The dream of joining the NBA Development League (NBDL) is over for the Halifax Rainmen. But they’ve found a home with some familiar faces in the Premier Basketball League.
The Rainmen announced yesterday they are joining the Vermont Frost Heaves, Manchester Millrats, Quebec Kebs and Montreal Sasquatch in the PBL, a league that formed in January and has swelled to 17 teams after one season.
All five squads played in the American Basketball Association in 2007-08 before dropping out in the spring.
“It’s a great day for Halifax. … We said there would be pro basketball in Halifax and that’s exactly what we will have,” Rainmen owner Andre Levingston said. “We should all embrace and be excited about playing in the PBL.”
Levingston is the first to admit the PBL was Plan B, as his sights were firmly set on the NBA Development League. In the end, Halifax’s geographic location — almost 2,000 kilometres from the nearest team — did the Rainmen in.
Levingston said it’s “in the D-League’s hands” to resolve the geographic challenges facing the Rainmen by putting more teams in the northeast. Until then, the PBL is a permanent home, and the NBA D-League bid is all but forgotten.
“We made some friends (with the D-League brass). … We might make a phone call every now and then to say hello but we’re extremely excited to be in the PBL,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a long relationship.”
The Rainmen will play a 20-game schedule in the PBL from January to March. They are also hoping to host pre-season showcase at the Metro Centre in the fall.
While the ABA was plagued with no-shows for scheduled games, the PBL played 100 per cent of its games last year.
“They know the importance of teams showing up on time and just doing business the right way,” Levingston said.