team: Andrew Gaze (1986–2000; 15 times), Mark Bradtke (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999–2005; 10 times), Lanard Copeland (1999, 2002), Chris Anstey (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Dave Thomas (2007), Ebi Ere (2009), Mark Worthington (2010), Seth Scott (2013), Chris Goulding (2014, 2016, 2024), Daniel Kickert (2016), Casper Ware (2017, 2018, 2019), Josh Boone (2018), Jock Landale (2021), Jo Lual-Acuil (2022)
All-NBL Second Team: Andrew Gaze (2001), Darryl McDonald (2006), Dave Thomas (2006), Corey Williams (2011), Cameron Tragardh (2012), Jonny Flynn (2013), Jordan McRae (2015), Stephen Holt (2016), Tai Wesley (2018), Mitch McCarron (2021), Chris Goulding (2021, 2022, 2023), Matthew Dellavedova (2022), Jo Lual-Acuil (2024)
All-NBL Third Team: Darryl McDonald (2007), David Barlow (2009), Julius Hodge (2010)
NBL Coach of the Year: Lindsay Gaze (1989, 1997, 1999), Al Westover (2006), Dean Vickerman (2018, 2019, 2024)
NBL Rookie of the Year: Andrew Gaze (1984)
NBL Best Sixth Man: Darryl McDonald (2004), Stephen Hoare (2006, 2007), Hakim Warrick (2016), Jo Lual-Acuil (2021), Shea Ili (2022), Ian Clark (2024)
NBL Best Defensive Player: Chris Anstey (2008), Shea Ili (2024)
NBL Most Improved Player: Nate Tomlinson (2014)

