Will the Rainmen Bring Back Crookshank?

With Rick Lewis now officially gone it opens up the chance for Crookshank to return, but will Levingston do it?  Will he wait for the new coach to be hired and seek his input?  It’s obvious that Halifax need some help on the front line and Eric has shown the ability to play centre despite his size.  A platoon of Eric, Sanders and Strick at centre is not ideal but it is serviceable and would be an improvement over the status quo.  Today’s announcement that Rodney Mayes has been released appears to pave the way for a Crookshank return.

I feel sort of bad for Mayes, but he never did what was expected of him – he was supposed to be a slashing dunker, but he settled for too many jump shots and I think I saw him dunk it twice all year.  He could rebound fairly well and made a few hussle plays from time to time but he simply never looked comfortable and a return by Eric would mean his rebounding is only marginally important.  It also means that the number 20 jersey is currently sitting unused…

It’s important to remember that bringing Eric back has does not cost Halifax any money – he is being paid anyway and I believe he counts against the cap even if suspended.   With Lewis gone there is absolutely no reason to keep him out since it is quite clear that this whole mess was primarily a result of Rick Lewis’ ego.  I feel like Andre Levingston is the kind of person who admits when he thinks he’s made a mistake and who does not want to continue to punish Eric – I also feel like he’s a good businessman who wants to protect the value of his investment.

Thoughts?  Should Eric be brought back?  Will he be brought back?

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13 thoughts on “Will the Rainmen Bring Back Crookshank?

  1. I don’t imagine you’re going to see a lot of arguments against bringing Crookshank back, but I worry a bit about Levingston saying that bringing Crookshank back is HIS decision as opposed to his coach’s. It’ll be hard to bring in a good coach if he doesn’t have control of the team.

    That being said I’ll be the first to start the chant

    “CROOK-SHANK….CROOK-SHANK….CROOK-SHANK…”

  2. It isn’t much of a stretch to imagine Crookshank being back, and playing this weekend. I expected Levingston to wait maybe until after this weekend to bring him back. Opening the door up by releasing Mayes, and freing up #20, basically says that all the recent problems were solely the fault of Rick Lewis.

    Ultimately it is Levingston’s ( and his partners ) money the coach is playing with, and this happens in pro sports all the time. Jim Johnson and Al Davis are prime examples. All difference here is Andre Levingston is trying to improve his teams chances, instead of making terrible personnel choices. And did Lewis as GM & coach work out so well?

    I hope they don’t pick a local basketball guy as coach, as I think this team needs someone they will respect. I don’t see someone that was big in Halifax being the person to fill the coaching shoes. Maybe Shannon will have a great game this weekend, and get achance at filling the coaching spot long term.

  3. I agree with Mickey on the point that I don’t think that Crook will be back this weekend. I think that they will bill the game on the 13th as his comeback game because Andre wants to make it clear that it is his decision and that the firing of Lewis doesn’t mean Crook Automatically comes back. or at least thats what I was discussing today with Chris.

  4. Of course with the CBA shutting its season down early, their may be a plethora of players and coaches looking for work. I wouldn’t consider the timing of the firing of Lewis a coicidence.

  5. All good points in my opinion.

    Please bring Crookshank back ASAP. It gives the team a better chance to win and that’s first and foremost in my mind.

  6. Trust me – Crook will play this weekend. The decision cannot be made right after the firing of Lewis (btw – GREATEST MOVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE FRANCHISE!!!!!!!!!!!!) out of respect to him (Lewis) – at the end of the day, Andre and Rick are friends, and bringing Crook back immediately after the firing screams of it being Lewis’ fault (which we know it is, but is still “speculative” until *proven* otherwise).

    However, there are only 9 games left, and what is to be gained by waiting until the 13th to bring him back. It’s Vermont on Sunday, people, and each game is WAY too important to not make every attempt to improve the team for a playoff push.

    Crook – see you *ON THE FLOOR* Sunday! Can’t wait, bro!

  7. After one and a half seasons as the Assistant Coach, I think Shannon deserves a chance. His patience at being Lewis’ subordinate for that long should be repaid. Best of luck Shannon, I look forward to seeing what you can do!

    Andre made it plain that he wants a coach who will lead the Rainmen to a championship. Way to go, Andre!

    Eric should be brought back immediately. If, as Chad Lucas says, we need to finish 7-2 for a realistic chance at the playoffs, then why wouldn’t we plug EC in right away?

    I think the writing was on the wall for Mayes when he was given the #20 jersey. I feel bad for him that the press notice was tacked on the end of the story about Lewis being fired.

