So the Rainmen lose their best rebounder, most popular player and a top 3 scoring threat due to suspension. You’ve got to assume that this is something well beyond the comments in the newspaper and has to be crossing the line into either serious off-court behavior or a major blow up in practice today or yesterday. It has to be serious if they chose to suspend him for the whole season rather than a week or two and then “reevaluate” the decision. There is no going back on this now. Eric Crookshank is done for the season, at least in regard to playing basketball for the Rainmen.
The process is also very odd – most teams would simply release a player and keep it quiet. Obviously if that happend the Rainmen would be asked questions by the media in this market, but to publicly announce it is pretty huge and a big risk.
This is horrible for Eric since it basically ruins the chance he has to make the leap into another, better league. He’s 27 and his window is close to closing. I have no knowledge of what happened, but I hope Eric is okay and that everything is fine with him now and in the future.
For the Rainmen it means that they now desperately need to release Rodney Mayes and sign a good centre. Eric was playing out of position at centre as is, and now it looks like Bailey and Sanders will get the bulk of the minutes there unless McNeal can somehow start contributing. This is just an absolute nightmare in every possible way.
(as always, if anyone knows the scoop and wants to send me an e-mail I’d love to know what happend)
Halifax signed John Strickland a 6’8, 275lb powerforward to replace Crookshank. He’s 37 years old and is the definition of a minor league journeyman. He last played in the CBA with the Pittsbourgh Explosion, the Albany Patroons and the Minor Skyrockets. He has a reputation as a bit of a clown
After actually reading the transcript of the new conference I am willing to support the Rainmen on this. They don’t suspend him for the season unless this is something very serious, and Eric doesn’t accept the suspension instead of going to Manchester, Vermont, Mexico or where ever unless it was something serious. As much as I want to know what happened, and as much as I am convinced that in a town the size of Halifax someone is going to find out what happened, I also support the Rainmen’s decision to keep this in house. Without any of us knowing the exact details of what happened it’s hard to judge, but the Rainmen need to be commended for not just throwing Crookshank under the bus here. We don’t know if the punishment is warranted, but we do know that too often in all sports, but particularly the minor leagues, when guys fall out of favour they’re thrown out in the trash. In this case the Rainmen are not trashing his reputation/turning him in to the cops or whatever, and they’re continuing to give him a place to stay and paycheck. It is clear that whatever else is going on with this story, but I think that it is clear that Andre Levingston cares about Eric Crookshank and is trying to help him.