Source: Melbourne United History, Melbourne Tigers History

Season by season

NBL champions League champions Runners-up Finals berth
Season Tier League Regular season Post-season Head coach Captain Club MVP
Finish Played Wins Losses Win %
Melbourne Tigers
1984 1 NBL 5th 24 11 13 .458 Did not qualify Lindsay Gaze Brian Goorjian Andrew Gaze
1985 1 NBL 13th 26 5 21 .192 Did not qualify Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1986 1 NBL 13th 26 6 20 .231 Did not qualify Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1987 1 NBL 14th 26 3 23 .115 Did not qualify Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1988 1 NBL 12th 24 8 16 .333 Did not qualify Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1989 1 NBL 4th 24 16 8 .667 Lost elimination finals (Sydney) 1–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1990 1 NBL 4th 26 17 9 .654 Lost elimination finals (Perth) 0–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1991 1 NBL 5th 26 16 10 .615 Lost elimination finals (Adelaide) 0–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1992 1 NBL 3rd 24 15 9 .625 Won quarterfinals (Perth) 2–1
Won semifinals (Sydney) 2–1
Lost NBL finals (S.E. Melbourne) 1–2
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1993 1 NBL 3rd 26 16 10 .615 Won quarterfinals (Illawarra) 2–0
Won semifinals (S.E. Melbourne) 2–0
Won NBL finals (Perth) 2–1
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1994 1 NBL 1st 26 19 7 .692 Won quarterfinals (Illawarra) 2–0
Lost semifinals (Adelaide) 0–2
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1995 1 NBL 8th 26 14 12 .538 Lost quarterfinals (Perth) 1–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1996 1 NBL 1st 26 21 5 .808 Won quarterfinals (Brisbane) 2–1
Won semifinals (Canberra) 2–1
Lost NBL finals (S.E. Melbourne) 1–2
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1997 1 NBL 2nd 30 19 11 .633 Won semifinals (North Melbourne) 2–0
Won NBL finals (S.E. Melbourne) 2–1
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1998 1 NBL 5th 30 16 14 .533 Lost elimination finals (Brisbane) 0–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
1998–99 1 NBL 2nd 26 17 9 .654 Won qualifying finals (Brisbane) 2–0
Lost semifinals (Victoria) 0–2
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze
Mark Bradtke
Lanard Copeland
Andrew Gaze
1999–2000 1 NBL 5th 28 14 14 .500 Lost elimination finals (Victoria) 1–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
2000–01 1 NBL 7th 28 13 15 .464 Did not qualify Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
2001–02 1 NBL 6th 30 16 14 .533 Won qualifying finals (Victoria) 2–1
Lost semifinals (West Sydney) 1–2
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Mark Bradtke
2002–03 1 NBL 6th 30 15 15 .500 Lost qualifying finals (Sydney) 1–2 Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Mark Bradtke
2003–04 1 NBL 5th 33 20 13 .606 Won elimination final (Adelaide) 111–107
Lost quarterfinal (Brisbane) 101–112
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Andrew Gaze
2004–05 1 NBL 6th 32 17 15 .531 Won elimination final (Perth) 108–88
Lost quarterfinal (Townsville) 100–112
Lindsay Gaze Andrew Gaze Mark Bradtke
2005–06 1 NBL 2nd 32 25 7 .781 Won semifinals (Perth) 2–0
Won NBL finals (Sydney) 3–0
Al Westover Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
Chris Anstey
2006–07 1 NBL 2nd 33 25 8 .758 Won semifinals (Cairns) 2–0
Lost NBL finals (Brisbane) 1–3
Al Westover Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
Chris Anstey
2007–08 1 NBL 2nd 30 22 8 .733 Won semifinals (Brisbane) 2–0
Won NBL finals (Sydney) 3–2
Al Westover Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
Chris Anstey
2008–09 1 NBL 2nd 30 20 10 .750 Won semifinals (New Zealand) 2–0
Lost NBL finals (South) 2–3
Al Westover Chris Anstey Chris Anstey
Ebi Ere
2009–10 1 NBL 6th 28 11 17 .393 Did not qualify Al Westover Chris Anstey Mark Worthington
2010–11 1 NBL 7th 28 10 18 .357 Did not qualify Al Westover
Darryl McDonald
Cameron Tragardh Corey Williams
2011–12 1 NBL 6th 28 11 17 .393 Did not qualify Trevor Gleeson Tommy Greer Cameron Tragardh
2012–13 1 NBL 5th 28 12 16 .429 Did not qualify Chris Anstey Tommy Greer Chris Goulding
2013–14 1 NBL 3rd 28 15 13 .536 Lost semifinals (Adelaide) 1–2 Chris Anstey Tommy Greer Chris Goulding
Melbourne United
2014–15 1 NBL 5th 28 13 15 .464 Did not qualify Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
Nate Tomlinson
Mark Worthington
Mark Worthington
2015–16 1 NBL 1st 28 18 10 .643 Lost semifinals (New Zealand) 0–2 Dean Demopoulos Nate Tomlinson Chris Goulding
2016–17 1 NBL 6th 28 13 15 .464 Did not qualify Dean Demopoulos David Andersen Casper Ware
2017–18 1 NBL 1st 28 20 8 .714 Won semifinals (New Zealand) 2–0
Won NBL finals (Adelaide) 3–2
Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding Casper Ware
2018–19 1 NBL 2nd 28 18 10 .643 Won semifinals (Sydney) 2–0
Lost NBL finals (Perth) 1–3
Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding Casper Ware
2019–20 1 NBL 4th 28 15 13 .536 Lost semifinals (Sydney) 1–2 Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding Shawn Long
2020–21 1 NBL 1st 36 28 8 .778 Won semifinals (S.E. Melbourne) 2–1
Won NBL finals (Perth) 3–0
Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding
Mitch McCarron
Jock Landale
2021–22 1 NBL 1st 28 20 8 .714 Lost semifinals (Tasmania) 1–2 Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding Jo Lual-Acuil
2022–23 1 NBL 7th 28 15 13 .536 Did not qualify Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding Chris Goulding
2023–24 1 NBL 1st 28 20 8 .714 Won semifinals (Illawarra) 2–1
Lost NBL finals (Tasmania) 2–3
Dean Vickerman Chris Goulding Chris Goulding
Regular season record 1150 645 505 .561 7 regular season champions
Finals record 129 70 59 .543 6 NBL championships

As of the end of the 2023–24 season

*Note: In 1983 and 1984, the NBL was split into Eastern and Western divisions during the regular season.

