So a source finally came through for me via e-mail and I have been able to confirm what happened with Eric. I trust the source 99.99999% on this and a lot of it makes sense.
Apparently there was no physical confrontation between Eric and anyone else. It was 100% verbal. Eric was benched because he told Lewis during a timeout that he feels that they should be running the high pick and roll with Sanders, not him. Lewis blew up on him and told him to sit on the bench.
After the game in the locker room Crookshank said he thinks that they need to get their best guys on the floor and Lewis snapped on him. This goes along with what a lot of people have told me – no one feels like they can actually talk openly about the team in the locker room, on the bench, or in practice. Lewis has a feeling that he has to control everything and any discussion undermines his authority.
The next day front office stuff took place. Initially there was talks of trading him, but releasing him was never fully considered – the PBL has a system involving a buyout on players rights, so a team could buy him out but Halifax negotiated such a high buyout that no one is willing to bite. The decision to suspend him was based on Lewis telling Levingston that Eric is totally uncoachable and never listens to him and never has. My source says it is personal and extends to off the court interaction as well.
Levingston doesn’t want to suspend Eric but he feels like he can’t step on the toes of his coach and GM and if he feels like it’s a decision which hurts the team in the end he will hold the coach accountable.
Again, my source isn’t in the team/organization but I know that they’re close and they’ve fed me solid and 100% truthful information before so I trust this. They said that they’ve heard the same story from multiple people.
My source (it sounds exciting doesn’t it?) said that a group of people, mostly fans and friends of players, are trying to get Eric back on the court for Halifax. They’ve been trying to convince people not to give up their season tickets (I’ve heard from a few people that a lot of people have tried to return them) and not to boycott the game but instead to come to Sunday’s game in Crookshank jerseys and if possible to bring signs and support Eric and the people who are trying to get him back on the team. I’d personally just like to ask that people not boo Rodney Mayes – he did not choose to wear #20. The people involved seem sincere about this and really think they can get Eric back on the team.
I really honestly believe this. From what we know about Levingston this actually makes sense – he delegates and trusts people and feels like he should let them do their jobs but if they don’t he’ll punish them later. The players have never, ever liked Lewis and it’s obvious he and Eric don’t get along (remember the benching for the fourth quarter of last year’s final home game loss to Atlanta?). I also haven’t been able to get any confirmation on the rumours of a physical altercation with Silverhorn or Lewis.