The Rams had a disappointing season in 2007, finishing with a 414 record. One of the rare highlights was the improvement of young centre Mike Townsend. Point guard Jeremy Kench followed up his break-out 2006 season with another strong season.
They went on to make the grand final, where they were defeated 7972 by the Auckland Rebels. There was a great deal of anticipation before the season in Christchurch, with the Rams faithful hoping for some silverware after not having won a title since 1992. The Rams started the 1999 season slowly, but made the playoffs with a 106 record. This was combined with an exciting roster consisting of American Clifton Bush, Canadian Robert Wilson, and an up-and-coming team of kiwis like David Langrell, Jason Kyle and Craig Farrant. This was combined with their move to the Westpac Arena for the 1999 season. Following a down period between 1995 and 1998, the Rams returned to title contenders in 1999.
However, it was clear Adams had not fully recovered as he struggled against the Saints, going 0-of-8 from the field off the bench. In the days following their loss to the Saints, which dropped them to fifth with a 33 record, Adams was ruled out for a further three to four weeks and was again replaced in the line-up, this time by former Nelson Giants guard McKenzie Moore. Another import injury, this time to Graham, in Round 7 saw his departure and Adams' second return from foot and ankle issues. After starting the season 11, the Rams were forced to sign an injury replacement for Jamie Adams (ankle), bringing in Justin Graham on a short-term contract. Guidry struggled to make an impact for the Rams over the first five games, and after he sustained his own knee injury, he was released and Adams and Graham paired up for the Rams' Round 4 match-up with the Wellington Saints.
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The Rams ended up dominating the NBL in the subsequent years. This successful nine-year tenure was thanks to stand-out American players like Eddie Anderson, Angelo Hill and Clyde Huntley. From 1986 to 1994, the Rams played in seven grand finals, winning four of them. Other players to play a key role during this era were local players such as Terry Brunel, Glen Denham, Gilbert Gordon, John Hill, John Rademakers, Graham Timms, Chris Tupu, Ian Webb, Ralph Lattimore, and another star American import in Kenny Perkins (father of NBA player Kendrick Perkins).
Ominously, Lewis did not return to the team in 2003, sighting coaching as a major reason. In the semi-final, Canterbury travelled to Hamilton to take on the Waikato Titans. For the 2002 season, owner John Watson took over as head coach and successfully recruited league legend Terrence Lewis from the Wellington Saints. The Rams subsequently had a great year in 2002, with Lewis and fellow American John Whorton combining to create one of the best import duos in the league. Whorton and Lewis were the league leaders in scoring all year long, carrying Canterbury to an 115 regular season record, good enough for third place. After three-quarters, the Rams had a 12-point lead, but things turned ugly in the final quarter as Waikato came from behind to beat the Rams 9181.
This move was very successful and led to a unique atmosphere due to the size of the stadium. With the departure of Chris Sparks following the 2007 season, Bert Knops, who coached the Rams from 1996 to 1999, was reappointed as coach for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Rams returned to their former home arena of Cowles Stadium for the 2008 season, after nine years at the Westpac Arena. The team, however, struggled during the year as they managed just six wins.
To replace the outgoing McKenzie Moore, the Rams picked up 2016 SEABL MVP Jeremy Kendle. After starting the season with a 45 record, the Rams released underperforming English big man Will Neighbour and began chasing Moore's services for the second half of the season. For the 2017 season, the Rams retained the likes of Marcel Jones, Marcus Alipate, Gareth Dawson, and co-captains Ethan Rusbatch and Marques Whippy.
Canterbury started to struggle though as the season progressed and although the team finished with a satisfactory 108 record, they narrowly missed out on the final playoff spot, finishing in fifth position. After the 2005 season, Pete McAllister resigned and he was replaced by American Chris Sparks. In 2005, under Pete McAllister, the Rams began the season brilliantly with a 51 record thanks to the strong play of new imports Mike Gardener and Ryan Prillman.
The four-time NBL champions pulled out of the NBL following the 2008 season due to financial constraints, but returned in 2014 thanks to the efforts of Christchurch businessman Andrew Harrison. For sponsorship reasons, they are known as The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams. The Canterbury Rams are a New Zealand basketball team based in Christchurch. The Rams compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at Cowles Stadium.
Canterbury fielded a very youthful roster in 2006, with half of the squad under the age of 22 and requiring a special dispensation from Basketball New Zealand to compete in the league. The Rams missed the playoffs with a 612 record. American import Dennis Trammell was a stand-out for the Rams, as he averaged a league-leading 25.6 points per game, and Jeremy Kench had a break out year with 18 points per game, significantly up on his two-point-per-game average from the previous year.