Super City Rangers guard and NBL legend Lindsay Tait has announced his retirement from NBL basketball on Friday. The 2018 Sal’s NBL season, Tait’s 19th, will be his last.
Tait officially retired from International hoops in 2016 after a 13-year career, and now two years later he’s made the decision to hang up the boots in provisional basketball, too.
Current Tall Blacks Head Coach and a former teammate of Tait in the national team, Paul Henare, did not hold back when referencing Tait and his mana in the game.
“LT has had a long and impressive career and should go down as one of the all-time greats to ever play the game in this country.
“Ever since he tore up the secondary schools’ scene for Avondale College he has left his mark. The fact he was able to win multiple NBL titles across 15 or so years with different teams speaks of his competitive nature and ability to perform on the big stage.
“He always represented New Zealand with great pride and I was impressed with how well he used his experience to become one of the most integral leaders towards his later years. After all his time in the game I imagine we will be seeing plenty more of him as he begins to make positive impressions with his coaching ability.”
Tait made his debut back in 2000 for the Auckland Stars and success came quickly for the teenager, winning the first of his seven NBL titles.
After a successful eight seasons with the Stars which included titles in 2004 and 2005, Tait joined the Wellington Saints in 2008, playing seven of his next eight seasons in the Capital city, leading the franchise to three more titles. Tait briefly returned 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 the Saints fell to the Sharks in the final. Tait’s competitive greatness showed the following season, however, bouncing back from the shock loss to lead the Saints to the championship in 2014.
After going back and forth between Wellington and Auckland, Tait decided in 2015 to return for good to his hometown Auckland where he could spend more time with sons Mikaere and Marley. He joined the Super City Rangers, leading the franchise to their first ever grand-final in 2016.
In recent times Tait has overcome personal adversity with the courage and humility typical of the man, fighting a battle with cancer and doing so away from the glare of the public eye and without fuss. Tait underwent extensive surgery in late 2017 to remove his thyroid gland and with it the cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes.
It was with that battle in mind that Tait made the decision to return to the floor this year with the Rangers. It was a chance to, once again, show his two young boys and others that while life might knock you down every now and then, the important thing is to get up and continue the good fight.
NBL Debut: 2000
NBL Seasons: 19th season (2018)
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
Awards: 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
The full media release, including an open letter by Lindsay Tait, can be found at basketball.org.nz.