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Grizzlies and Henry Still In Limbo

Very little has been made in the Memphis media in regards to the inability of the Grizzlies and their 2010 First Round Draft Pick, Xavier Henry, to reach an agreement on the #12 pick’s rookie contract. Its not being talked about in Memphis, it was barely reported to begin with in Memphis, leaving most Memphians and Grizzlies fans to believe its really not that big of a deal. But when you consider that Henry and fellow Grizzlies’ First Round Pick Greivis Vasquez are the only two First Rounders yet to sign with the team that drafted them, how could you not pay attention to the ridiculous situation? Luckily we have ESPN’s NBA writer David Aldridge on our side. Not on our side in regards to him agreeing with either party, but on our side in regards to him caring enough to investigate the situation and report it.

Hidden in an online article posted yesterday about the Hall Of Fame enshrinement of the 1960’s Olympic Team, was information with details about the Grizzlies intense contract negotiations with Xavier Henry, or as we have come to find out from Mr. Henry himself, the lack of. According to Aldridge and other sources outside of Memphis, both sides can’t see eye to eye on a 20% bonus Henry has the potential to make in accordance with the NBA Rookie Pay Scale, that has somewhat become customary in the league between franchises and the players.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t stop there, because that would point directly to Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley playing his usual role of “The Grinch That Stole Basketball”. Apparently the Grizzlies are not refuting Henry’s right to the 20% but instead how that 20% bonus will be paid or earned. To make a long story short the Grizzlies would like the 20% to be dependent upon Henry’s ability to reach their incentives, specifically an incentive based upon playing time. Sure, playing time, something the Henry has no “real” control over, but think about it like this. Xavier Henry lives up to what is expected of a #12 NBA Draft Pick. He plays hard night in and night out, he is doing everything that the Grizzlies need from him so that the team wins, they are in a push for a playoff spot and he is playing in accordance to the minutes required of him to receive his $333,700.00 bonus. So why would Grizzlies management and coaching staff sit a key contributor who is helping the team win? Just to save a few dollars? No Way. THEY JUST WOULDN’T DO THAT.

The question I have heard most often from Grizzlies fan’s mouths all day is . . . . . . . . . . HOW DARE THEM? Are you crazy enough to ask, HOW DARE THEM? How about because they can and they should? It is really about time that the NBA executives take back control of this league and stop giving money away to players who are often paid up front with guaranteed contracts and rarely ever reach the expected potential they are promised millions of dollars for. How about considering that this is how business should be done? Specifically business with athletes who know how to turn it on when it is the right time for them to turn it on and who turn it off once they have been satisfied with the amount of zeros that are earned on their bi-weekly pay checks. How about considering that this is a proven business practice in the NFL with the result being professional athletes performing at a extremely high level week in and week out.

What many see as bad business tactics by a franchise that already has a bad reputation for being cheap league wide, I see as an example franchise looking to change the status quo on how things are done. So to Mr. Heisley, Mr. Wallace, and anyone else making decisions over at the FedEx Forum, I encourage you all to continue going and hold firm to what you all believe in, you truly might be on to something.

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August 18, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 Free Agency, Chris Vernon Show, Grizzlies, Interviews, NBA, NFL, OJ Mayo, Players, Rudy Gay, Uncategorized

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