Basketball Tasmania trades barbs with Southern Huskies over reasons behind the club’s demise in the New Zealand NBL

ANDREW MATHIESON   THE EXAMINER   Basketball Tasmania has placed the blame squarely on debt levels and not the working relationship for the failure of Southern Huskies to forge ahead into a second New Zealand NBL season.

The Tasmanian club that was seeking to join the NBL said its dealings with Basketball Tasmania became “untenable” to continue on.

“I don’t think there’s any issue with Basketball Tasmania,” Basketball Tasmania boss Chris McCoy said.

Drawing crowds that McCoy said were “underwhelming”, the Huskies debts were rumoured to be somewhere around $750,000.

That included footing the bill for New Zealand clubs to travel to Tasmanian home games at a believed cost of $20,000 per visit.

The Huskies declined to comment any further after releasing a press statement.

McCoy said the debt was one of the issues behind the club falling over, but he also could not reveal how much.

“I wouldn’t like to guess at what level that is,” he said.

“Everyone in the sport understands that year one was difficult because it was putting three teams on the floor in a very short space of time and that’s a massive job.”

McCoy said Basketball Tasmania will build on four NBL1 sides in the state.

“It showed the business case was unsustainable to be travelling to New Zealand and paying for teams to come to Tasmania to play,” he said.

“Even in New Zealand when our team was on the road there was significant travel costs with all that.”