Rainmen to Finish Season in ABA, Will Play in Halifax next year but in what league?

Chris Cochrane has an excellent interview with Andre Levingston in today’s Herald.  Levingston continues to impress me with his honesty and professionalism and the interview is a must-read.

Levingston confirms that the team with stay in the ABA this season, in part because of loyalty.  I assume he means loyalty to the other teams not the league office.  Levingston also admits that the league itself is hurting the Rainmen and is generally very honest all around.  He says that the team will be back next year, though he does not say what league it will be in.  Cochrane thinks that there are three possibilities for next year:

The three future options, at this point, appear clear. One is to stay in the ABA, a choice that really doesn’t look like a smart one at this point, since the dysfunctional league shows little sign of reaching its potential. A second is to join an existing league such as the PBL, should the PBL prove to be a more professional and stable operation than the ABA. And a third would be forming a new league with fellow solid ABA Northeast Division clubs at the core.

One thing that has thrown a monkey wrench in the “North East should form a league” idea is the disaster of a last few months of Manchester’s season.  They seem to be thinking D-League or bust so I don’t know if they’d want to join a regional minor league and with their on and off the court chaos who knows what’s going on with them.

Staying in the ABA is not an option.  Period.

The PBL might be the best route if the other NE teams are willing to jump ship as a group but I still want to see a bit more of the PBL before I make a call.  I also think that the PBL season is far too short (early January to mid-March).  Cochrane seems to be pitching this PBL idea pretty hard, and its a fairly new rumour, so I think that someone in the organization must have leaked this to him.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big proponent of joining the D-League, and I think for Halifax it’s a reasonable move.  Canadian basketball types have been pushing hard for a team that could help develop Canadian talent, and the Raptors want their own team to institute their own system for prospects (i.e. euroball).  Add to that Halifax’s big, modern arena and Levingston’s connections with Toronto and the Raptors and we could do it… except for one problem:  no regional opponents.  Most of the league is in the midwest and south east.  Vermont are a great franchise, but they’re all about being a local product in small gyms with cheap tickets and a local feel – they don’t have the money to float a D-League team.  Manchester still have dreams so we’ll see about that.   Quebec and Montreal don’t seem to be able to put together D-League ownership groups.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the season winds down.

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3 thoughts on “Rainmen to Finish Season in ABA, Will Play in Halifax next year but in what league?

  1. I really like Levingston. I posted this on ABA Shit Talk Central:

    “I thought the rumour about the Rainmen joining the PBL next year was interesting. It didn’t come from this board, and our writers have no sources from other teams or the league offices due to proximity. It must have come locally from those close to the Rainmen.

    Either way it does not sound like the Rainmen will stay in the ABA next year. They realize it’s hurting them.”

  2. The NBDL would really silence the nay sayers as well. The PBL brand doesn’t really mean anything to the average person, expect that the press will have less negatives to point out in their coverage. I don’t think the PBL is even close to the same level as either the NBDL or even the CBA.

  3. I too am not sold on the PBL. lets face it, it is made up of mostly disfunctional ABA teams. They cant stretch out the season any longer….. you can only watch team 1 play team 2 so many times. Also the fan base it not there. If its not there at the beginning, it certainly is not going to be there next year.

    Say what you might about the ABA, but it is my opinion that some of the teams that started and folded were just not situated in basketball oriented locations. (Lets face it, disfunctional owners have not helped the personna of the ABA.)

    Halifax is just the opposite….. with the problem being, honestly, (as stated prior) your location to other viable basketball markets.

    As far as a Northeastern League, I cant see that happening. 1: Initial cost, and 2: 6..maybe 8 teams tops. (I’d lean more towards the 6 number) What would you end up with? Another short seasoned mini league i.e., the PBL.
    Of course, these are just my opinions.

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