Source: Melbourne Tigers Year by Year

All-time records

As of the end of the 2022–23 season

Statistic Wins Losses Win%
Melbourne Tigers regular season record (1984–2014) 465 397 .539
Melbourne United regular season record (2014–present) 160 100 .615
All-time regular season record (1984–present) 625 497 .557
Melbourne Tigers post-season record (1984–2014) 51 43 .543
Melbourne United post-season record (2014–present) 15 12 .556
All-time post-season record (1984–present) 66 55 .545
All-time regular and post-season record 691 552 .556

Summary

Years Chairman CEO Head Coach Championships Grand Final Appearances Finals Appearances
1984–2000 Lindsay Gaze Lindsay Gaze Lindsay Gaze 1993, 1997 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 12, 1989–2000
2000–2005 David Minear Seamus McPeake Lindsay Gaze 4, 2001–2005
2006–2009 Greg O'Neill Seamus McPeake Al Westover 2006, 2008 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 4, 2006–2009
2010–2011 Seamus McPeake Seamus McPeake Al Westover (2010)
Trevor Gleeson (2011)
Darryl McDonald (2011)
2012–2015 Larry Kestelman Vince Crivelli Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
1, 2013–2014
2015–2021 Larry Kestelman
Craig Hutchison
Simon Hupfeld
Vince Crivelli Dean Demopoulos
Dean Vickerman
2018, 2021 2018, 2019, 2021 5, 2015–2016, 2017–2021
2021–present Simon Hupfeld Nick Truelson Dean Vickerman

Source: Melbourne United Board

Retired jerseys

Melbourne Tigers retired numbers
No. Nat. Player Position Tenure
6 Australia Warrick Giddey SG/SF 1989–2002
8 Australia Ray Gordon PG/SG 1984–1986, 1989–1999
10 Australia Andrew Gaze SG/PG 1984–2005
21 United States Lanard Copeland SG/SF 1989–2005
25 United States David Simmons PF/C 1992–1996
50 Australia Mark Bradtke C/PF 1993–2005

Current roster

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Melbourne United roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt.
G 8 Australia Dellavedova, Matthew 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 91 kg (201 lb)
G 11 New Zealand Cameron, Flynn 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 95 kg (209 lb)
G 13 Australia Krebs, Tanner 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 95 kg (209 lb)
F 14 Australia Bowen, Kyle 2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 101 kg (223 lb)
G/F 23 Australia Travers, Luke 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 94 kg (207 lb)
G 43 Australia Goulding, Chris (C) 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) 92 kg (203 lb)
G 51 New Zealand Ili, Shea 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) 88 kg (194 lb)
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Team manager
  • Australia Stephan Semerci

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Development player
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (I) Import player
  • (TP) Training player
  • (SRP) Special restricted player
  • (NS) Next Star player
  • Injured Injured

  • Roster
Updated: 11 April 2024

Notable past players

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Criteria

To appear in this section a player must have either:

  • Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club
  • Played at least one official international match for their national team at any time
  • Played at least one official NBA match at any time.

Preseason games against NBA teams

8 October 2017
14:00
boxscore
Australia Melbourne United 85–86 United States Oklahoma City Thunder
Scoring by quarter: 30–27, 14–22, 22–21, 19–16
Pts: Ware 20
Rebs: Prather 10
Asts: Wesley 5
Pts: George 22
Rebs: Adams 10
Asts: Westbrook 7
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, United States
Attendance: not available
Referees: James Capers, Eric Dalen, Lauren Holtkamp
28 September 2018
19:00
boxscore
Australia Melbourne United 84–104 United States Philadelphia 76ers
Scoring by quarter: 21–34, 21–22, 22–25, 20–23
Pts: Pledger, Ware 19
Rebs: Pledger 13
Asts: Ware 5
Pts: Embiid 20
Rebs: Embiid 10
Asts: Simmons 14
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, United States
Attendance: 20,318
Referees: Ed Malloy, Mark Lindsay, Aaron Smith
5 October 2018
19:00
boxscore
Australia Melbourne United 82–120 Canada Toronto Raptors
Scoring by quarter: 17–23, 22–34, 19–44, 24–19
Pts: Goulding, Ware 17
Rebs: Boone 11
Asts: Ware 5
Pts: Powell 21
Rebs: Ibaka 12
Asts: Wright 5
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada
Attendance: 15,781
Referees: Matt Boland, Eric Dalen, Sean Corbin
SBS on Demand
13 October 2019
12:30
boxscore
report
Australia Melbourne United 100–118 United States Los Angeles Clippers
Scoring by quarter: 24–18, 27–29, 20–43, 29–28
Pts: Trimble 22
Rebs: Long 9
Asts: Trimble 6
Pts: Harrell 22
Rebs: Zubac 8
Asts: Williams 7
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, United States
Attendance: 10,181
Referees: Brandon Adair, Tre Maddox, Bill Spooner
SBS on Demand
16 October 2019
19:00
boxscore
report
Australia Melbourne United 110–124 United States Sacramento Kings
Scoring by quarter: 28–31, 21–29, 23–39, 38–25
Pts: Goulding 25
Rebs: Long 15
Asts: Trimble 6
Pts: Bagley III 30
Rebs: Bagley III 14
Asts: Ferrell, Hield 6
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, United States
Attendance: 10,534
Referees: J.T. Orr, CJ Washington, Sean Wright

