Hell hath no fury like a scorned lover — that’s the politically correct version of the old saying.
In the case of the London Lightning and DeAnthony Bowden it’s tough to say who will be the one ending up getting scorned.
If the Nov. 9 game where the Lightning beat the Brampton A’s 119-113 is any indication both sides are going to take their lashings.
Bowden received some cheers at the start of the game, but there were definitely some plays Bowden was part of that didn’t have fans clapping. He opened the game by slashing past two Lightning players on a fast break and the laying ball in.
The Lightning will end up seeing Bowden and his A’s seven more times, the next being Nov. 11 on the road.
“I think I’ve gained the respect of Londoners with the type of person that I am, the way I carry myself and the character I’ve displayed when I was with the organization. That hasn’t changed,” Bowden said. “I have history in London and I’ve had a lot of success in London, so it’s more like you want to go and you want to compete and just have a good game no matter what.”
Bowden won two National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) championships with the Lightning before he was ushered into the front office last year.
He was let go from the club in the winter.
Throughout his time as the Lightning’s assistant general manager, you could always tell he wanted to switch his shirt and tie for some sweat shorts and basketball shoes. He would sometimes practice with his old teammates and he would sometimes get as animated as former coach Micheal Ray Richardson from referee calls during games.
“I had that itch,” Bowden said. “I appreciate (owner) Vito (Frijia) putting me in that position and the experience that I had, but definitely my heart was still on the floor.”
Bowden wasn’t cleared to play at the start this season, so he missed the A’s first game against the Mississauga Power. He was there for Brampton’s game against defending champions Windsor Express’ home opener and banner raising. Bowden has now been part of all three of the NBLC’s ring ceremonies, but this year was the first time he didn’t receive a piece of jewelry.
Bowden’s actually the only player in the league that is a back-to-back NBLC champion.
Bowden received “quite a few” offers to play for other teams, but he stayed loyal to London. Now, he’s suiting up for a team that was knocked out by the Lightning in the first round after a full five games.
It used to be opposing teams feeling Bowden’s wrath. With Tim Ellis announcing his retirement before last season ended, Bowden was the last member of the 2011-12 inaugural Lightning squad to leave the team.
In 72 regular season games the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 12.5 points with London. His biggest asset, though, was what he did to get his team points.
He led the Lightning with 4.8 assists in his first season. He would crouch so low when defending guards he could steal the ball with his patent smile. His swagger always seemed calm even in the tightest moments.
“It’s not just points with me, it’s how you effect the game just being on the floor within itself and I think that’s where a lot of my success has come from over the years,” Bowden said.
The Lightning scorned Bowden by taking him off the roster. Despite losing, the former all-star can easily burn his old team or at the very least provide the leadership to get his team to do it. If he does, we’ll see how long it is before Lightning fans start showing their distaste.