As far as owner Andre Levingston is concerned, a storm brewing within the Halifax Rainmen has blown over.
Levingston is downplaying a public squabble between star Eric Crookshank and head coach Rick Lewis. Lewis benched Crookshank, the most recognizable Rainman, in Sunday’s 105-103 loss to the Montreal Sasquatch.
Crookshank questioned the decision in media interviews afterward, but Levingston said Lewis was simply doing his job and that Crookshank’s reaction was only natural.
“I’m not concerned about it,” said Levingston. “The coach is the coach. He makes the decisions that he feels are giving the organization the best opportunity to win.
“If Crookshank don’t like it, Crookshank don’t like it. At the end of the day, it was the coach’s call.”
Levingston called Crookshank a “competitive person” and said it’s been business as usual at practice this week.
He added that Crookshank’s complaint about playing time is an isolated case. The Rainmen are sharing minutes fairly evenly among 10 players. No one is averaging more than 40 minutes, and only two players are averaging more than 35.
“Rob Sanders, who can start anywhere in this league, comes off our bench, and we’ve not had one complaint,” Levingston said.
“These guys have an opportunity to fight for a championship, so it’s not an issue at all. It’s been great.”
• The Rainmen are hitting the road for a couple of key weekend games without one of their best players.
Brian Silverhorn, second in team scoring and a deadly three-point threat, will stay in Halifax with a knee injury.
Forward David Bailey, who left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, is expected to be ready to play on Friday.
The Rainmen (3-1) leave Thursday morning to face the Vermont Frost Heaves (1-1) on Friday and the Manchester Millrats (1-2) on Sunday. The games could shift the balance of power in the Premier Basketball League’s Atlantic Conference.
All three teams played in the American Basketball Association last season. The Rainmen didn’t beat either of the other two, going 0-7 against Vermont and 0-5 against Manchester.
• Former Rainmen forward Kadiri Richard is up to his old tricks with the Wilmington Sea Dawgs. The defensive specialist is tied for second in the PBL with 10 blocks in three games.