Jermaine Anderson Named to Canadian Olympic Qualifier Team

Basketball Canada announced the team for the team for the set of last minute Olympic Qualifiers that are happening next month.  Not surprisingly, former Rainmen Jermaine Anderson will be playing for Canada.  I am still amazed that I got to see him play at the Metro Centre.


Why the Rainmen aren’t in the D-League

The Metro got an explanation from Dan Reed as to why Halifax didn’t get into the D-League for 08-09.  In short it’s all about geography.


Also: Chris Cochrane at the Herald also had a column on why the PBIL is still a solid option.

Rainmen Talking About Next Season

Some quick notes from a pair of Metro stories:

– In yesterday’s story Wuest seems to indicate that the Rainmen are looking at staying in the PBL for the long term, not just a year:

“We made some friends (with the D-League brass). … We might make a phone call every now and then to say hello but we’re extremely excited to be in the PBL,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a long relationship.”

–  The Rainmen have targetted Brian Silverhorn as a player they want to bring back next year.  I think it’s a great idea and I would add Kadiri to that list.  I have heard rumours that James Tyler should be back, too.  Livingston talks about wanting to build a defensive team which should be exciting since this year’s team had a frustrating habit of getting blown by for easy lay ups.  They lacked a lock down guy at the 2/3 and more importantly, just lacked a defensive intensity that is needed to keep players out of the paint.  Levingston also mentions his desire to target Div. 1 players.  I am excited for next year already.

Rainmen Join PBL

I didn’t manage to get out to the press conference, but fortunately Chad Lucas updated his blog quickly. This is not a shock at all but Lucas breaks down some other things that came out of the press conference:

– Levingston said he doesn’t know if the D-league will be a go for the year after next.

– Crookshank is going to play in Europe next year.

– Rick “Aussie Minor League Baseball” Lewis is back behind the bench next season. Fuck. At least it means that I have something to yell about even when the other team is playing well. Numerous players have told me that if Lewis returned to the team they wouldn’t be, I hope other players haven’t heard about this guy.

The PBl only plays from January to May and there will likely only be 10 home dates which, combined with being in a less expensive league should keep season ticket prices down which is a mixed blessing. I know that Vermont were looking for some home exhibition games and I am sure Manchester would be game – so I am hoping that we can get them up here for a trade off so all the teams get some extra games in. The major blessing with staying in the PBL is that we get to play against a number of franchises which are stable and have a history with the Rainmen.

So what sort of difference will this make for the Rainmen and fans?  Here are some of the key differences between the PBL and the ABA:

– Shorter Season.  This point is kind of moot because despite the 20 game v. 36 game seasons, most ABA teams never came close to play 20 games.  For teams like Vermont, Manchester and Halifax this is a problem though.  I hope some sort of tournament (like the FA Cup) can be organized in the first half of the season.

– Deeper Teams.  From what I’ve seen of the PBL, there are the same number of minor league star level players in both leagues, but the PBL tends to have teams with more quality guys.  Over all, the level of basketball is higher.

– More stable franchises.  Less problems with teams folding or not traveling.  It’s still yet to be seen if the financial crises in the US will kill this league despite its god intentions.

– TV deal.  PBL will have all games broadcast online and many on traditional TV. (This means Halifax will need to hire a broadcasting crew)

– Less name recognition.  Among casual/non-fans the name ABA is a lot more valuable than the PBL brand, but among fans and anyone with access to google the ABA name was nothing but a plague.  Less league chaos and unprofessional insanity can only help the Rainmen.

Silverhorn Invited to Raptors Free Agent Camp but Misses Workout

A release on the Rainmen site mentions that Silverhorn was invited to today’s free agent camp for the Raptors, however Eric Smith’s blog mentions that he wasn’t able to make it today due to travel reasons.  That must be a serious heartbreaker for the guy.  I don’t know if the camp continues into the rest of the weekend, but if it does I hope he can get into the work out.  The fact that two Rainmen got invited to Raptors camps increases the chance that players would be willing to come to Halifax to play.

In other news:  There is a press conference booked for 11:00am for the Rainmen to announce their future, Lucas breaks down the possibilities on his blog on the Herald website. I will be glad to find out what the exact plan is.  My guess is PBL for at least a year.

Rainmen Future Could be Announced on Monday

From the Herald:

News on Rainmen future expected on Monday

Fans of the Halifax Rainmen will have to wait until at least Monday for any news on the future of the team.

