Struggling Winnipeg Sea Bears release league MVP Teddy Allen

Winnipeg Sea Bears guard Teddy Allen. Supplied Photo by CEBL

The Winnipeg Sea Bears, off to a 3-5 start to the 2024 Canadian Elite Basketball League season, have parted ways with star guard Teddy Allen.

The second-year team announced on Monday morning that Allen has been “released from the organization, effective immediately.”

The decision followed a 97-87 loss to the Edmonton Stingers on Sunday afternoon at Canada Life Centre, a fourth straight loss for the Sea Bears.

Speaking to reporters later Monday afternoon, head coach and general manager Mike Taylor made clear there were issues on and off the court that led to the decision, including Allen’s ejection in Niagara June 6 after picking up two technical fouls in the first half of a 101-94 loss.

“For the last ten days, we’ve had several circumstances arise. We don’t want to get into those details. He’s been fined by the league, he’s been fined by our team, internally,” Taylor explained.

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“I can assure you, personally, I have spent so much time trying to help Teddy. Our organization has done everything we possibly can to try and help him. Unfortunately, here we are today.”

Allen was named the CEBL MVP in 2023 and was leading the Sea Bears in scoring again this season, averaging 28.1 points per game, but Taylor said that Allen’s stats came at a cost to the rest of his team.

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“We have a player who is positioned as a go-to player, as a leader for our team, playing individually and outside the system. We, as a coaching staff, have spent tireless hours trying to get him through video, through meetings, through situations, to try and score within the system, to play defence, all these details” Taylor said. “So on the court, while the stat lines look fantastic, it was really difficult for the rest of our team to function.

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“Over the last few games, we’ve seen internal unrest. The team was unsettled after some of the behaviours in Niagara and Calgary. This is a strong decision for our team and our organization. I think we have a unified front with the players that we’re going to be better together moving forward.”

Taylor also explained that he had been in dialogue with team president Jason Smith and team owner David Asper about Allen’s behaviour, leading to the decision Monday to release Allen.

“Mike had certainly given us feedback along the way on what was happening on the road, what was happening behind the scenes with the team and the players,” Smith told reporters Monday.

“I had conversations with Teddy myself, David had conversations with Teddy. It was, I would argue, a group effort to bring Teddy back onside, and at the end of the day, Mike’s call to determine the best path forward for the team.”

The release of Allen frees up a roster spot for the Sea Bears to add another American player, but Taylor said that while they’ll reach out to some players, they have faith in the group they already have in Winnipeg.

The Sea Bears, tied for last place in the CEBL Western Conference, continue their longest homestand of the season Wednesday night when they host the league-leading, 7-1 Vancouver Bandits in a 7 p.m. tipoff at Canada Life Centre.

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That game will be broadcast on 680 CJOB. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Christian Aumell and the Sea Bears pregame show.

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From March Madness to Winnipeg: Sea Bears welcome new basketball court

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