Gone for Awhile

So I am off to New York to take some summer classes and I will be without a computer for close to a month.  I will try to check in and see what’s happening, but no promises.

Seeing as how this month will likely see the announcement of where the Rainmen will be playing, please post info you come across in the comments section of this post to keep everyone updated.

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Crookshanks Cut by Edmonton Chill

After being the subject of the Chill’s hype machine, they have cut Eric Crookshank saying that he “didn’t fit with the team concept.”  They added two forwards that they’re big on so that may be part of it.  I just hope that he has enough time to try to find a spring league gig somewhere else.

The Chill also added Acadia forward Achuil Lual to the roster. 

Edit:

A press release from the Chill sort of explains why he was cut, but it’s sort of cryptic.  It looks like he didn’t want to join a few members of the team on a trip to Fort Mac for some sort of promotion trip:

Finally, the Edmonton Chill announced the release of forward Eric Crookshank. The 6’7″ Oakland, CA native returned home on Sunday following a three day tryout with the club.

“No question that Eric had the ability to play in this league, ” Owner and President Troy Barns said, “but at the end of the day, our players’ behaviour reflects on this club, so I had to be sure he was committed to the full scope of responsibility of playing here. [After passing on last weekend’s trip to Fort McMurray] It became clear to me and the coaching staff that Eric just was not a fit for our team or the basketball community here in Edmonton. We wish him luck with the rest of his career.”

Year End Report Card: On Court

Sorry that this is late, but school got in the way of the important stuff. This is a follow up from my midterm report card on the team. I am curious to hear what other people think so please comment.  Check it after the jump. Continue reading

Crookshank Makes a Good First Impression in Edmonton

Crookshank is at the centre of an article in the Edmonton Journal before the team has played a game.  Looks like he’s as well liked out there as he was here.  The team is scheduled to start on April 27 – almost a full two months after the IBLs 2008 season opener which took place on March 1.

UnTV Pitching Rainmen Reality TV Show

So I’ve gotten word from someone that the folks who produce web content for UnTV, an online video site, are planning on pitching a reality TV show to CBC to be based on the Halifax Rainmen.  I don’t have many details beyond those basic things, but I have always thought that a reality TV show with all of them living in the same house would at least be watchable.  Then again, after some of the stories I’ve heard about that house I don’t know if I’d want to see it.

I think that some sort of online deal needs to be worked out to broadcast games.  Part of the problem is that a lack of confirmed league makes those plans, and many other ones including try outs, impossible due to differences in season length and existing broadcasting plans of leagues (i.e. D-league gets some NBA TV coverage, PBL has its own webcast plan of some sort, etc.).

PBL Officially Announce Toronto Expansion Team

The PBL, one possible destination for the Rainmen, announced today that there will be an expansion team in Toronto next year.  There has also been talk of a Montreal expansion team.

Obviously more eastern teams is good for the Rainmen if they join the league, but pro ball in Toronto has really only been successful because of the NBA brand and some relatively good/big name players.  I don’t know how it will go, but I can’t help but feeling that Ottawa and Hamilton might have been better markets.

Front Office Changes for the Rainmen

Season ticket holders just recieved this e-mail today:

Good Afternoon,
This email is to inform everyone that my work term with the Halifax Rainmen will be finishing on April 16, 2008. Any issues that would normally be directed towards myself can be passed on to Jad Crnogorac for the time being. Her contact information is listed below. I would like to thank everyone that made my time here with the Rainmen one of the best experiences of my life and one of the most enjoyable.
 
Sincerely,
 
Andrew Streeter
Executive Assistant
Halifax Rainmen

There’s obviously nothing sinister here – Andrew was a student intern and the school year is done.  That said, he was definately the person responsible for making much of the front office stuff work with this organization and it’s too bad that they weren’t able to find a permanent, paid position for him.  For someone who was just a commerce student, he did an excellent job that gave a franchise in a tough market in a terrible league the chance to succeed down the line.  I am sure most of us will never know every small thing he did to make things work, but I am quite sure we wouldn’t be talking about a second season if he hadn’t worked in that office.

Rick Lewis Destroys Knees

So James Booyer hung around the team for a long time despite having an injured knee.  He was then brought back to the team where he further injured his knee.  This was all the result of him being close to Rick Lewis, having trained with him before the Rainmen gigs were offered to the two of them.

Lewis’ basketball credentials are thin – we all know this.  But there is one thing he has maintained as his one possible qualification to be a semi-pro coach:  He helped train two NBA guys – Alphonso Ellis and Darius Miles.  This got trotted out in early press releases an awful lot

The AP has a story on their wire about Darius Miles today.  It looks like his career is done after taking two seasons off to try to rehab a knee injury.

As for Alphonso Ellis, he retired in 2003 after a career in which he was plagued by, you guessed it, knee injuries.

Now I am not saying that Rick Lewis is responsible for these knee injuries or anything, but if I had a kid (thank god I don’t) you’d better believe I wouldn’t throw the dice by sending him/her to train with Rick Lewis at the Rainmen camp.  It’s just that if his two biggest resume lines and his favourite Rainman have all  had their careers (or at least season in the case of Booyer) end in knee injuries it starts seeming kind of strange. 

More Rainmen Sign with IBL teams

The Metro is reporting that Akeem Clark has signed with the Gary Steelheads of the IBL and that James Tyler has signed with the Elkhart Express (two time IBL champions).  Silverhorn is also rumoured to be signing with the Steelheads in the near future. 

It’s all minor news which is only sort of related to the team, but it’s good that the Rainmen are at least keeping their name in the news.

Crookshank Signs with Edmonton in IBL

Eric Crookshank signed with the Edmonton Chill of the IBL today.  The Metro somehow ran this story first – I am sort of shocked with the speed of their Rainmen coverage, although, like every story in that thing, it lacks depth.

The Chill play in the International Basketball League in a 2000 seat arena.  The IBL is one of a number of reasonably good spring leagues that include a mix of low level minor league guys and upper level minor league guys (including D-leaguers sometimes) trying to make ends meet.  The Chill seem to get pretty good press in Edmonton, have lots of sponsors and their line up looks like it’ll be  a decent team.  I hope Eric does well and that we see him back in Halifax come fall.

I wonder how their season goes.  One league option that really seems to have fallen to the wayside in all this league talk is the idea of a professional Canadian league.  I actually think that a highly regional league running in the summers in Canada would be the best possible option.

Canada doesn’t have major summer sports teams outside of Toronto (Toronto FC and the Jays) and every city has arenas used by minor league hockey teams sitting empty (so much easier to get those crucial weekend dates plus it does away with having to compete with minor and NHL hockey).  Travel is also much easier in Canada in the summer than it is in the winter, obviously. The real kicker is that a May to August league means that players expect less money and more good players are available.  A Canadian summer league could theoretically compete with the BSN in Puerto Rico as the world’s premier summer league and potentially weasel its way onto one of Canada’s cable sports networks.  Why is no one seriously talking about this?

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