Blazers cant spin the truth
The latest news about Bonzi Wells should come as no real surprise. After all, he is a Trail Blazer. And by now, we know what that stands for.
Of course, the Blazers didn't care about his background when they acquired him. And it doesn't seem to matter that he has a few antisocial problems. It's just one more opportunity for a new TV commercial Ñ something along the lines of, 'Hi, I'm Bonzi Wells, and I'm selling spittoons.'
But one thing worth pointing out is the length the Blazers go to enable their players' continued wayward behavior. About the only time I can remember this team doing any public censure of any player's conduct was last season. Wells was forced to apologize for remarks in Sports Illustrated that indicated players didn't care about what fans think. Those remarks, by the way, were true Ñ and it was silly that he was made the scapegoat for what was largely a criticism of the entire organization.
In this case, nobody in the team's hierarchy seems willing to acknowledge that they've heard about Wells' racist remarks to white players, even though a lot of the league has heard about them. The Blazers (and the NBA, for that matter) probably think it's no big deal, but I hate to even imagine what would happen to a white player who continually taunted players of color.
Not only that, nobody in the Portland front office or on the bench is willing to acknowledge that Wells spat in Danny Ferry's face Ñ let alone issue an apology for the vile act.
The party line is basically this: Wells says he didn't do it, and we believe him. Nobody saw him do it, so how do we know?
And that tells you so much about the Portland Trail Blazers.
First of all, if he didn't do it, he should have appealed his one-game NBA suspension. Second, a witness was just a few feet away, and he happens to work for the Blazers.
Apparently, nobody has told Maurice Cheeks or Wells or Bob Whitsitt or anyone else in that dysfunctional organization that TV analyst Steve Jones not only saw it, he reported it on the air right after the spit hit the man.
Anyone watching the game Nov. 9 knew exactly what went on because Jones explained why Ferry was so angry at Wells, I believe using the word 'loogie' to describe the missile that Wells sent into Ferry's face.
I mean, how strange is it that Cheeks is still following the party line? How bad is it that Wells never apologized for his actions? That the organization didn't step up and make amends?
And until the Blazers understand that it's easier to find players who can behave in at least a moderately acceptable way than to cover up for the ones who can't, these actions will continue.