'Like a kick in the guts': Basketball NZ baffled by Sport NZ funding snub

Basketball New Zealand feels it's been snubbed by Sport New Zealand in the initial release of funds from the government's $265 million relief package.

The New Zealand Basketball league received nothing, while the Phoenix, Warriors, Super Rugby and ANZ Premiership teams received a share of $4.6 million.

"It's like a kick in the guts," Basketball NZ chief executive Iain Potter tells Newshub.

Their revamped national league, which is set to tip-off on June 23rd, has been completely overlooked.

"There are three national leagues starting this month. Two of them are funded… but one hasn't, and we are bewildered as to what the reasons for that are."

A total of $200,000 was sought to be split among seven teams in the competition. 

Compare that to what other clubs and franchises will receive from the $4.6m payout and it doesn't stack up. 

"We've been given no reason why we've been left out, other than the fact we've been left out," Potter adds.

Sport NZ chief executive Pete Miskimmin says the decision was based on which leagues were directly impacted by COVID-19.

"It's just that competition wasn't up and going 10 weeks ago, so those were the competitions that were directly affected by COVID-19," Miskimmin tells Newshub.

But Potter says the pandemic killed the NBL's original season start date of April 9.

"To be not acknowledged is quite a bitter blow."

The news is much sweeter for the Wellington Phoenix. Their $950,000 could be crucial for their hopes of hosting an A-League playoff match.

"If we finished in one of the final spots, why can't we have a final here in Wellington," CEO David Dome says. "That would be magnificent for the city and for the country."

Watch the full story above