    So will Andre take over as GM? Coach and GM are two different jobs and Lewis had both of them. If Andre can find a talented individual, could that guy wear both hats? Given the shortness of the season, he probably could.

    One last thing: Part of me feels like this is an Obama Taking Office moment. Just as the TV pundits (Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, etc.) are scrambling for content after Bush left, with a new coach, what will this blog and all of our comments be like with no one to complain about? 😉

  8. Guys: If you want an owner who will do whatever is necessary to “finish 7 – 2 for a realistic chance at the playoffs” you should probably encourage AL to sell the team – he’s not the guy for you. He has principles, loyalty, and a great head on his shoulders. Yes, he’s a businessman but he’s more than that. If business was his only interest do you think EC would have ever been suspended in the first place? If EC is reinstated (and from what little I know, almost all info gleaned from this and Chad Lucas’s site, he probably should be), it will be because a. EC has learned his lesson and b. AL realizes that there is some truth in EC’s and SirVal’s comments re: the coach and AL is willing to allow the punishment may not have fit the crime.

    Personally, and with all due respect, I think the city should be thankful for an owner with such qualities – it will serve all of us well in the long run, whether in the PBL or the NBADL. He represents the city and its fans very admirably, IMHO.

    Off the soap box now,

    Later,

    Bluenoser

    PS I have no connection with Mr. Levingston.

  9. Metro News – Thumbs Up!

    Cover story again today. I am impressed with your level coverage of the team this year. Great reporting and a free newspaper as well!

    What can I say! I LOVE IT!

  10. he is back. Ha! So it came 1 day earlier than i thought it would.

    For Immediate Release

    February 4, 2009

    “AIR” CANADA FLIES AGAIN, CROOKSHANK REINSTATED

    (Halifax, N.S.) After a lot of careful thought Rainmen Owner Andre Levingston reinstated star player and Power Forward Eric Crookshank to the team roster.

    “I had to convince Eric to improve his attitude on the team. The only way to do that was to have him face serious punishment. He did everything we asked of him, and many things we didn’t. He suffered for his mistake, and I believe he has learned his lesson and is ready to take the team all the way to the championships,” said Levingston.

    Thirty-year old, 6’8” Crookshank is thrilled to be back with his teammates who have all expressed their desire to have him back in the line-up where he belongs. “The support I have been given from my teammates, fans and friends has been overwhelming,” added Crookshank. “I want to thank everyone and give back by having a big game on Sunday. I’ve learned from my mistakes.”

    The Rainmen meet Vermont on Sunday February 8th at 4pm at the Halifax Metro Centre. It’s HRM Kids Day and all fans 17-years old and under are admitted for only $5 when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available at the Ticket Atlantic Halifax Metro Centre box office only.

  11. For Immediate Release

    February 4, 2009

    “AIR” CANADA FLIES AGAIN, CROOKSHANK REINSTATED

    (Halifax, N.S.) After a lot of careful thought Rainmen Owner Andre Levingston reinstated star player and Power Forward Eric Crookshank to the team roster.

    “I had to convince Eric to improve his attitude on the team. The only way to do that was to have him face serious punishment. He did everything we asked of him, and many things we didn’t. He suffered for his mistake, and I believe he has learned his lesson and is ready to take the team all the way to the championships,” said Levingston.

    Thirty-year old, 6’8” Crookshank is thrilled to be back with his teammates who have all expressed their desire to have him back in the line-up where he belongs. “The support I have been given from my teammates, fans and friends has been overwhelming,” added Crookshank. “I want to thank everyone and give back by having a big game on Sunday. I’ve learned from my mistakes.”

    The Rainmen meet Vermont on Sunday February 8th at 4pm at the Halifax Metro Centre. It’s HRM Kids Day and all fans 17-years old and under are admitted for only $5 when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available at the Ticket Atlantic Halifax Metro Centre box office only.

  12. Projection for the rest of the season

    Currently: 6-5

    Remaining games, and win probability

    (assumes EC plays all 9)

    Vermont, home, 50%
    Detroit, home, 95%
    Quebec, home, 90%
    Vermont, home, 50%
    Montreal, away, 60%
    Quebec, away, 55% (back to back game)
    Detroit, away, 60%
    Mallrats, home, 50%
    Montreal, home, 85%

    6.61 more wins, suggesting team finishes 13-7 or 12-8.

    Good news is I don’t think we’d be underdogs in any of the 9, so a team that gets hot streaks into the playoffs. Alas, like last year, there’s a big hole in the schedule where we only play one game in three weeks– tough to keep momentum going.

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