It was supposed to be a celebration of CJ Bruton's career. Instead it turned into a nightmare.
The Breakers' season has hit crisis point after they dropped a second straight game in a tight finish.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsPaul Henare has a good feeling about today's second half of a gruelling Aussie NBL road double in Melbourne.
The Los Angeles Lakers expect to have guard Kobe Bryant back in their lineup when they face the Toronto Raptors.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe frustration was evident as the Breakers put in arguably their best performance of the season in Perth, only to be rewarded with a seventh defeat.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Breakers crashed to their seventh defeat of the ANBL season but pushed the Wildcats to the limit.
MURRAY HILLS - © Fairfax NZ NewsThere's a little more bounce in Daryn Shaw's step these days.
MURRAY HILLS - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe man in charge of the Taranaki Mountain Airs for the past three years, David Bublitz, said being overlooked for a fourth term with the team was disappointing.
Taranaki Mountain Airs forward Aaron Bailey-Nowell stepped up to help the New Zealand Maori men's basketball team when it was needed this week.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsLast week Mika Vukona simply strapped the Breakers on his broad shoulders and got on with it.
RICARDO ZUNIGA - APThe game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves was postponed because of smoky conditions inside the Mexico City arena.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsLast time Gary Wilkinson was in Perth, the Wildcats faithful were baying for his blood.
Miami's 10-game NBA winning streak came to an end with a 107-97 home-court defeat at the hands of Detroit, with the Pistons having seven players score in double figures.
ZORAN MILOSAVLJEVIC - ReutersOlympiakos Piraeus have been ordered to play their next Euroleague basketball home game behind closed doors following crowd trouble in their win over Galatasaray.
SAM WORTHINGTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Saints yesterday announced the signing of the versatile Dion Prewster for a second stint at the club.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and Damian Lillard finished with 26 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers end the Indiana Pacers' seven-game winning streak.
PIET VAN HASSELT - © Fairfax NZ NewsKiwi rookie Steven Adams is already winning plaudits from his coach and teammates a month into his NBA career.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsAt the end of Breakers practice the squad gathered in and veteran guard CJ Bruton delivered a finger-pointing sermon which even from some distance away was pretty clear in its intent.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsCJ Bruton has revealed the NZ Breakers are only now "on the same page" as a team, after fouling troubles and late game fades threatened to derail the champions' title defence.
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks might have some choices to make when scripting last-second shots.
PIET VAN HASSELT - © Fairfax NZ NewsKiwi fast making a name for himself in the NBA and his new home town of Oklahoma City.
BRIAN MAHONEY - APJason Kidd dropped more than a soda in an attempt to delay a game. He ended up dropping US$50,000 for the stunt.
BRENDON EGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsNew Canterbury Rams coach Dave Harrison is promising a playing style built around sturdy defence in next year's National Basketball League.
BEN STANLEY AT NORTH SHORE EVENTS CENTRE - © Fairfax NZ NewsBreakers record consecutive victories for the first time this season with victory over the Tigers.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsSteven Adams' OKC Thunder have snapped an 11-game winning streak by Sean Marks' San Antonio Spurs.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe NZ Breakers are sweating on the health of Kerron Johnson heading into their clash against the Melbourne Tigers, after the key point guard injured his shoulder.
LOGAN SAVORY - © Fairfax NZ NewsArguably the most important cog in the Southland Sharks 2013 National Basketball League championship-winning wheel will be back to attempt a title defence in 2014.
Wearing his practice shorts and a sweatshirt, Kobe Bryant looked as if he was ready to return action.
ANDREW SELIGMAN - APChicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is out for the remainder of the season after surgery on his knee.
GREG BEACHAM - APThe Los Angeles Lakers have signed All-Star guard Kobe Bryant to a 2-year contract extension.
Jared Dudley scored a season-high 21 points, and Chris Paul added 16 points and 17 assists, as the Los Angeles Clippers jumped all over the Chicago Bulls in Derrick Rose's absence for a 121-82 victory.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsAll season, the NZ Breakers have looked for the man to pull them home. You know the sort: A bloke who makes that key bucket, crucial steal or courageous block.
MIKE FITZPATRICK - APDerrick Rose has another knee injury - and he wasn't the only NBA star to get hurt.
KRISTIE RIEKEN - APYao Ming wears a variety of different hats since hanging up his size 18 shoes and retiring from the NBA in 2011.
TOBY ROBSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsPero Cameron's silence said a lot. The former Tall Black has taken up the top job with the Waikato Pistons, leaving the Wellington Saints searching for a new coach.
IAN ANDERSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsWaikato Basketball's capture of Pero Cameron as Pistons coach is deserving of much hoopla.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsBreakers pull out 81-74 victory over Townsville Crocodiles, but you couldn't say it was pretty.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsWhen the New Zealand Breakers played the Townsville Crocodiles a fortnight ago, they were treated to a real show - the Brian Conklin show.
LeBron James had 21 points and seven assists, and Chris Bosh scored 18 as the Miami Heat beat the Orlando Magic 120-92 for their fifth straight victory.
TIM REYNOLDS - APNBA star Dwyane Wade is taking his story of fatherhood to television, looking for some laughs.
Chris Bosh scored 19 points, Mario Chalmers went on a personal 9-0 run in a 39-second spurt of the third quarter as the Miami Heat topped the Atlanta Hawks 104-88 for their fourth straight victory.
Steven Adams is New Zealand's rising NBA star whose life mission is to make the lives of Australians miserable - and it's all Greg Chappell's fault.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsBreakers centre Alex Pledger believes his side aren't far away from tipping the scales on their rough season.
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES - ReutersWhile the Lakers have made a better start to this season than many expected they're still missing Kobe Bryant.
PHIL HAMILTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsOPINION: Germans may not have the greatest reputation but they sure have given the world some great words. Schadenfreude is one of them.
BEN STANLEY - © Fairfax NZ NewsThey lie near the tail-end of the ANBL ladder, with a 2-6 record. They struggle with continued fouling. They have a point guard in his first pro season, still working out how to bring his team home down the stretch.
Indiana improved its perfect start to the new season to 9-0 by cruising past Milwaukee 104-77, with Roy Hibbert having 24 points and eight blocks.
BRENDON EGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Oklahoma City Thunder could never have envisaged a hastily arranged trade in October last year would provide such a silver lining.
ADRIAN WARREN - AAPThe Sydney Kings gave departing import Jesse Sanders a successful send-off with a crushing 88-67 Australian NBL home win over the Townsville Crocodiles.
Houston's James Harden scored 36 points in his return to the lineup, guiding the Rockets to a 109-106 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.