25 August 1976 |
|Listed height||197 cm (6 ft 6 in)|
|Listed weight||104 kg (229 lb)|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|1994–1998||South East Melbourne Magic|
|2002–2005||West Sydney Razorbacks|
|2006||Basket Rimini Crabs|
|Career highlights and awards|
Samuel "Sam" Mackinnon (born 25 August 1976) is an Australian retired professional basketball player whose last team was the NBL team Melbourne Tigers. His athleticism above the rim saw him become known as `Slammin' Sam Mackinnon.
Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Mackinnon's career began in 1994 with the South East Melbourne Magic when he won NBL Rookie of the Year. Two seasons later, Mackinnon went to become one of the dominant players for South East Melbourne and they won the NBL championship in 1996.
After South East Melbourne folded, Mackinnon was signed by the Townsville Crocodiles at the beginning of the 1999 season, and it was not long before Townsville became serious title contenders. In 2001, Townsville made the Grand Final, however Mackinnon missed the series due to injury. Once his contract ended in Townsville, Mackinnon elected to sign with the West Sydney Razorbacks where he became their captain and put up career-best numbers in his first season. During the following season Mackinnon led West Sydney into the NBL Grand Final series against cross-town rivals the Sydney Kings. Sydney won the series 3-2.
Keen to win another NBL championship, Mackinnon decided not to sign with West Sydney and instead signed with the re-emerging Brisbane Bullets. And although Brisbane somewhat struggled during the 2005-06 season, Mackinnon demonstrated that he was still a dominant force in the NBL by putting up career-best numbers during the 2006-07 season and led the Bullets to their first NBL championship in 20 years.
He was the first player to win the MVP, Best Defensive Player and Grand Final MVP in league history in the same season (2006–07). Unfortunately, knee injuries sidelined him for most of the 2007–08 season.
On 8 July 2008, the Melbourne Tigers announced they had signed Mackinnon to a three-year deal.
During the 2007 NBL off-season there was much speculation concerning whether or not Mackinnon would be signed as a free agent in the National Basketball Association. In June 2007, Mackinnon was reported as having "completed trials with Champions San Antonio Spurs, runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat." On the weekend of 23–24 June 2007, the Toronto Raptors included Mackinnon in a list of free agents invited to a camp to help fill out their roster. Unfortunately, an offer of playing in the NBA did not materialize and Mackinnon re-signed with the Brisbane Bullets.
Mackinnon was a regular member of the Boomers squad, that saw him compete in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. Perhaps his greatest achievement whilst playing for Australia was winning a gold medal during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In 2007 Mackinnon was also named captain of the Boomers squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Qualifying Series against New Zealand.
On 8 February 2010, Melbourne Tigers teammates Sam Mackinnon and Chris Anstey both announced their retirement from the game, their last game in the NBL being the following Saturday night when the Melbourne Tigers played the Gold Coast Blaze at The Cage.
The Melbourne Tigers coach at the time, Al Westover, lamented the retirement of two greats of the Australian basketball scene, and spoke of both players in glowing terms, saying "there was only one Sam Mackinnon. It's a big loss today. They are two legends of the game."
- NBL Rookie of the Year (1994)
- NBL Best Defensive Player (2007)
- NBL Most Valuable Player (2007)
- NBL Grand Final MVP (2007)
- Australian International Player of the Year (2007)
- Mackinnon nabs defensive honours