Lightning Watch: Stormy with a chance of Lightning

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: NBL CANADA
Summerside Storm player Brandon Robinson (left) takes on Londons Jeremy Williams in the 2013 NBLC Finals. Williams would end up joining the nearly-minted Island Storm for the 2013/14 season.

In the short history of the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC), we've seen some fantastic players on some very talented teams. The 2012/13 London Lightning and Summerside Storm were two of those teams. After trading blows during the regular season, the two met in the 2013 NBLC finals last April. London would win that series, but the rivalry would remain.

Now, both teams sit only a few wins away from meeting again; this time in the 2014 NBLC Finals. Here's why this matchup would be best for the fans, players and league.

The Summerside Storm was one of the few teams that could take London to the limit in that 2012/13 season. In fact, the Storm (who have relocated to Charlottetown and renamed the Island Storm) beat London 3-1 in their four games they played in the regular season that year. No other team could beat London over a four game span, with London only surrendering seven losses over the entire 40-game season. These teams have built a history of exciting overtime thrillers. London only needed four games to win the best-of- five championship series, as they repeated as NBLC champions.

However, some Lightning players must have enjoyed that week they spent on Prince Edward Island, for games three and four, because many of them came back. Adrian Moss, Jeremy Williams and Antwi Atuahene all spent time with the Storm this season, with only the latter departing shortly before the trade deadline. This team has developed roots over this season through Moss and Williams. They will be gunning to prove everyone wrong if they come to London.

The rumour going around is that there is a bit of animosity between members of the Storm and Lightning. There will undoubtedly be some heat with players like Nick Okorie; who spent most of this past season and the last with the Oshawa/Mississauga Power organization, which played London countless times, as well as Al Stewart — Island's lead point guard who couldn't play in the finals after taking a job as a teacher in Chicago (yes that happened, but he's back).

Perhaps some of this hatred comes from competition off the court. The Lightning and Storm have been the two premier franchises in the league the past several years. They've averaged high attendance numbers, as well as created strong connections in the community. These are the top teams in the NBLC across the board.

With the league heading into a crucial fourth season, (and looking for corporate and broadcast partners) this would sell the league at the height of its relevance.

But before we hit that fourth season, lets hope for a London Lightning/Island Storm final in the third.

Marty Thompson is the play-by-play voice of the London Lightning for their livestream, SportsLive24.net.