Well, I am back from NYC and trying to write the last paper I’ll have to turn in until at least September. Expect regular updates now that I have a bit more free time to write, and a lot more time to troll the internet looking for rumours and news stories.
The Rainmen are still getting a fair amount of news coverage despite there only being one real daily paper in Halifax now, the team being in the off season with no players signed for the 08-09 season, and not even being members of a league.
Today’s Chronicle Herald has a piece by Chad Lucas on (former?) Rainman Eric Crookshank. Not a whole lot of new info but two things that are of note:
1) Eric is currently hanging out and working out in Preston while living with Derico Wigginton-Downey.
2) He clarifies why he’s not with the Edmonton Chill – he says his contract promised room and board as part of the contract and that upon arriving he was told to pay for his own hotel room. His agent told him to leave so he flew to Halifax. This is contrary to the Chill’s version of events.
Eric also talks about how he wants to play in Halifax next season but is waiting to see what the team can offer in comparison to the other offers he has from other teams. When I’ve talked to him about it before I know he’s said he wants to stay in Halifax, but he has to make the best career decision at the end of the day. A move to the PBL would be a slight step up, career-wise (slightly better pay, better competition, real broadcasting deals, hopefully some real coaching) and the D-League would, I am sure, make him a lock for staying in Nova Scotia. Eric still thinks he has a shot at the NBA but at his age who knows if that is a possibility? In particular, you have to wonder what position he’d play in the Association? At 6’7 he’s way too small to be playing power forward, and he lacks the outside shot that he would need to play small forward. I think he’s the best athlete I have had the pleasure of watching in person, but I feel like his best career move would be to try to aim for a good European league rather than toiling in the American minor leagues. I just don’t know if he’s going to get the chance to make that jump to the NBA.
The general feeling seems to be that the D-League is out for a year at least. Based on cash flow issues I don’t think the team can just sit idle for a year hoping that the D-league lets them in for 09-10.
So they need to hope that the PBL will accept a team which is geographically isolated for what may be a single year. The PBL recently announced that expansion teams in Montreal and Toronto are in for next year, and the recent additions of Quebec, Manchester and Vermont from the ABA are additional opponents which make the PBL attractive to the Rainmen. On the flip side, there is a chance that PBL has done all the expanding that they feel they need to do of the 08-09 season.
Either way, Halifax needs to make a call on where it will be playing soon. Cash flow is seriously hindered by not knowing which league they’re in. Season tickets aren’t being purchased (I haven’t even put a deposit down on mine because I don’t know if I could afford D-League prices if the cost goes up/they reconfigure pricing based on location) and sponsorship levels can’t be decided yet. In addition, they need to figure out what level of player to be targetting for signing/camps (i.e. will it be guys who just slipped out of the draft for the D-league, or first guy off the bench from first round NCAA exits and CIS stars for the PBL?). All the guessing has been fun, but I kind of want answers sooner rather than later.