Star Sydney Kings centre Andrew Bogut has played down talk that his team's success is simply down to money, saying culture and hard work have played key roles.
The Kings (11-1) sit three wins clear on top of the NBL table, and they have the chance to extend that gap in Friday night's clash with the second-placed Wildcats (8-5) in Perth.
Critics have suggested Sydney have spent millions more than their rivals in putting together one of the finest rosters seen in NBL history.
But Bogut, who is a proponent of players' salaries being made public, said the quality of coaches at the club and the strong culture being created had been major factors in the team's success.
"I can tell you we're not far over that salary cap. It's pretty tight," Bogut said after landing in Perth on Thursday.
"Every dollar we go over (the soft cap) we have to write a cheque to (NBL owner) Larry Kestelman, so we're trying to stay as far below that figure as we can.
"I can tell you for a fact that there are clubs spending as little as they can as well.
"If clubs are going to try to go as far below the salary cap as they can, they're going to get the same results they're getting."
The Kings' roster boasts the likes of Casper Ware, Jae'Sean Tate, Didi Louzada, Deshon Taylor, Kevin Lisch, Brad Newley and Xavier Cooks.
Louzada is part of the NBL's Next Stars Program and doesn't officially count as an import, meaning Sydney effectively boast four imports instead of the allowed three.
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has been quick to point this out, but Bogut wasn't fussed.
"That's fine. We've got four imports - cool," Bogut said.
"Where do we go from here? We've got four imports. Great."
Bogut said his squad wasn't all just about star power, pointing to guard Shaun Bruce as an example.
"No one wanted him. He couldn't get on a roster," Bogut said.
"We picked him up and he's having a career (best) year. No one talks about that end of things."
The Wildcats suffered an 11-point loss at home to Adelaide last week, and Bogut is bracing for a fierce bite back.
"They've had two tough losses, so Trev's probably had them training 10 hours a day the last five days," Bogut said.
"They'll be ready for us."