Nova Scotia

Halifax Rainmen say owner Andre Levingston tried to force Game 7

The Halifax Rainmen held a press conference Saturday morning, shedding some light on the events that led them to forfeit Thursday's NBL championship game against the Windsor Express.

Players say they haven't been paid in two weeks, some claim they've been evicted

Josep Clarós, Rainmen head coach, speaks to reporters at Scotia Square Saturday morning. (CBC)

The Halifax Rainmen held a press conference Saturday morning, shedding some light on the events that led them to forfeit Thursday's NBL championship game against the Windsor Express.

They claim that owner Andre Levingston tried to force them to play Game 7 in Windsor, despite safety concerns both the players and coaches had.

Point guard Cliff Clinkscales says the series with Windsor was rough and for the players' safety, they didn't play in the National Basketball League's championship game.

"There's a difference between playing physical and dirty and hurting people," he said.

"We had two players in the finals that missed games because they had concussions. You understand that, concussions. I was playing with hurt ribs."

Forward Kevin Young said they had proof the Windsor players were intentionally trying to injure.

"I have messages from players on the other team telling me their coach told them to take out me, Liam McMorrow and Forrest Fisher during the game," he said.

"We were up by 30 points in that game. I don't think that's right and Andre knew about this."

They said at one point, Levingston tried to get the team to play without their coaches. The players said they just couldn't do that. 

The players also claim they haven't been paid by the team in two weeks and it remains to be seen if they will be.

Tyrone Watson, with the Halifax Rainmen, is one of 11 players fined by the National Basketball League of Canada for forfeiting Thursday night's championship game against the Windsor Express. (EastLink TV)

Guard Forrest Fisher said the team even went so far as to have his belongings packed up after they decided not to play on Thursday.

"We were in Toronto Friday morning and I get a message from the landlord of the apartment where I stay at, telling me that my bags have been packed and all of my stuff was in storage," he said.

The Rainmen were issued a total of $90,000 in fines by the National Basketball League of Canada on Friday. 

Both head coach Josep Clarós and assistant coach Pedro Monteiro have been barred for life from coaching in the league.

Eleven players have been indefinitely suspended and fined $5,000 each for conduct detrimental to the league. 

Levingston says he will be having a press conference on Monday to answer to some of the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Windsor Express have announced their championship rally will be held on Sunday to celebrate their second straight league championship.

With files from Jake Tallon

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