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Thread: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

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    Angry Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/09/05/r...r-heads-ankle/


    o Tom Ziller
    o NBA Blogger


    Luther Head, former guard for the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers, has agreed to a non-guaranteed one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings, according to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. If Head is on the Kings' roster on Dec. 1, his $992,000 salary will become fully guaranteed. He is expected to compete for a roster spot with undrafted rookie Donald Sloan out of Texas A&M, former Celtic J.R. Giddens and 1-2 other fringe NBA players.

    More interesting is how Head got here.

    In July, Head reached a two-year, $2.5 million agreement with the Hornets. But before Head could sign the contract, the Hornets withdrew the offer, claiming the guard failed the physical on account of his surgically repaired ankle. Wojnarowski reports that this was a cover story for New Orleans.

    Woj reports that when GM Jeff Bower was fired after the verbal agreement on Head's contract but before pen met paper, Hornets president Hugh Weber decided he didn't want Head's deal on the cap for the next personnel boss. Failing Head on his physical was an easy cover story, so the guard's deal was canceled.

    Nothing happens in a vacuum, and sources tell Woj this greatly affected Head's ability to win a guaranteed contract from any team, leaving him heading to camp with the Kings.Head's agent Mark Bartelstein saw this coming back in July, then telling NBA.com's Art Garcia that his client wouldn't have had trouble passing any other team's physical.

    The good news is that he has the early pole position on a Kings' roster spot. Sacramento has sought role-playing shooters in free agency, and Head, who has hit nearly 39 percent of his long-range attempts in the NBA, fits the bill more so than Sloan or Giddens. Head, 27, had a pretty rough year in Indiana last season.
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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Sounds like Head could file a lawsuit.
    .

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    If this has legs, the player's union will be out for blood on this. I would bet that if there is proof that the Hornets did this, the NBA will come down hard on them, just like they did when Minny tried to get around the cap on that Joe Smith deal all those years ago.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    If the Hornets did in fact do this I hope the NBA comes down hard on them. That's dirty.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    What was the deal in Minnesota a few years back where they lost some draft picks? I'm thinking the same should happen here.


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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDanimal View Post
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    What was the deal in Minnesota a few years back where they lost some draft picks? I'm thinking the same should happen here.
    They made some sort of secret deal to sign Joe Smith, trying to get around the salary cap. They were fined, lost draft picks, and I don't think the contract with Smith was allowed to stand.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    I doubt that the Hornets did anything unusual in this situation. If the front office gets "cold feet" about a transaction, then almost every player in the NBA could fail a physical by looking closely at an old injury or pass the physical by ignoring the old injury.
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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Isn't a team allowed to decide what is a passable or non-passable physical on a case by case basis? Sounds like it would be really hard to prove.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    This is pretty blatant. Head's agent worked with the Hornets current GM on the deal, before it could get signed, the GM was fired and suddenly he "failed" the physical.

    It's pretty easy to add it up and see what happened, but the level of "proof" needed to cause any harm to the Hornets organization is what's an unknown to me.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    That's my point. Seems you would need something pretty damning for it to actually show up. I'd honestly be shocked if this was the first time something like this had happened in the NBA. Seems like it's definitely an area where the team holds the cards.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    According to Head's agent, in 25 years he's never seen anything like it. He was pretty appalled.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Of course he is. He lost out on a bigger commission check.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Of course he is. He lost out on a bigger commission check.
    Are you saying that it's completely about the money, and that there's no other reason for him to feel appalled at this?

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    No.

    However, he's not a reliable source to hang the Hornets.

    He's emotionally and financially invested in the decision and is clearly not an impartial bystander here. He's posturing right now.

    I gotta say if there is evidence then I'm sure an investigation will be done, but I think the Hornets hold the advantage. I'm also 100% sure that the NBA won't base their decision on the opinion of a guy who had his commission go from being based on a $2million+ contract to a $990,000 contract.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    $2million+ contract to a $990,000 contract.
    It also went from 2 years, to 1 year.

    As long as Luther is on an NBA roster next year, and making a million dollars, the number doesn't change all that much to be honest.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by xBulletproof View Post
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    It also went from 2 years, to 1 year.

    As long as Luther is on an NBA roster next year, and making a million dollars, the number doesn't change all that much to be honest.
    Huh?

    That's a pretty big "as long as" considering Luther's not exactly a totally unique skill set.

    He went from guaranteed money to completely non-guaranteed. I'm sure he's less than thrilled about this. It's a business for him just as much as the Hornets and heck, the Hornets never even signed anything. Which means it was never a valid contract, so yeah I don't really have that much pity for Head.

    If Head's physical was peerless shouldn't every other team notice this and shouldn't we be just as upset that they would use a false physical for posturing in a contract negotiation?

