After canceling the remainder of their best-of-five Grand Final series earlier this week due to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s National Basketball League announced today that the Perth Wildcats have been crowned champions for 2019/20. Perth was leading the Sydney Kings 2-1 in the series when it was canceled.
In a statement, NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman and commissioner Jeremy Loeliger explained the decision and announced that former standout Providence guard Bryce Cotton has been named the Grand Final MVP.
The NBL’s press releases this week have made it clear that the league’s decision to cancel the rest of the Grand Final series was made in large part because the Kings expressed they weren’t comfortable with continuing to play those games. Bogut, who said Sydney’s decision was made after “almost three hours of back and forth (and plenty of tears),” registered his displeasure with the way the NBL handled things.
“I want to go on record to say I am beyond embarrassed and disappointed in regards to how this was handled by our league from the week leading up to the Grand Final series. More to come at a later date re: that,” Bogut wrote in a Twitter note. “This has nothing to do with the result announced today and I wish to congratulate the Perth Wildcats on being crowned Champions.”
Here’s more international news from basketball leagues around the world:
- Jeremy Lin, Ekpe Udoh, and Antonio Blakeney are among the players who have now returned to China and will begin a two-week quarantine before returning to their respective CBA teams, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter links).
- The Turkish government has made the decision to suspend all sports in the country, including basketball, Carchia writes in a story at Sportando. Players in Turkey expressed dismay last week that games were continuing amid the coronavirus outbreak, as we noted at the time.
- The EuroLeague issued an update on the postponement of its season, addressing whether or not players are allowed to leave their respective cities, what will happen with this year’s EuroLeague Final Four, and much more. Carchia has the full memo at Sportando.