Bogut makes Kings NBL’s hottest ticket
CIRCLE October 13 on your calendar, Sydney Kings fans, this is your chance to snap up the hottest ticket in town.
Retired NBA big man Andrew Bogut will make his official Sydney debut when the Kings host the Adelaide 36ers in a blockbuster season opener at Qudos Bank Arena.
The Kings' clash against the 36ers - last year's runners up - will kick off an enthralling seven-game opening round of the 2018-19 NBL season.
On the back of Bogut's presence, a buoyant NBL is confident of breaking the attendance record for an opening round - which was 48,007 set in 1995.
Bogut, who signed a two-year agreement with the Kings after a stellar 13-year career in the NBA, will also feature in the first-ever Melbourne Cup-eve game between Melbourne and Sydney at Hisense Arena on Monday November 5.
NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger believes Bogut - born in Victoria - can help the Kings revive their battles against United.
"This game is set to ignite the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney and should be another sellout after a season of record attendances across the league last season," Loeliger said.
"This is a very exciting time for the NBL and Australian basketball. The game is enjoying enormous momentum and we think the NBL is the second best league in the world after the NBA.
"We are committed to offering a world entertainment product fans can enjoy whether they are watching in stadium or on broadcast."
The Kings play United in Melbourne again on November 24 before hosting last year's champions in Sydney on Sunday, December 23.
Andrew Gaze's men face a tough stretch post the mid-season FIBA window, with away trips to New Zealand, Perth and Cairns.
Overall though, the Kings have received a decent draw in the franchise's 30th NBL season.
Other highlights of the schedule for the 2018-19 season include:
*Eight games across the Australia Day weekend including Sydney to host Perth at Qudos Bank Arena on January 27 and Adelaide to host Melbourne on January 28.
*An open-air game between last season's grand finalists Melbourne and Adelaide at Hisense Arena on Boxing Day.
*Two New Year's games with the Illawarra Hawks to play Brisbane Bullets at the WIN Entertainment Centre and Cairns Taipans hosting the Perth Wildcats at Cairns Convention Centre.
*New Zealand to host four regional games.
*An increase in the number of Sunday games from 32 to 35 in a win for families.
*The season to start a week later on October 11 to accommodate seven games featuring five NBL teams in the NBA Preseason.
*Reigning NBL Champions Melbourne United will open their title defence against the Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre on Friday October 12 followed by the New Zealand Breakers at Hisense Arena on Sunday October 14.
*The new-look Brisbane Bullets will play Cairns Taipans in the Queensland derby, Perth and Adelaide will renew their fierce rivalry at Titanium Security Arena and Illawarra will play Perth to complete the opening round.
There will again be two breaks between November 26 and December 4 and February 18 and 26 while the Australian Boomers take part in the FIBA World Cup qualifying games.
Tip-off times for all games will be released at a later date to coincide with the NBL's television coverage.
On top of Fox Sports, the NBL is close to announcing a deal with a free-to-air network.
SYDNEY KINGS 2018-19 SCHEDULE
Saturday, Oct 13: Sydney Kings v Adelaide 36ers (Home)
Friday, Oct 19: Adelaide 36ers v Sydney Kings (Away)
Sunday, Oct 21: New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings (A)
Sunday, Oct 28: Sydney Kings v Cairns Taipans (H)
Friday, Nov 2: Sydney Kings v Illawarra Hawks (H)
Monday, Nov 5: Melbourne United v Sydney Kings (A)
Saturday, Nov 10: Adelaide 36ers v Sydney Kings (A)
Sunday, Nov 18: Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers (H)
Saturday, Nov 24: Melbourne United v Sydney Kings (A)
FIBA window: Nov 26 to Dec 4
Thursday, Dec 6: Sydney Kings v Perth Wildcats (H)
Sunday, Dec 9: New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings (A)
Friday, Dec 14: Perth Wildcats v Sydney Kings (A)
Sunday, Dec 16: Illawarra Hawks v Sydney Kings (A)
Thursday, Dec 20: Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings (A)
Sunday, Dec 23: Sydney Kings v Melbourne United (H)
Saturday, Dec 29: Sydney Kings v Brisbane Bullets (H)
Saturday, Jan 5: Illawarra Hawks v Sydney Kings (A)
Monday, Jan 7: Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings (A)
Friday, Jan 11: Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers (H)
Sunday, Jan 13: Sydney Kings v Illawarra Hawks (H)
Saturday, Jan 19: Sydney Kings v Adelaide 36ers (H)
Friday, Jan 25: Brisbane Bullets v Sydney Kings (A)
Sunday, Jan 27: Sydney Kings v Perth Wildcats (H)
Friday, Feb 1: Brisbane Bullets v Sydney Kings (A)
Sunday, Feb 3: Sydney Kings v Brisbane Bullets (H)
Friday, Feb 8: Sydney Kings v Melbourne United (H)
Sunday, Feb 10: Perth Wildcats v Sydney Kings (A)
Saturday, Feb 16: Sydney Kings v Cairns Taipans (H)
FIBA window: Feb 18 to Feb 26