    The story doesn't totally add up yet.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    And I'm not saying that the Hornets should be totally let off the hook, but I am saying we've only heard one side of the story. Of course Head and his agent are pissed, they lost a lot of cash. That is their main motivating factor.

    Again, shouldn't we be just as pissed at the Kings if they used a faulty physical as leverage in the contract discussion with Head? That seems pretty dirty as well, if their physical came back OK shouldn't they be willing to toss out the Hornets' physical?

    Isn't it just as likely that perhaps Luther's market value wasn't that high to begin with? And now he's signed to a contract more in line with where he belongs, and his agent is trying to make up the lost cash?

    Lots of loose ends need to be tied up before I say the Hornets were some miserly evil scrooges. (Even though we already know they're pretty cheap)

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    That's my point. Seems you would need something pretty damning for it to actually show up. I'd honestly be shocked if this was the first time something like this had happened in the NBA. Seems like it's definitely an area where the team holds the cards.
    I'd be shocked if its the first time it has happened this summer. There are some elements that make this more blatant - the agent felt it was a done deal and the guy he negotiated with was replaced. But still... this is what happens when both parties decide "to sleep on it" before finalizing the deal.

    Can the Hornets actually enter into a final agreement with the GM position in a state of transition? My hunch is that the Hornets can prove this agreement was never ratified by the ownership group, and thus not "final", even if the player "ratified" the agreement that the agent was working on.

    It takes (at least) two parties to enter a contract. From what limited info I've seen so far, the agent basically admitted the ownership group did not ratify the contract.
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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I'd be shocked if its the first time it has happened this summer. There are some elements that make this more blatant - the agent felt it was a done deal and the guy he negotiated with was replaced. But still... this is what happens when both parties decide "to sleep on it" before finalizing the deal.

    Can the Hornets actually enter into a final agreement with the GM position in a state of transition? My hunch is that the Hornets can prove this agreement was never ratified by the ownership group, and thus not "final", even if the player "ratified" the agreement that the agent was working on.

    It takes (at least) two parties to enter a contract. From what limited info I've seen so far, the agent basically admitted the ownership group did not ratify the contract.
    Until there's signatures on the paper, there's no contract. That's not the problem... nobody's really all that upset about the Hornets withdrawing on a verbal agreement. I mean it's not great, but it's not horrendous either.

    But lying about a guy's ability to play ball is an entirely different matter.
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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    And again I say, if the Kings used that lie as leverage in their contract negotiation isn't that just as offensive? Which is another claim made here...

    Nothing happens in a vacuum, and sources tell Woj this greatly affected Head's ability to win a guaranteed contract from any team, leaving him heading to camp with the Kings.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    But lying about a guy's ability to play ball is an entirely different matter.
    From the article...

    Failing Head on his physical was an easy cover story.


    Injured players get traded and signed all the time, too. Remember Eddie Curry as just one high-profile example? This is an element where there is very little truth, very little false, and a lot of gray stuff that can go either way.

    As Irwin Fletcher might say when asked "how gray?".... Charcoal.

    When Bartelstein admits, "his client wouldn't have had trouble passing any other team's physical" it tells you that the ambiguity of the physcial process is the problem, not what the Hornets did. Everybody knows it wasn't about the physical. And he's got a nonguaranteed training camp contract with Kings because of the real reason - he's an undersized SG with a couple of lousy seasons in the past couple of seasons. If he were a player that either team - or any team in the NBA - actually wanted, he'd be in the second season of the contract he signed last summer.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Hold on.... I'm confused. I thought the names were inked before the physical and a deal is always contingent on the physical. If the deal wasn't inked why did they need ANY cover story.. let alone saying he failed a physical?

    Wouldn't the truth (owners got cold feet or new GM doesn't like the deal) be a viable cover story if there's nothing signed?
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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Maybe the NBA should switch to a third party training staff for physicals? That way owners and players have no control over the process?

    That would eliminate any situation like this.

    And personally I do think it's a nice fail safe to have this for owners. The guy didn't want Head on his cap and was bringing in a new GM. This is way to avoid a spurned GM who is being shown the door from signing someone you don't want on your roster.

    I don't think the agent or Head have any real ground to stand on, and I think stuff like this probably goes on a lot more than we know.

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    Default Re: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Maybe the NBA should switch to a third party training staff for physicals? That way owners and players have no control over the process?

    That would eliminate any situation like this.
    Except that, as you point in the portion of your post that I snipped, nobody wants to eliminate the options presented from a situation like this.

    so, I agree.

    If the physical examination itself mattered, then both sides would have already been better served by an independent doctor. But its not about the physical examination. Its about a final chance to say, "no, I've changed my mind."
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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