References

  1. ^ Melbourne United a step backwards for the NBL
  2. ^ "Melbourne Tigers greats dismayed at name change". theherald.com.au. 20 May 2014. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "History". melbourneutd.com.au. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Howell, Stephen (19 December 2007). "Tigers put Copeland in rare air". The Age. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  5. ^ Robinson, Chris (23 February 2017). "Relive the Wildcats' grand final heroics of the '90s". TheWest.com.au. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  6. ^ "1993 NBL Grand Final". 4 August 2008. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2018 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Howell, Stephen (25 March 2002). "Tigers now able to gaze into a future". The Age. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  8. ^ Pike, Chris (23 March 2018). "Top 5 NBL Grand Final Series' of All-Time". NBL.com.au. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  9. ^ Brodie, Will (11 May 2009). "NBL season threatened by Tigers pull-out". The Age. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  10. ^ "MELBOURNE TIGERS IN FOR 2009/10". basketball.net.au. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Tigers sign Worthington". sportal.com.au. 10 June 2009. Archived from the original on 13 June 2009.
  12. ^ a b Ward, Roy (13 October 2014). "Chris Anstey resigns as Melbourne United coach after one game". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Flailing Tigers sack import Ayinde Ubaka". Herald Sun. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Melbourne United Joins NBL". NBL.com.au. 20 May 2014. Archived from the original on 20 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Our Banners: Why Melbourne only flies United and Tigers". NBL.com.au. 18 December 2021. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  16. ^ Smart, Nick (11 November 2014). "Melbourne United says it still owns rights to Melbourne Tigers name". News.com.au. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  17. ^ Ward, Roy (19 May 2014). "Melbourne Tigers to change their name to United". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  18. ^ Ward, Roy (20 May 2014). "Tigers turn United in hope of galvanising the community". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  19. ^ Cherny, Daniel (20 May 2014). "Melbourne Tigers greats dismayed at name change". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  20. ^ a b Santamaria, Liam (1 April 2018). "Culture King: How Dean Vickerman Turned Melbourne into Champions". NBL.com.au. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  21. ^ Paterson, Joshua (29 October 2017). "Bullets shoot down Melbourne United by two points". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  22. ^ Ward, Roy (22 December 2017). "Melbourne United sign recent NBA player Carrick Felix as injury replacement". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Prather in, Felix out for Melbourne United". NBL.com.au. 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  24. ^ "NBL finals: Melbourne United beats Adelaide 36ers 100–82 in game five to win the title". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Wildcats Clinch Ninth Championship on the Road". NBL.com.au. 17 March 2019. Archived from the original on 11 March 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  26. ^ "United close out NBL21 with win in Adelaide". NBL.com.au. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  27. ^ "Landale inspires United Game 3 fightback over Phoenix". NBL.com.au. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  28. ^ "United secure NBL21 championship on home court". NBL.com.au. 25 June 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  29. ^ "United Overpower Taipans to Claim Regular Season Championship". NBL.com.au. 18 April 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  30. ^ "WWAG NBL24 Match Recap - Championship Game 5 vs Tasmania JackJumpers". melbourneutd.com.au. 31 March 2024. Archived from the original on 31 March 2024.
  31. ^ "Tasmania JackJumpers: NBL24 Champions". NBL.com.au. 31 March 2024. Archived from the original on 31 March 2024.
  32. ^ "Melbourne United announce Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre as new home". Melbourne United. 1 August 2018.

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