Crookshank Return is Official

Looks like Eric is officially back:

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.

This is great news for Eric personally, and even better news for the franchise.  I personally think that there are a few factors that led to his return.  First is that I think Andre really wanted to teach Crookshank a lesson and I think he really did see a change in his character.  Andre cares a lot about character, and I think this is as much if not more about Eric learning a lesson as it is about money.  Second, I think that there is a recognition that this team needs on court help.  Third, I think that there is definitely a business side to this – Eric playing means good PR and good gate.  Finally, I think there was a recognition of Lewis being part of the source of conflict and a new coach is a chance for a new begining.  I’ve heard rumours about who the new coach is and it will likely be announced tomorrow.  I am excited for the choice.

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33 thoughts on “Crookshank Return is Official

  1. I’m number 1.. What great news..the blogs are humming..the players are psyched..the owner has shown his commitment to winning and also to the character of his players..Now the community has to step up. All of the bloggers and commenters, we need to show our support and get people to the games. Put it on your facebook, invite friends and lets have an amazing showing for EC and Andre as well. Anyone for a pre game sociable? Freeman’s, Midtown, Bubbles?? You name it, we do it!

  2. It feels like everything is right again. I went from being completely bummed by the team two days ago to being just as pummed up as I’ve ever been.

    Sanders and Crookshank together is just unreal.

  3. This is great news! Do you know who is going to be hired?! I hope it is Les Berry or Tim Kendrick or someone who has a proven track record but I don’t know if a high school coach has the chops to deal with players this old. This is fantastic news that Eric is back should pack the metro centre this sunday! People better represent!

  4. My heart can’t take much more of this..

    Keep your eye on the storm…. How true….

    If “One Life to Life” had a basketball court on the set I would see no difference.

    Now let’s hope we can finally get down to some BASKETBALL!!!

  5. well! well!! well!! hahahahahahahahahahaha not to put it on thick BUTT! Andre has proven to use that he wants to make us happy here in Halifax….. Now we have to return the favor.. LETS SHOW HIM HOW WE CAN NOW COME OUT TO THE GAMES TO SUPPORT. WERE PEOPLE FROM HALIFAX AND WE ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE OF ARE FAMILY (CROOKSHANK) NOW THAT HE’S BACK LETS GO FILL THE SEATS.. I HOPE RICK LEWIS IS THERE SO HE CAN AT LEAST SEE HOW IT is TO BE AND X AND O’S COACH. WE ALL NEED TO COME OUT WITH SIGNS SHIRTS, FACE PAINT EVERYTHING TO WELCOME BACK (AIR CANADA) THIS IS A GREAT BIRTHDAY WEEKEND FOR ME

  6. I have heard rumours that it’s a former AUS coach who will be taking over but no one will tell me who exactly it is. I pray to God that it is not Dave Nutbrown. That guy is a maniac.

    I hope Eric comes back and fits in well. Sanders has emerged as a star and Strickland needs lots of touches. Hopefully Eric will come in and try to become the defensive specialist that this team needs. He has all the tools to be a great defender if that is what he puts his energy towards.

  7. How nice would it be to have a coach who knows basketball, one that we could have confidence in? A guy that can run a team, knows matchups, knows how to make a winner. A guy that knows more than random fans do.

    Let’s hope the new guy does this.

    The team needs to start Sanders and Crookshank together. Hopefully this team will start to make sense with a coach who can coach.

  8. I’d be willing to bet that the last thing Coach Nutbrown needs is to be dealing with a bunch of semi pro egos and attitudes at this stage of his life. That being said here are my odds on Lewis’s replacement (assuming that the chosen is, indeed, a former AUS coach):

    Les Berry – former Acadia, Brandon head coach – 5-3 – the favourite, IMHO, has won at every level in Canada; hasn’t coached pro but had at least 4 potential pros on his last team at Acadia (Santana, Santil, Lual, Berry); was assistant at SMU and knows Jad well;

    Tim McGarrigle – former coach at DAL and CBU; won titles at both; did some work with Canada basketball, also, I think; currently coach/teacher at Halifax Grammar School; 10 – 1 – probably couldn’t get time off from teaching to travel etc.;

    Ian McMillan – most impressive coaching resume in this area, by far, CIS coach of the year at Acadia in late 70s; did some work with Houston Rockets in the early-mid seventies; first Coach of the Windjammers; currently HS girls coach at Horton; 20 – 1 – a real “lifer” for the game; stronger technically (especially offensively) than almost anyone in this country; probably not interested in this sort of life anymore; odds-on favorite to win a girls’ HS championship this year (along with Citadel and HGS);

    Dave Nutbrown – former head man at Acadia (that’s the 3rd former Acadia coach in my list, FYI); was head coach of the Canadian Universiade team that beat the USA (and Barkley, among others) at the Universiade in Buffalo in the early 80s, (I think?); a defensive genius/legend in CDN bball circles – 20 -1 – he wasn’t a fan AT ALL of university players’ egos, his head might just explode dealing with pros’ problems!

