(WINDSOR, ON) – There was disappointment tonight as Game 7 of the NBLC Finals was, at best, postponed, but more likely cancelled altogether. During what should have been the opening tipoff, Express President, Dartis Willis addressed the fans and broke the bad news to them.
Less than an hour earlier Willis had received word that the Halifax Rainmen would not be showing up for the game. Instead, by all accounts, the Rainmen forfeited their right to play for the championship and left town with the series tied at three games apiece.
“One thing that I have learned about Windsor is that we’re working class,” Willis told media afterward. “We work hard and the players have taken on that same attitude. Today was a disappointment.”
Due to an incident that occurred at the morning practice, the Rainmen organization decided to flee back to Nova Scotia instead of facing the Express on the basketball court. The actions of the Halifax franchise bring disrepute to the fledgling league.
“The incident that happened was out of the league’s control,” Willis explained. “As a black eye, yes it does impact the league. But it wasn’t the league’s fault in this particular case. It was [Halifax] and the coach that made the decision at they were not going to play.”
With the removal of Paul Riley as the NBLC commissioner, and the resignation of Sam Hill, the league has been operating under direction of a board of governors. The board will now make the final decision regarding the playing of a Game 7 and the disposition of awarding the championship to Windsor.
“The league has done an exceptional job at functioning with just the board of directors,” offered Willis. “We continue to do what we do best which is fans are first and we continue to give out a great product. So, the league itself will be fine. I’m very confident in that.”
Prior to the cancelation, there was a Windsor Police presence at the arena as a deterrent to any continuance to the off-court activities between the two teams. Willis would rather play a Game 7 instead of being handed the league title as, apparently, Halifax has done.
“I don’t take a win any way I can gat it. Coach [Bill Jones] doesn’t take a win any way he can get it,” he said. “We work hard for wins around here and you’ve seen it first hand. If the rule comes down that it’s a forfeit, we’ll take it, but it’s not the way we want it.”
More to follow.