United CEO Vince Crivelli denies Shawn Long signing
Melbourne CEO Crivelli spoke on SEN radio this morning, breaking the club's silence on the issue, where he clarified they aren’t over the line with Long.
"It’s been an interesting week," Crivelli said.
“First time in my whole career I’ve had a player come out and publicly commit to a club before we had even made him an offer and signed a contract.
“We certainly have been in conversation with him and his agent, as you do at this time of year. We are pretty keen on him, we would love to have Shawn here next season.
“There are always conflicts when you’re dealing with agents and third parties in a global sport. We are not quite over the line yet.
“I was disappointed it came out that way because it was a little unfair to guys like Josh Boone who have been with the club for a couple seasons and done really well. Traditionally when you do make a move you communicate but we hadn’t made a move.
“Unfortunately, it got out that Shawn was committing to us before we had a chance to really deal with any of the issues.
“Notwithstanding, we are excited, he is another incredible player. He averaged 18 points per game last year, 10 rebounds, has spent some time in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“He is a power athlete. Anything around the rim he is going to dunk but he also has a lot of finesse and capability all the way out to the three-point line.
“We are excited about being able to bring in a young, energetic centre that has a different skillset to what we have maybe had in the past.”
In regards to Long’s Tweet, Crivelli doesn’t believe there was any menace behind it, saying it was the player displaying his excitement at being able to join United.
“I actually think Shawn was just incredibly excited,” Crivelli said.
“I think he was getting a little bit of attention on social media in the build up with a lot of people asking him directly, which is one of the challenges these days with the direct communication channels through all these platforms.
“He was getting hit up a fair bit and I think he had just had enough. He was pretty excited about the conversations that had been happening. For him it was like, I may as well just put this to bed now and get on with where I’m at.
“Maybe there was a little bit of game-playing in it but I’m going to take the approach that he is excited to join the club.
“If we can get a deal done, I think our fans will love the emotion and energy he brings. You’ve only got to look at his highlights from last season and you’ll understand the level of emotion he plays with.
“We are going to have fun with it if we can bring him in.”