Fuck the ABA

The title is a bit too blunt, but enough is enough.  Check out this article in the ABA playoffs.

If you’re planning to catch the Halifax Rainmen at the Metro Centre this season, you’re running out of time.

The Rainmen learned yesterday they are out of the running to host an American Basketball Association playoff game, meaning Thursday and Friday contests against the Bahamas All-Pro Show will close out their home schedule.

The team is guaranteed one playoff game in Quebec City, a single-elimination contest to get into the Final 8 from March 27 to 30. Montreal-Westchester and Boston-Jersey quarter-final winners will play to determine Halifax’s opponent.

“It would definitely have been very exciting for our fans,” Rainmen president Andre Levingston said. “It’s disappointing we didn’t get to host a playoff game, but the overall opportunity to play in the Final 8 is exciting for our players.”

So what I take from this is that the North East qualifying match before the final 8 will take place right before the play offs in Quebec City.  I am going to just blatantly assume here, but my guess is that other teams (i.e. Westchester) refused to travel to Halifax and then Quebec if they won so the ABA did whatever they asked.  Fuck them.  Fuck the ABA.  This shit has just gotten out of hand.  How can league’s not announce a playoff schedule until a week before the end of the season and then still make last minute changes.  How do they expect fans to actually follow this joke of a league?

I am glad that the Rainmen will be leaving the ABA next year.  If they somehow end up back in this league there is no way that I am renewing my season tickets.

Andre Livingston deserves better, the players deserve better, and we as fans deserve better.

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5 thoughts on “Fuck the ABA

  1. I’ve got to take issue with some of what you’re saying here. Is the league a piece of shit? Yes. Does it suck that we don’t get a playoff game? Sure. But why would you give up on the *team* for that?

    I know bringing them up will get me ridiculed as an old foagie, but the Windjammers had to deal with shit like this all the time. They went through 3 leagues in 4 years, each one of them collapsing around the team. Even with that, people still went to the games, still cheered, still bought Jammer Hammers, or whatever crap merchandise they came up with that week. WBL, CBL, WTF, none of that really matters come game time.

    I don’t think the state of the league should effect whether people support the team or not. If we can get into a better league, thats great, but if we don’t have any better options and are still bouncing the red white and blue ball next year… fuck, I’ll still be there with my dad in 8-J-14 cheering on Eric Crookshank, just like we did when it was Steve Burtt. I want basketball to succeed in Halifax, and I’ll accept the bad to see that happen. Am I wrong?

    ps: I like the new title.

  2. I understand where you’re coming from but:
    a) I think this is a moot argument since Livingston is definately going to flee this league as soon as the season is over.
    b) If he somehow decided to stick around then I would have a reason to be angry with the organization for sticking it out after a year of a league that fucked over fans. It’s hard to follow a league where teams come and go, where no one knows the playoff format a few weeks before they’re supposed to start, where records don’t matter, where teams send YMCA players to away games, and teams cancel at the last second. Again, I don’t think Livingston will do it, but if he were to stick to the ABA it would be an insult to fans.

    But I trust Andre to do what’s best for himself, the organization and Rainmen fans – and none of those groups benefit from sticking around in this league.

  3. Again, I am not an ABA supporter, but too much blame is given directly to the ABA, and not enough blame on the actual team owners who do not run their teams as a business, which it certainly is.

    The PBL formed their own team to fill in games. What kind of crap is that? Get real. IMO, if the strong teams of the East stick together, it will only make the ABA stronger.

    Vermont is the #1 ranked team….. and we get no playoffs or finals in our home state, which really sucks.
    Again, just my own .02 on the subject.

  4. TR:
    1) My issue isn’t with a lack of a home play off game – my problem is with the ABA announcing a home play off game and then changing their minds without explanation less than a week later. Particularly after Halifax had to fly teams into Halifax to make up for games. (and one of the teams who refused to show up getting into the play offs).

    2) How is this particular incident anything other than the ABA’s fault? I’d really love to hear how this is anything other than the ABA’s screw up?

    3) The ABA is a giant mess and in Halifax it is actively hurting the organization. There is absolutely no argument against that. It’s fact.

  5. Chris, I think you are spot-on in your thinking that the New York area teams refused to travel to Canada if they won their preliminary games. If Montreal wins to face the Rainmen, maybe we should host the game anyway? The way I see it, the ABA should grow some and tell the teams that refuse to travel that they will forfeit the game, in regular season as well as the playoffs.

    The playoff format, as reported by the ABA, was that the higher-seeded team would be the home team. The fact that 4 teams must play off to match up against the Rainmen tells me that we are the highest-ranked team of these 5, otherwise we would not get a bye in this preliminary round.

    While the iconoclast in me says, “Yeah! Leave the ABA!”, the realist in me says, “If there are no other viable leagues that will have teams within a day’s travel by road, then it doesn’t make sense to cut off one’s nose to spite the face.” The PBL only has future expansion teams (Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo) that are anywhere near Halifax. The CBA’s nearest team is in upstate New York. The IBL has no teams east of Michigan. The USBL has a couple of New York teams, but the others are south and west of there.

    Unless a group of Northeast teams makes a move, I don’t see how the Rainmen could make a go of it.

    Other than the playoffs being a complete SNAFU and a couple teams cancelling away games on us, I don’t see how the ABA is ruining our enjoyment of the Rainmen. The haters will always find some reason to no attend the games, the ABA is the obvious scapegoat (and rightly so). Mr. Levingston and his team have gone above and beyond all expectations to bring a full slate of home games to Halifax, for which I am grateful, as possibly the first retail season ticket holder. Just look at the travesties that are some of the other teams in the league (those that are still existing). We Halifax fans are truly fortunate to have a committed organization like the Rainmen who have provided 18 entertaining games, along with the teams who filled in for lesser organizations who either folded during the season or refused to travel to Halifax.

    While I sincerely hope that the Rainmen find a better league (fingers crossed for NBA-D League), I wonder if the problems of the ABA are symptomatic of minor professional leagues, like PBL, CBA, IBL, USBL, etc. The teams in these leagues play in small markets that cannot support a more expensive franchise. Quite often, the city population of these minor league teams is insufficient to really support a team, or the management skills of the team front offices is lacking. Neither of these seem to be a problem for the Rainmen.

    The movie Semi-Pro is funnier because it is based on the facts of minor-league teams:
    1. The team owner often has delusions of grandeur, e.g. the Corning Bulldogs and Georgia Gwizzlies
    2. The owner does not has enough money to see the team through the difficult times, usually the first few years

    In short, they are poor businessmen who don’t realize that professional sport is a business. Again, neither of these situations appear to be the case with Mr. Levingston. By all accounts, he is a self-made man who wants to help make a difference wherever he can.

    I will continue to support the Rainmen and root for them, despite that they are in an abusive league. I hope they can get out of this relationship, because it hurts me to see them hurt. OK, that metaphor has gone far enough. Anyway, let’s show the Bahama Pro Show what a stadium full of fans looks like, while our guys proceed to dunk, lay-up and rain 3-pointers on the way to two victories to end the regular season.

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