Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2010

Patiently waiting: Henry hanging out in Lawrence with contract pending

Former Kansas University guard Xavier Henry talks with media members Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. Henry, who was taken as the No. 12 pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Draft, is in town working out with former teammates while waiting for an agreement on his pro contract.

Former Kansas University guard Xavier Henry talks with media members Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. Henry, who was taken as the No. 12 pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Draft, is in town working out with former teammates while waiting for an agreement on his pro contract.

August 26, 2010


One of these days, when he finally signs his NBA rookie contract, former Kansas University guard Xavier Henry will be a millionaire at the ripe young age of 19.

Former Jayhawk Henry still unsigned

Former Jayhawk Xavier Henry has yet to sign a NBA contract. Henry has been advised by his agent to hold out for a better contract. Enlarge video

In the interim — as Henry’s agent, Arn Tellem, and Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley haggle over about $300,000 — the former Kansas University guard is “working out” and “chilling out” on KU’s campus.

“It’s not really stressful. I just get anxious. I’m just waiting for something to happen,” Henry said Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. “It’s been awhile (since June 24 NBA Draft) so I’m just hoping every day something new pops up so we know where I’m at. All I can do is keep working out and getting better.

“I’m going to let my agent handle it. He’s one of the best. I know he knows what he’s doing way more than what I do (so), I’m letting him handle it.”

Henry ultimately will be awarded between $1.7 and $2 million during the 2010-11 season, followed by approximate sums of $1,809,700 (give or take $300,000) his second season and $1,936,000 his third campaign.

Henry admits he’s a bit envious of former KU teammate Cole Aldrich, who already has signed his rookie deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Aldrich apparently was not asked to sign a contract with incentives, such as earning a berth in the All-Star weekend’s rookie challenge or a spot on one of the two all-rookie teams.

“It’d be easier. I could already be in Memphis working out, getting good with my coaches and learning all my plays and stuff,” Henry said. “But I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing right now, so I’m just working out and getting myself the best chance to be in shape and be ready to compete.”

He hopes Grizzlies fans don’t hold this contract impasse against him.

“I would hope they don’t think it’s me trying to hold out to play like I’m a stingy person or anything,” said Henry, a 6-6 guard from Oklahoma City. “The basic principle is if everybody gets what they are supposed to get, then there’s no problem. They are trying to change it a little this year (adding incentives). I respect that, so I’m just going to do what I have to do — me and my agent.”

He arrived in Lawrence on Monday night and will be here until Sunday when he drives back to Oklahoma City. After that, he’ll pack and fly to California to work with a personal trainer until the start of preseason camp in October.

On Tuesday, after dining with KU sophomore Elijah Johnson, Henry decided to follow Johnson to class.

“It was some science class, a big lecture class,” Henry said. “I wouldn’t go to a small class where they’d be like, ‘You are not in my class.’ I just went back there and chilled out.

“I think it’s great I can come back, even if it’s for a week. I love it here at KU and love my teammates.”

He’s been working with KU academic advisers on advancing toward a degree.

“I’m still trying to work on my online classes while I’m doing everything,” said Henry. “I’m going to try hard for one. It’s going to take me awhile because I’m going to be busy with basketball, but I’m going to be persistent.”

Of course he’s hoping for a long NBA career.

“This is a dream come true,” he said. “Everything you did since you were a kid, it leads up to where you want to play in the NBA. When you finally make it, then you feel like, ‘OK, I need to keep this going as long as I can.’ That’s what I’m working for.”

His brother, 24-year-old C.J. Henry, announced last week he was leaving KU’s team.

“I have no clue yet,” Xavier said of C.J.’s plans. “He decided to leave here, and I don’t know where he’s thinking about going or where he’s going to go.

“He can do a lot of things. He can still do baseball (he played in the minor leagues three seasons). He can keep playing basketball. I’m trying to see where his head is at, too. He doesn’t have that long to make a decision.”

Of KU’s current team, Xavier said: “I think they’ll be real good. They reloaded kind of this year. They’ve got Josh Selby coming in. I’ve seen a couple of the other freshmen. They can play, too. With Marcus (Morris) getting better and Tyshawn (Taylor) getting better and everybody evolving, I think they’ll do real well this year.”


Robert Rauktis 7 years, 4 months ago

Yeah. Life's tough.

The point of this article is?

FarmerBoy 7 years, 4 months ago

Xavier is such a positive person. He did a great job carrying on the Jayhawk tradition. Looking forward to watching him play on the next level. Its great to be able to do the things that you love.

John Kyle 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh, please! Hanging out on campus and going to classes with other players? He chose to only go one year, why come back and try to be bmoc. His one year at KU was mediocre at best and he will be just a faded memory of a 'one and done' player. I've had enough of the off-season Henry family. Go your brother.

FarmerBoy 7 years, 4 months ago

Queequeg, what positive things have you done for this community besides spew jealousy and hatred? I get and the other negative commentators just need attention/love. lol.

BruceWayne 7 years, 4 months ago

“I have no clue yet,” Xavier said of C.J.’s plans. “He decided to leave here, and I don’t know where he’s thinking about going or where he’s going to go.

these guys can't fart without calling each other to describe the smell. CJ is going wherever daddy Carl tells him to go.

FarmerBoy 7 years, 4 months ago

why r u here? go back to Poland (how do u like that?) you got nothing constructive to say...keep it to yourself..but then again..guess you need love/

Joe Hyde 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes, greed is ugly, and the Memphis Grizzlies should stop being that way.

