A Canadian basketball team forfeited its league championship because it never showed up to play the last game.
The National Basketball League of Canada named the Windsor Express league champions after the Halifax Rainmen failed to show up for game seven’s 7 p.m. start time.
Apparently, the situation stemmed from a brouhaha that occurred during the morning shootaround. Here’s more, via the CBC:
The Windsor Express told CBC News there was a scuffle between the teams during the morning shoot around.
“Before we even got on the floor for our warm-up session in the morning ... there were some things that happened,” said Gerry Brumpton, assistant coach, of the Windsor Express. “Never in my 60 years of basketball in this city, I’ve never, ever been in a situation like this.”
Brumpton said the scuffle happened when the Halifax Rainmen showed up too early for a scheduled for 1 p.m. shoot around.
“They snuck in here before they even had the light on,” he said. “We were here in the dark, I opened up the curtain and I looked in and there they were. They were still here working out. So they had been here for a while. So then Bill [Jones] tried to get a ball from the, from the big guy, and he wouldn’t give it to him, so what ended up was an altercation.”
Halifax’s refusal to show up sparked some strong words from the Windsor mayor:
Mayor Drew Dilkens who was at the WFCU for the game was also disappointed.
“Halifax has played dirty all throughout the series so certainly they shouldn’t be the ones running away from Windsor,” said Dilkens. “If anything Windsor should be afraid of them with the way they played both here and in Halifax.”
Dikens said it was also disappointing to the fans who came to watch the two teams play.
“Game 7, the final game, you don’t fly here from Halifax and then take off an hour before the last game it’s really unprofessional,” said Dilkens. “We’re quite happy to take a second Canadian championship through forfeiture if we have to, we hope that’s the case.”
The Rainmen released a statement that vaguely explains why they didn’t show up:
“Due to a physical altercation between the Halifax Rainmen and the Windsor Express the game has been canceled citing safety concerns for its players and coaches.”
“Today is truly a black eye for our league, when the games is not safe for players to compete there is a problem,” Rainmen Owner Andre Levingston said in the release. “We have to do a better job of governing our league and putting principles in place where there are strict consequences.”
In Halifax’s defense, they could’ve forfeited and still finished like, sixth, in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.