Rainmen owner says franchise did everything it could do
Halifax’s pro basketball team has officially run out of funds.
The Rainmen filed for bankruptcy Monday morning, according to a news release issued later in the day by a local PR firm, which told Metro franchise owner Andre Levingston wasn’t available for media interviews.
But Levingston, who helped get the National Basketball League of Canada franchise off the ground, did state in the release he is “incredibly proud of what the Halifax Rainmen have accomplished over the past eight years.”
During the 2014-15 season, the Rainmen made it to the NBL Canada’s championship series, despite financial strain and the coaching staff and players decided not to show up for the seventh and final game, citing safety concerns on and off the court.
“While it’s disappointing to see this chapter end, I can hold my head high knowing that we did everything we could have done,” Levingston said.
Calls to legal firm Grant Thornton, which is acting as trustee for the bankruptcy claim, also went unreturned Monday.
“We heard rumours about money getting tight,” point guard Cliff Clinkscales said Monday. “But we didn’t know how true it was.”
The $90,000 worth of fines incurred by coaches, players and the club itself “for conduct detrimental to the league” during the championship fiasco didn’t help finances.
Clinkscales hopes another owner steps up “to keep the team there.”
League commissioner David Magley said in Monday’s news release he is “personally confident” a team will play in Halifax in 2015-16.
“It’s a sad situation for the City of Halifax,” Clinkscales said. “That’s a great place to play and I think the real fans are supportive.”
Shooting guard PJ Foster agreed.
“It’s tough seeing our organization just collapse like that,” he said. “I liked playing in Halifax.”
Halifax Rainmen owner and president Andre Levingston fields questions from the media during a press conference in May.