Rainmen public relations consultant Nancy Sheppard said on Wednesday afternoon that majority owner Andre Levingston is still working towards resolving where the team will play in 2008-09. Levingston’s primary goal is to secure a spot in the NBA Development League and he’s been in New York this week meeting with league officials to see if he can pull that off. But if that doesn’t come together, he has other options he could explore to ensure that the team plays in a solid league this season.

Sheppard didn’t hint at what direction the Rainmen are headed and said there is still a considerable amount of work to be done before the team can say for certain what will happen next season.

“What we’re hoping to do is hold a press conference on Monday,” Sheppard said. “We just want to make sure we have (everything resolved) before we announce anything.”

I don’t work Mondays so I may try to convince them to actually let me into this press conference.  I think that would be a funny way to spend a day off.

James Tyler Works Out with Raptors

As Andrew Streeter helpfully pointed out in a comment, James “Don’t Call Me Baby Shaq” Tyler worked out for the Toronto Raptors today.

It’s obviously a huge opportunity for him, but realistically he doesn’t have a shot – unless the Raptors decide to throw the dice on their second round pick (there is an incredibly deep first round but it thins out in the second) on him and hope he develops – let’s remember he’s only 19 and is a physical monster.

Today they look like they tried out big men and all the other names on the work out list are really strong prospects (Hibberts, Donte Green, Kyle Landry, Batum) so even the day of work outs is a great opportunity for him to improve on his game and get some work out experience that could help him in a few years when he’s ready for the big show (or at least D-League).

Edit:  This interview with Jim Kelly suggests just how it was the Tyler got there:  JaVale Magee wasn’t able to make it so Tyler stepped in to provide someone for Hibbert to work out against.

Quote from the interview: “Magee had issues and couldn’t play and then we had to get James Tyler who played briefly in the minor leagues this year and is sort of a rare case; but at least he was a 7 footer who could go up against Hibberts.”

Real Reporter Explains Who David Dobbin Is

I was too lazy to figure out who Dobbin was, so I guessed while using google, this is why I just type nonsense and conjecture on a blog.  But Chris Cochrane is a real reporter (and a good one at that) so he went and found out for us.

Rainmen Still Negotiating With D-League

So in the “barely news” category comes this press release from the Rainmen.

The Herald picked it up and just rewrote the press release, no idea if Metro bothered.  It’s nothing new, but at least the organization is trying to keep people updated.  I am only posting about it to toss out some thoughts on the ownership situation – who actually owns the team right now?  Jad hasn’t been mentioned as a part owner as of late and the name David Dobbin has sort of just popped up out of no where.

If I had to guess (and this is pure speculation because I am bored):  From what I’ve heard the team is in dire financial straights and just bled money last year.  Jad in particular was appearently very stressed out about it.  I wouldn’t be shocked if she sold her share of the organization to David Dobbin but is remaining on in her VP role.  This would give her some peace of mind and bring in (theoretically) an owner with more capital.  So who is David Dobbin?  A google search brings up a few names but the most likely candidate is an Ontario telecomunications executive.  It’s just a guess that it’s him, but he’d have money to invest and Levingston first came to Canada and made the capital to start his other businesses through his involvement in telecommunications companies in Ontario, so Andre could theoretically know him.

Again – this is all wild guesses.  If I were a real journalist I’d call someone at the Rainmen and ask them who he is and who owns the team right now… but I am not a real journalist, so I won’t bother.  Instead I will just use google to make random guesses and hope that I am not too far off target.
EDIT:  So I used the internet some more and came up with this press release from the D-League – it’s a list of the 2008-09 affiliates for NBA teams, and includes the two new expansion teams as well as some minor changes in who is affiliated with who (the Sonics affiliate is now in Tulsa, OK… fuck you David Stern and Clay Bennett).  I think it’s safe to say that the 08-09 dream is dead – it’s just too late for them to not only put a Halifax team onto the schedule (particularly with travel) but also work out player assignments/team affiliations.  Now I guess we need to wonder if the PBL will take the team.

News Might Be Coming Soon on D-League… maybe.

Chris Cochrane talked to Levingston about where D-League talks are right now.  The short version is: who knows?  Definately vague.  I sort of expected to hear one way or another sometime last month, so I guess you could take it that the lack of a clear “no” from the D-League could be good news… or they just don’t think saying no to a Canadian backwater is a priority.

I know that the organization see a move to the PBL as a move sideways and that the general feeling is (or at least was right after the last game of the season) that in order to grow the team and the brand a move to the D-League was needed.  Without a move to the D-league I think it’s doubtful that the team could be profitable.  The organization lost tons of money last year and they really need the D-League name to make it work in this city.  So let’s just hope we hear something soon.

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