Brighton Bears was a professional basketball club from Brighton in England. Founded in 1973 in Brighton Bears played from 1984 to 1999 in the neighboring Worthing and found 1990 Start in the closed professional league British Basketball League (BBL ). After they had won consecutively from 1993 to 1995 three times the play-offs of the BBL, they changed in 1999 after a disappointing season with only four wins this season back to Brighton. At the new and old location they won twice the national cup competition, which had already won once in 1994, before the operation of gambling despite the guest performance of multiple NBA Champions and All-Stars Dennis Rodman stopped in three games in 2006. 2008 took the Worthing Thunder a new franchise from Sussex the game operating in the BBL on.
Beginning to the inclusion in the BBL ( 1973-1990 )
After its creation in 1973 it first played in regional championships before 1977/78 rose in the season in the second division of the then " National Basketball League " ( NBL ) said British Basketball League. At this time played, among others, the American Kevin Kallaugher for the Bears, whose work has been published as a political cartoonist later worldwide. Four years later, then played in the 1981/82 season in the top division then Division One. After being discharged in 1983 due to high rents Hall first games, Worthing, were moved to the seat from the season 1984/85 to Worthing as Worthing Bears. The financially troubled club was also able to win the Nissan name sponsor in November 1984. Once again this already stopped sponsoring the end of the 1985/86 season, had to suspend the operation of gambling and the Bears in the season 1986/87.
For the season 1987/88 to Worthing Bears reported back to the game operation and were allowed to return to the top flight Division One after above the Division One, a new closed league with the British Basketball League (BBL ) had formed. Under player-manager Billy Hung Recker, who scored a record yield of 73 points in the play-off semi-final at 119:110 Extension victory over the Plymouth Raiders in the second game, you won directly after returning for the first time the play-offs of the NBL after the final victory over the Brixton Topcat. The following seasons were played on to the top of the league with without winning championships, and thanks to a good audience interest was found for season 1990/91 included in the closed league BBL that after starting with 15 teams in 1987 to eight franchises in 1990 had shrunk.
Worthing Bears in the BBL (1990 to 1999)
After you managed to qualify in the first two seasons each for the play- offs for the championship, they lost in the regular season 1992/93 only two season games and was able to after two wins each with one point difference in the semifinals over defending Guildford Kings, against which one had the final of the " National Cup" still lost by ten points lower Scheid, and also secure the championship in the BBL in the final of the Thames Valley Tigers for the first time. Colin Irish as a player the Bears was named the " Most Valuable Player " ( MVP ) of the BBL. The following season, they came behind final opponents Tigers in second place in the play-offs. While it had been defeated in the League Cup BBL Trophy by the Tigers, they had won the final of the cup competition in 1994 against these opponents. In the play- off final, it came to re- encounter of the counterparty, where the Bears with 71:65 could defend their championship title. In the season 1994/95 managed to re- title defense, although one had finished the regular season only seventh.
In the 1995/96 season, the defending champion Bears again came in seventh place in the play-offs this time and could not repeat the surprise of the year, but retired in the first round. In the League Cup BBL Trophy they reached the final, which was, however, lost to the London Towers. In the following season they missed the first time the play-offs and in the subsequent break, there was a change of ownership. However, the new owner quickly lost interest and at the end of the season 1997/98 they finished even on the last place of the 13-team scoring league. The low point was initially accomplished in the following season 1998/ 99, when they occupied the last place in the final table after only four wins this season. The Bears sought refuge in returning to Brighton, because among other things, the local venue Brighton Centre promised increased revenue. Formed on the old venue in Worthing with the Rebels, a team that should inherit as the Thunder Bears in BBL later.
Brighton Bears (1999 to 2006)
At the new venue in Brighton we attracted new audiences and could with the third- worst record of all BBL teams first athletic stabilize somewhat. After stagnating in the following season 2000/ 01 and again missed the playoffs, you could win for the season 2001 /02 Nick Nurse as a coach, sporting director and co-owner, who was previously with the Birmingham Bullets and the Manchester Giants once each already Championship had won. As second in the Southern Conference was reached the play-off semi-final, which was lost against the dominating this season Cheshire Jets. In the following season Nurse took over as sole owner of the Bears and the final of the cup competition in 2003 they won against the defending champion Jets and moved as main round up a second in the final of the play-offs. The Scottish Rocks, however, were in the play- offs do not stop and successively defeated defending champion Jets, the main round First Sheffield Sharks and finally in the finals, the Bears with 83:76. In the 2003 /04 season is now finished the regular season as superior table first, after you had this before only just missed, but lost in the play-off semi-final just one point against the Cheshire Jets after that opponent already the final the BBL Trophy had just lost two points difference. In European club competition ULEB Cup 2003 /04 they won four out of ten group matches and finished a respectable third place ahead of prestigious club like KK Split and Cholet Basket, but this was not enough in the second round to move into.
In the following season 2004/ 05, the Bears won the cup competition in the final against the Scottish Rocks with 16 points difference and also reached the final in the BBL Trophy. But two of the most important players are injured and they lost 14 of the last 20 season games, also the final match of the BBL Trophy significantly with 25 points difference against Newcastle Eagles in the first round of the play -offs even with 35 points difference against the Sheffield Sharks. However, the accident would not let go of the Bears, as the following season 2005/ 06 should be the last season in the BBL in the history of the Bears. As eight of the regular season we just moved so precisely into the play -offs, where you only just four points difference succumbed to the main round First and eventual champions Newcastle Eagles in the first round. The highlight of the season was a guest performance of multiple NBA champion and NBA All-Star Dennis Rodman, who was staying in the UK for an appearance on the TV show "Celebrity Big Brother" and was used in three games of the Bears. At the end of the season looking for new owners Nurse Options for the franchise, but they eventually had to log off from the game and returned as a coach in his native Iowa.