Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bonzi Wells Update

Many of us Blazer fans detest Bonzi Wells due primarily to his poor attitude towards the end of his tenure with the Blazers. I know that I for one laughed a long, hearty laugh last offseason when he turned down a 5-year, $37 million contract from the Kings because he thought they didn’t offer him enough, and the Kings moved on. Wells couldn’t find any more takers and ended up signing a one-year $2 million contract with the Houston Rockets. (Nice work, Bonzi. And who’s his agent? Must be the same guy who forgot to file free agency papers with the league for Anthony Parker and cost him about $4 million two years ago.) So Bonzi has cost himself at least $5 million with poor decisionmaking last year, and I imagine that tab will only continue to grow.

And it appears that he’s doubled-down. In signing the contract with Houston, Wells (and what I imagine was his “new” agent) figured that he’d suck it up, play hard for a year, and sign a big fat deal this coming offseason. Fair enough approach. Only problem is, he’s been a major issue for the team all season. He wasn’t having a very good year to begin with ...playing in only 28 games and averaging 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooing 41% from the floor and 14% (yes, you read that correctly) from three-point. Now, however, as you have most likely heard, he has abandoned the team. He didn’t show up for the team’s game in Seattle on Monday, opting instead to stay in his hotel room, because he felt he was “disrupting the team’s chemistry on the court” -- which makes no sense on several levels. First of all, how can you disrupt the on-court chemistry when you’ve played in less than half of the team’s games at 20 minutes per game? Secondly, how do you think a stunt like this will serve to help the team?

Anyhow, the team announced today that Bonzi won't be playing for them for the rest of the year, including the playoffs. Which is quite a motion, considering that Wells' game is perfectly suited for the playoffs and given his past successes on that stage. Clearly, the team feels that his distraction-factor outweighs any potential contribution he may give on the court, and I can't blame them for this. Given Wells’ mediocre play this season and that he clearly hasn’t changed his poor-behavin’ ways, I don’t think that big contract will be coming any time soon. Good riddance, Bonzi.

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