If Henry had been a second round or lower draft pick I would view these incentive clauses differently. But by taking him as a high first-rounder, Memphis signalled that they consider Henry to be the real McCoy. him that way, and save all this contract incentives stuff for lower-drafted players as a means to motivate them.

Henry already possesses not just skills but outstanding natural motivation to succeed. Had Memphis believed otherwise they'd never have drafted him in the first round.

Kandixon44 7 years, 4 months ago

I am a graduate of KU and have been a Jayhawk fan for years before that. Posts like these though, make it tough to continue. It seems like fans like these just get more hateful every year. I realize they are envious of this young man, but he has worked all of his life to prepare himself for where he is. I am glad he came to KU for a year and I think he made our entire program better for his presence. Hang in there CJ, and welcome back to Lawrence. We aren't all as hateful and ugly as some of these posters.

Ltown2Dtown 7 years, 4 months ago

Couldn't agree with you more. I believe the true Jayhawk Nation appreciates anyone and everyone who positively impacts the university and will support each other no matter what. While there was some drama prior to CJ and X coming to Lawrence, which was escalated mostly by the media and fair-weather commenters (see above), they both helped make the players better and strengthened the team this last year. I'd love to see if the commenters above would have posted those comments had we gone farther in the tourney. Glad to hear you are back helping the team, X. Even if it is just for a week.

sustainabilitysister 7 years, 4 months ago

Good luck to Xavier. Thanks Kandixon44 and Ltown2Dtown for your posts.

Bill Lee 7 years, 4 months ago

What's ugly is the posts by everyone here who wish they'd had the opportunity to play Div I ball and then get drafted by an NBA team. I certainly wish I'd been a millionaire by his age.

bangaranggerg 7 years, 4 months ago

I would laugh in the face of anyone who begrudged a teenager for following their dream and getting paid millions of dollars. Neither of the Henry brothers are fools for leaving. X is a great kid and I hope he always considers himself a Jayhawk.

knayte 7 years, 4 months ago

Over privileged, selfish, greedy little punk? For holding out on his contract? You clearly haven't been following the story. The Grizzlies are offering him a lame incentive-based contract that literally no other lottery pick has agreed to in years. All he's asking for is the standard rookie contract that is typically offered to someone in his position.

rgh 7 years, 4 months ago

ALL? That's pretty bold. Some, definitely but there are some who are very down to earth about their contracts and humbled to be playing pro ball (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA).

Sparko 7 years, 4 months ago

Well then, you have no point. These athletes have a very short time in which to maximize their earnings. Posting on a Sports story is not the place to indicate you have no interest in sports. America does need to tax its wealthy citizens more, and perhaps the declining standard of living can be addressed honestly. Most Americans need higher pay right now.

garyr 7 years, 4 months ago

hmmmm.......Let me see....A kid who has never proven himself in the NBA wants all this money? How 'bout you strap up the laces and play a couple of years to prove you're the type of player that deserves this type of contract and money? I don't think he'll make it two years in the league. Can anyone say the next Kwame Brown?

BruceWayne 7 years, 4 months ago

Henry admits he’s a bit envious of former KU teammate Cole Aldrich, who already has signed his rookie deal with the Oklahoma....

why because Cole has PROVEN skill and his father isn't a jerk?

Don Whiteley 7 years, 4 months ago

It's tough for long time Kansas fans to see modern players like Xavier Henry. We live and die every year around the University of Kansas, probably as dedicated to the school as we are to our spouses. Yet to Xavier, KU just seems a means to an end: his end. If someone offered me $1.7 million, I'd probably do the exact same thing, yet it hurts because the players KU gets today have no love for or dedication to their school; it's just a way to get to the pros. Shame on Memphis, shame on Xavier, and shame on KU for selecting this type of player.

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 4 months ago

Im 3rd generation KU. If somebody had offered me 3,000.000 it would be bye bye Rock Chalk and hello the money.

Don Whiteley 7 years, 4 months ago

I guess that's the difference between us and our parent's generation. They did things because of loyalty, dedication, integrity; we do things because we've become whores.

parrothead8 7 years, 4 months ago

You're deluded if you think someone from our parents' generation would have turned down millions of dollars to stay in school. That kind of money can ensure the future of several generations of your family. THAT is loyalty and dedication.

riverdrifter 7 years, 4 months ago

If somebody waved 3 million dollars under your nose, you'd wave it off and break into "I'm a Jay-Jay-Jayhawk", right? Riight. KU is lucky to have Bill Self who can recruit this caliber of player to KU.

amesn 7 years, 4 months ago

Smh...pretty harsh comments towards a kid...a KID people! Ya Big Daddy H doesn't sound like father of the year material to me either but why say such nasty things about X? Did you watch his press conference when he declared for the NBA draft? He showed a great deal of emotion describing his time spent at KU and if it wasn't for the possibility of an uncertain future concerning an NBA lockout, X probably would have stayed longer. Have none of u ever negotiated terms with a prospective employer? Such hate for no reason other than jealousy

Graczyk 7 years, 4 months ago

The jealousy assertion is incorrect. It assumes that the Henry family's critics aspire to be professional athletes or make tons of money. I do what I do because I love it. X has about as good a chance of doing what I do as I have of doing what he does. She he be jealous of me? I just never liked him or his brother.

SWJayhawk13 7 years, 4 months ago

The more I hear come out of Henry's mouth, the less I like him.

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