    Mark Parker – former assistant at DAL; considered, along with Kendrick, the best high school boy’s coach of the past 20 years or so; 20 – 1; committed to Citadel High for the season which ends in early March;

    Brian Heaney – formey SMU boss, currently AD at Acadia (there’s that school again); generally regarded as one of the top 10 CIS players of all time; drafted to the NBA; color man for the Raptors; great connections – 100 – 1; no way he’s leaving his pre-retirement gig in the Annapolis Valley for three months of this!

    Mickey Fox – not sure if he ever coached in the AUS or not; great player (see Heaney above); coached with the Windjammers, I think; retired or about to retire from teaching – 9 – 5; second, in odds, to Berry

    Any of the above and about 50 more just here in NS would make the Rainmen better. I know Chris has a sort of “manfatuation” with Will Voight – the closest on this list is Berry, albeit a more excitable version. Technically strong, passionate, and an excellent in-game coach. The question with any of these guys is: will these players respond to a “Canadian Coach” (I know Fox is American but you get my point). My guess is they will; given the fact that they privately (and some publically) campaigned for a change).

    My prediction is Berry.

  9. Well then… after that I am not so sure that there is much more to say on the topic. You kind of break it down in a level of detail that I can’t touch, so I will throw three not so helpful things out there:

    1) “manfatuation” might be a bit strong… even “unrequited bromance” might be overstating the case. I just think Voigt is a good coach who gets the most out of his players and is excellent at in game changes.

    2) I totally forgot about the Les Berry/Jad connection.

    3) I don’t think that the Canadian Coach thing is an issue as long as it is someone with some serious experience. A guy like Tim Kendrick would probably have a hard time winning guys over since he’s a high school coach, but someone like Barry, McMillan or Nutbrown would probably garner respect from the guys based on resume and knowledge. (That said, Nutbrown would cause his own problems… but I don’t think we have to worry about him showing up)

    And as a bonus point: You have to think that it was a mistake by the organization not to try to tap one of these guys in the first year. It would have added a whole lot of instant legitimacy (and a better coach) instead of bringing in the two guys that they did.

  10. How do Barry and Jad know each other?

    And yeah, taking one of these guys in their first year would have seemed like a no brainer. Local connection, credibility and all that. Instead they took the mysterious Kevin Mabone and the bizarre choice of Rick Lewis. Both choices were straight up weird the more I think about it.

    Did anyone ever find out anything more about Mabone? He never played in the NBA, despite what he said. He also left due to “family illness”, which always seems to mean something else in the world of sports.

  11. I believe that Berry was an assistant at SMU while Jad was a player.

    As for Mabone – he is pretty hard to find info about on the internet. He coached AAU ball in Detroit, his brother in law is a Grizzlies scout and he currently works for a job placement/social development program run by the dept. of Labour in Florida: http://miami.jobcorps.gov/html/inside/?pid=staff.
    He certainly never played a single game in the regular season in the NBA.

  12. Hm… probably better than Lewis. Still strange though.

    Completely unrelated, but if what I just heard comes through, the Rainmen could have a couple of much harder games than they expected.

  13. That is the rumour. It seems certain that the team is in financial trouble and is seeking help, but what actions the PBL are going to take still seem totally up in the air.

  14. Lewis Fired…. Check, ….Brown released…check, Mayes released…..check, Crookshank reinstated….check…
    This blog is like the Deathstar of Halifax basketball. Fear will keep them in line. Fear of this fully armed and operational basketball blog. Watch your step Tyronne McNeal…

  15. If Montreal is gone I would like to see…

    Those games replaces with Vermont/Manchester games.

    Best way to catch them in the standings.

  16. Wow just checked out the Sasquatch fb page and it looks like the team has folded! Wonder what this means for the remaining games the Rainmen has with them?

    Any word on the new coach yet?

  17. Mabone was brought in because he could develop players, players such as Charlie V for example. It was my understanding that he did a few gigs with current NBA big man to improve their game. As well he had solid connection with the Knicks. As for his reason of leaving, it was legit. There was an illness in his family, which prevented him from putting his full time and effort into the Rainmen. I believe if Mabone never had to deal with the illness in the family, and stayed on as coach, the Rainmen would have had a very good coach. It is important to remember that one of the Rainmen biggest lines to players (at least in the first year) was Halifax’s ability to improve and help players go to the next level. Mabone had a track record of helping players improve, and certainly would have help some of the talent the Rainmen signed last year…and this year (aka McNeal)

  18. Fin, let’s try the E&C, although the post-bevvy climb may make me wish I had chosen the establishments on a closer elevation to the Metro Centre. I am open to other suggestions from other fans on this blog. Anyone want to go somewhere other than the Elephant & Castle before the Sunday game?

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