Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bonzi Wells Trying For A Comeback

The New York Knicks have a void at shooting guard that needs to be filled. Right now it looks like they're grasping for straws. The Knicks had a two day free agent tryout camp that ended yesterday which drew 17 players that auditioned for a possible spot with the NBA team.

One player that seemed to stand out was former Portland Trailblazers guard Bonzi Wells. Yes that Bonzi Wells that was forgotten by many since the New Orleans Hornets cut him back in 2008. Personally, I thought he just stopped playing since then. Well he did "retire" in 2009 after playing in China and Spain. The former Ball State standout was back home in Muncie, Indiana before the playing bug bit him in the rear.

"I had a great camp," said Wells, a former Ball State standout and Central graduate. "I'm a 34-year-old guy and I got up and down the court excellent. I shot the ball great. I played pretty good defense. I did the best I could to keep those little 20-year-old guys in front of me."

Wells has been coaching AAU and I guess staying in shape. The Knicks are considering bring in Wells for a tryout. Signing him may be a different story. There is a possible lockout looming ahead so that might derail Wells' comeback. Either that or thoughts about his perceived attitude problems in the past. Wells is trying to change people's minds about those thoughts.

"With the interview process, they kind of ask you what you've been doing," Wells said. "I just told them, 'I've been playing with the local Y for the last couple years and I've been coaching AAU, so that's been my life the last couple years.' I just stayed straight forward and was very honest. Hopefully they understood my sincerity.

"(D'Antoni) said, 'I remember how young you were, and I thought you were a good guy. You were just in a bad situation, and I'm glad you're at this point in your life.' It makes you feel good when guys understand, because they've been 23 or 24 before. They know what it's like to grow up and they see my maturity."

 Good luck on this venture Bonzi.


Can You Really Go Home Again?

Could ex-West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez come back home and lead the Mountaineers back to the brink of national prominence? Maybe. It would be strange, controversial, and there would have to be a lot of ass kissing and tears shed (by Rich Rod) for that to happen. It could be what West Virginia needs after the Bill Stewart era and smear campaign.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying kiss and makeup and everything will be alright in Morgantown. If he were to come back they might need the national guard to clam down the angry mob that probably is still angry from the mention of his name. But just listen to why this could work.

First there is the Dana Holgorsen situation. The first sign of trouble he incurs off the field and he'll be gone. Granted, he was a hot name for coaching jobs and highly sought after as a coordinator. So yes West Virginia has the man that waas going to take over for Stewart after this year anyway. Now if Holgorsen is successful he's gone. He has no loyalty to the program or the state of West Virginia. I know loyalty is a dirty word in the business of sports because there isn't any, but do you really think he's going to want to stay there if he starts to win big. That answer is no. He'll be out the door pretty fast. You ask me why. Because in my opinion West Virginia is a stepping stone for Holgorsen. He won't say it personally, but to me he seems like the type that will bolt as soon as something better comes up. And probably will trash you guys on the way out the door.

Another thing is who wants to stay in West Virginia? I'm not trying to be funny or rip the state in general. It just doesn't seem like a destination except for a select few, like Don Nehlen or Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a hometown guy and would love to go back. He admitted it was a mistake to leave and go to Michigan. Also remember he did come back after leaving for Alabama briefly. Yes he did have an eye on a bigger job, but deep down he probably wanted to stay and there were probably some problems that I or the public don't know about which may have led him to go to Michigan. When he was in Morgantown, Rodriguez was West Virginia. He loved the state and they loved him back. Until he left for Michigan.

Lastly, he was the most successful coach in Mountaineer history. The Mountaineers were always a team that won between 7 and 9 games with a surprise undefeated run mixed in. Rodriguez brought them to a brink of a national championship and smoked Georgia and Oklahoma in BCS games. True, Stewart coached them in the Fiesta Bowl against the Sooners, but that game plan had Rodriguez all over it. He won Big East titles and got them to BCS games. He had them in the national championship mix. Easily the most successful run in Mountaineer history. Also he loved West Virginia, no matter what the locals there think.

There was a messy divorce and a lot of drama after leaving Morgantown. But all parties need to get over it. More the natives of West Virginia than Rodriguez. You see Holgorsen will leave you high and dry and once again you'll be feeling like a scorned woman and once again be angry. Bring Rich Rod back and have him be the hero. Maybe he could bring you the national championship you guys covet so bad. It may not be ideal, but if you guys want to remain relevant after three years of mediocrity and another year of uncertainty, bring back your native son.

LaMarr Woodley Takes A Jab At Joe Flacco

The NFL offseason is typically quiet this time off year, with or without a lockout. There hasn't been too much news being made except for players taking up other occupations, talking trash, holding POW's (player organized workouts), and taking up space on the police blotter. 

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley  has spent a little time amping up the hard hitting rivalry between the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Woodley appeared on the NFL Network's All Access show and took a swipe at the Ravens, more specifically quarterback Joe Flacco. Woodley said that Flacco could never lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl since the Steelers stand in their way.

"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC Championship," Woodley said. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

He wasn't quite done there either. He did say that Cleveland's Colt McCoy would be a "great quarterback" and took a shot at the Cincinnati Bengals and their situation with Carson Palmer.

 "Well, honestly, when they play against us, it really doesn't matter whether he's there or not," Woodley said about Palmer and the Bengals.

You can't go against what he's said since the Steelers have ended Baltimore's postseason run the last two years. The tables might be turned if Baltimore can ever get them at home, but that's not guaranteed either since the Steelers play them well in Baltimore.

Dunleavy Awarded $13 Million From Clippers

An arbitrator has awarded former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy $13 million. Dunleavy also served as the team's general manager during his tenure.

In a move typical of the Clippers and owner Donald Sterling, the Clippers stopped paying Dunleavy after they fired him last March. He had been owed $6.75 million on the contract, $1.35 million for the remainder of the 2009-10 season and $5.4 million for the season just completed.

Finally Sterling gets his comeuppance. After years of being notoriously cheap, he gets told to cough up $13 million. Of course this isn't the first time that Sterling quit paying an employee. He had a similar suit against former coach Bill Fitch, saying he hadn't been trying to get another job. He also had a wrongful termination suit, filed by former GM Elgin Baylor, rejected by a Los Angeles jury. Is he an NBA owner or Scrooge McDuck.

Dunleavy's attorney, Miles Clement seemed happy with the outcome of the case. "It was a good day", said Clements. Ice Cube couldnt've said it better.

Of course the firm handling the case for the Clippers didn't seem too enthused with the decision.

"We do not agree with the arbitrator's decision," said Clippers general counsel Robert H. Platt, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. "We intend to review the decision carefully and explore the team's various options."

The Clippers and Sterling need to get over it and pony up that $13 million to Dunleavy.