HALIFAX – The rivalry between the Summerside Storm and Halifax Rainmen may have intensified on Sunday.
According to a media release issued by the Storm, the two National Basketball League of Canada teams had a verbal agreement for a trade that would have featured an “impact player” coming to Summerside in exchange for a second-round pick in next year’s draft and cash considerations.
The release says Storm ownership agreed to the deal, which would allow the Rainmen player to play for Halifax in Sunday’s head-to-head meeting between the teams at the Metro Centre. The deal was to be announced right after the game, and the new acquisition was to travel to Summerside with the Storm. Out of respect for the Rainmen player, notes the media release, the Storm will not release his name.
The paperwork for the deal was to be submitted to the league office on Sunday morning, but the Rainmen backed out.
To make room for the player coming to Summerside in the deal, the Storm announced the release of centre Ayodokun Akingbade on Sunday morning. The release also went on to say “a major player announcement” was coming following the game in Halifax.
“We’re really disappointed,” said Storm co-owner Duncan Shaw. “We look at any opportunity to make our team better.
“We negotiated in good faith, made a deal and released a valuable player to make room for the player we were acquiring. We took the Rainmen ownership at their word, and were let down.
“We’re really disappointed. We look at any opportunity to make our team better. We negotiated in good faith, made a deal and released a valuable player to make room for the player we were acquiring. We took the Rainmen ownership at their word, and were let down. We apologize to our fans for the changing story, but will continue to work at making our team better every day.” Storm co-owner Duncan Shaw
“We apologize to our fans for the changing story, but will continue to work at making our team better every day.”
Rainmen owner Andre Livingston confirmed the two teams had a verbal agreement. He went on to say he was of the understanding the Rainmen had another player coming in, but that deal fell through at the 11th hour. When that happened, Livingston said he was not about to make his team “vulnerable” by trading a player and not having a replacement.
“We discussed a possible trade, we agreed verbally to a deal for a player of ours,” said Livingston. “A player we thought we had a deal with (to come to Halifax) made a decision not to come, and we were trying to get another deal in place, which we couldn’t and we rescinded the deal.
“I can understand them (Storm) being disappointed because they really wanted this kid. However, until a deal is signed, sent to the league and approved, it’s a verbal agreement. Like I explained to them, I understand their disappointment of it, but it happens at every level of professional sports. . .”