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.

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6 thoughts on “Rainmen Join PBL

  1. Too bad about Crookshank and Lewis, for different reasons. I now really want to see Richard and Silverhorn return. I want to team to have some guys back (and I think the franchise should too) from last year and these guys wouyld be the face of the franchise.

    I also hate how the PBL season is so short, oh well.

  2. I don’t think there’ll be talent in the PBL like Crookshank, Anderson, etc. The 20-game season is too short. These types of players will play in 2nd-tier Euro league instead where they can get paid for 6 months etc.

  3. Getting paid is a real issue with these guys. They really aren’t paid a lot and they have bills just like the rest of us. Expecting someone to drop everything for a 3-month, 20-game season may prove difficult. At least with the 36-game season, there was a longer time frame to drop your life and move to Halifax.

    I guess we should remember that minor leagues are stepping stones for athletes. Our team was in a league that is just like many other leagues around the world and I get the feeling that players tend to bounce around, depending on the schedules of the various leagues. They are just trying to make a living and have to go where the jobs are.

    I would be surprised if we see anyone come back from last year’s team and until we get into the D League (and maybe not even then), we probably won’t have many returning players who aren’t Maritimers.

    Unfortunately, Lewis has proven that he cannot develop young players, so local talent may decide to go elsewhere rather than waste time sitting on the bench.

    In my opinion, we need a local coach who has ties to the universities that will draw recent grads to our team. Once we get our version of “Coach K” who is a draw for athletes to play for him, then we might be able to count on having some consistency to the roster.

  4. There are some players that do want to come back. Also keep in mind that the PBL pays better than the ABA and CBA (or so I have heard). I would like to see our two key guys, Silverhorn and Richard, make a reutrn.

  5. BDPhil writes in part:
    ===
    Unfortunately, Lewis has proven that he cannot develop young players, so local talent may decide to go elsewhere rather than waste time sitting on the bench.
    ===

    I’m not knocking the AUAA, it is what it is, but I think the players in that league are students first, athletes second. Very few local college kids (or kids 1-2 years out of college) could be the 3rd guy off the bench on the Rainmen.

    I don’t think Lewis is a great coach, he sure can’t coach defence, but only the very, very best Canadian university players could hope to have more than a bit part with minor pro teams.

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