To say that the Cheshire Phoenix have been one of the British Basketball League’s most talked about clubs for predominately the wrong reasons would be an understatement.

Some of the chatter is positive. Despite the negativity, Cheshire are flying high in the BBL. Currently riding a nine-game winning streak plus coach John Coffino and Demond Watt brought December’s Coach and Player of the Month respectively to the north-west.

For Watt, who has taken the BBL by storm, this is his second monthly honour after scooping the Player of the Month award in September/October.

But the negatives seem to be the only questions coming out of the fans outside of Cheshire right now, rendering the winning streak, the story that should be among the main talking points in the British basketball community … a mere byline.

On New Year’s Eve, the club terminated former Denver Nuggets player Julius Hodge’s contract for a ‘series of misconduct related incidents’ according to the official club statement. Cheshire are allowed to make one more change to their roster, as they have shuffled their line-up eight times already this season. An amount virtually unheard of in domestic basketball around Europe.

Some of the players have moved on for the usual reasons: Released or better offers coming from elsewhere around Europe.

Great Britain international Devan Bailey left Phoenix under a dark cloud, as he thought he was being released from his contract to play in the Caribbean. But a statement on the Cheshire Phoenix Facebook page accused Bailey of talking to another club behind Cheshire’s back and that they didn’t want to keep a player they believed to be unhappy.

Bailey himself responded to the Facebook post, denying the accusations and it has been understood that both parties have solved their differences.

Hodge’s departure though brings with it an enormous and fresh amount of criticism directed again towards the owners of the Cheshire franchise, Andrew and Debbie Donaldson. The former NBA Draft pick was not shy about releasing his anger over the nature of his departure over Twitter.

The Phoenix have released a statement [as highlighted], but it doesn’t hide the fact that Hodge has made a rather devastating claim that he hasn’t been paid and  the last two tweets stated that there was an alleged punch-up between Phoenix assistant John Lavery, Andrew Donaldson and Hodge himself leading to Donaldson getting punched.

Hodge also tweeted that British journalist Mark Woods has the entire story and that ousted Phoenix player will write a story about his time in the north-west and expose the club.

Could Hodge’s departure lead to a possible return to the team of GB international Gareth Murray? Who left earlier to play in France, but is now a free agent and looks likely to come back to the BBL.

Is Murray what the Donaldsons and coach Coffino wanted all along?

Regardless of what goes down though, Cheshire’s fans are celebrating a 93-75 win against local rivals Manchester Giants tonight.

As the week progresses though, that win could be a distant memory if Hodge comes through on his tweets.

Should be an interesting few days ahead.