A major sponsor has directed the Sydney Kings to remove its name from NBL courts until the league allays players' fears over what they see as potentially dangerous court decals.
Kings naming rights sponsor Brydens Lawyers revealed it had put a key element of its support for the club on hold amid the escalating drama that has cast a shadow over the 2021 season.
The Australian Basketball Players' Association has repeatedly requested action after players have slipped on or near sponsor stickers on NBL courts.
But the league has refused to remove or alter the decals, stating they meet FIBA international standards.
The response has prompted criticism from retired Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut, who spent two seasons with Sydney, as well as current players, including Kings star Didi Louzada.
The issue reached another boiling point this week when the league warned team and player delegates that penalties will be issued for public criticism that is deemed to "bring the league into disrepute".
In a statement on Saturday, Brydens Lawyers principal Lee Hagipantelis said the situation was alarming, and cast doubt over his firm's ongoing support for the Kings and the NBL.
"I am alarmed by reports of players in the NBL expressing concern as to the presence of decals on the court and that same maybe adding to the risk of injury," Hagipantelis said.
"As the Principal of Brydens Lawyers, a firm that has practised almost exclusively in the area of personal injury litigation for over 40 years, I cannot, in good conscience, permit my firm to be engaged in any activity where a risk of foreseeable injury has been identified and the resolution of that risk is obvious.
"Accordingly, as major partner of the Sydney Kings, I have directed the Kings to immediately remove all decals for Brydens Lawyers from all courts on which the Kings will play or train pending a full and proper consideration of the matter undertaken with a view to devising and implementing an alternative situation that will address and allay the concerns of all players."
An NBL spokesman said the Brydens Lawyers situation "is a matter between the Kings and their sponsor".
The Kings confirmed they will comply with their sponsor's wishes.
"We're very grateful to have such a wonderful partnership as the one we have with Brydens Lawyers," the club said in a statement provided to AAP.
"Following our conversation with Brydens Principal Lee Hagipantelis we understand their concerns, and will leave the floor area clear of any logo, and will work with them to find alternative branding areas to support our great partner."
Australian Associated Press