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What do you think about Julian Wright leaving the KU basketball team?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 10, 2007

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Photo of Kim Koelzer

“I think it’s really disappointing. It gave me hope for next season when he was the first to say he would stay. It’s really sad, but all the luck to him. I’m sure he’ll do well in the NBA.”

Photo of Adam Warshaw

“I don’t know what to say. I think he was our best overall player. He said that he would graduate in three years and that money wasn’t really an issue, so I didn’t think he would go.”

Photo of Emily Rush

“It’s very sad, and I’m heartbroken. I don’t think it’s time. We were so close this year and I think one more year with him is all we needed. I understand and empathize - begrudgingly. I just hope it doesn’t create a domino effect with the rest of the players.”

Photo of Andrew Boos

“I’m disappointed in the fact that he said he would come back, but of course I understand why he’s taking the opportunity to make millions of dollars. I thought we would have a great shot next season. I still think we have a good shot, but not if Rush leaves too.”


Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

I think therefore I am.

I say best of luck to him. He is a great talent and let's face it if he wants he can always return to his education after the NBA. Too many talents such as Wright stay in college ball and end up blowing a knee or being injured in another way that ends their possibility of going on to the NBA.

Good Luck Wright!!

TheNorthlander 11 years, 2 months ago

Growing up in Chicago, I watched Julian play ball in Chicago high school tournaments before ever knowing he was going to KU. He was a great player to watch.

Once I knew he was going to be a Jayhawk, he clearly became my favorite player.

Best of luck to ya Julian!

Rock Chalk!

Flap Doodle 11 years, 2 months ago

I hope he doesn't eat too much unhealthy Chinese food while he is playing in the NBA.

trinity 11 years, 2 months ago

i think behind every cloud is a silver lining. or another cloud.

i love ots. :)

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Even if he and Rush leaves, we may not have a chance next year, but will down the road. I wish he had stayed, but oh well.

trinity 11 years, 2 months ago

hey pywacket, thanks for reminding me-i've GOT to get after the rest of those strawberries&the shortcake biscuits i made! wouldn't want to have to waste 'em! :)

Bone777 11 years, 2 months ago

When the University is making millions and the coaches are making millions, you can't blame a kid for wanting to get his. It cost almost as much to see a pro basketball game, and college doesn't have the large player contracts.

Julian Wright will be pimped no more.

Good luck, but I still think you could have used some development on your skill.

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB, at KU, Archie Marshall for one. After my meetings I will try to remember more names . . . although I do remember they were tall guys :)

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

Big deal. If Wright had been that great, wouldn't he have gone right into the pros originally? I say, best of luck.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

I didn't notice; I've been too distracted by Michigan's new basketball coach and his efforts to retain the recruiting class.

My opinion: there are very, very few players who would not benefit greatly by staying longer at the college level. Unfortunately, there are many who believe they are among those few; also unfortunately, there are plenty of players who will see playing time in the NBA, but could have been better pros had they not left early for the NBA.

Basically, I'm not a fan of early departures (freshman/sophomore) unless the player is seriously amazing. Greg Oden, like many others, could probably benefit from another year (maybe two, depending on how he looked his second year) at the college level. I didn't see Wright play much, but it's usually pretty safe to say another year would have been good for him.

trinity 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB, yep strawberry shortcake seems to be evolving in to an Easter standard! in my case it's because strawberries are becoming more available&also cheaper, and i just loves me some sliced strawberries over home made shortcake biskits with a large dollop of whipped cream! :) happy tummy. oh but i must have chocolate also; it's an absolute!

bevy 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh, who doesn't love the shortcake? Wish I'd thought of it! We had some fresh strawberries, though, and they were good.

As to JW, I say - go for it! Gather ye rosebuds (or dollars) while ye may! Plenty of time to finish your college education after you're an "ancient" 35 year old retired pro baller.

Kontum1972 11 years, 2 months ago

send money....!...alumni loyalty fund U of Ks.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

ganache topped cheesecake!

JW...I don't think too much about it. I wish him luck and a long career. If not, then I hope he finishes college at some point.

ms_canada 11 years, 2 months ago

Key Lime Pie. speaking of sports guys. Grandson Rob is playing tonight & tomorrow in Calgary. Semi final round in WHL playoffs. If they win tonite & tomorrow, that will be it for him in the WHL. cut off age is 20. He has been approached by 3 Unis and the Tallahassee, Florida team. Big decisions to make. The catch is, if he takes one of the Uni bids, he gets 4 years of full tuition and books paid by WHL, if he goes for Tallahassee, he loses all that tuition. Tough decision. What would you do? He can still play hockey at the Uni. Calgary would be nice. :o) BTW we leave in an hour to motor down there to catch those games. (4 hrs) And we have a snow storm. Yuk. Why am I living this far north?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

Das, to me, that just means the sports world has been spared an overhyped, underperforming player. I think the NBA is better off for not having thrown huge money at a player like Noah.

Yes, from the player's perspective, grabbing the money while it's on the table is probably good. But the question is what do I think, not what was Wright thinking. And going beyond Wright, for everyone except the player and his agent (strictly financially speaking), it's too often a lousy deal. Big money ... high expectations ... middling results. Wright has too good a chance of being a small role player (or less) when he might have contributed to something pretty big at Kansas. And maybe if he stayed another year or two, he'd develop his skills and himself a bit more to give himself a better chance at being someone significant in the NBA.

TOB, the name Chauncey Billups is music to my ears these days. He's been a great part of a great time in Pistons history these last few years.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

Ms_C, I guess you convince the grandson to take the Tallahassee offer, you move to Florida and worry about other weather woes. :) Have a safe drive!

perkins 11 years, 2 months ago

Emily Rush, pictured above, simply reflects the thinking the big college sports industry encourages, Pywacket. Get invested in the players, who are Just Folks, playing spades before the big game. Go to Allen Fieldhouse or most any other big college arena and be blinded by the corporate images. Remember our big season ticket controversy? Your seats are bad b/c you are not a big enough contributor? Sorry. But please donate to the university, Joe Lunchpail, and buy a few T-shirts while you're at it.

The dessert bloggers had the right idea. Focus on something pleasant that we can control, rather than the muck underneath the student-athlete wink and nod truthspeak.

ms_canada 11 years, 2 months ago

Sue - jeesh - how come I didn't think of that. Great idea. Thanks.

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

My sister-in-law made strawberry shortcake for our Easter get together!!! Guess it has become a trend. Homemade shortbread, yum!! Unfortunately, with the bunch we had gathered there were no leftovers :(

TOB, I'm not sure what his status was, just remembered the name. I ran out of new memory room a long time ago, now everything I neeed to remember must take the place of something I used to know :):)

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

An example of that is how to spell need!

always4ever 11 years, 2 months ago

Easter is all about lemon for us. We had lemon meringue pie and lemon bars. Yum.

Julian, lots of luck. It's been a great ride.

thanksforcoming 11 years, 2 months ago

Congrats Julian. Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk.

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

couranna1, of course I know what basketball is. I live in the town that has the two-time reigning NBA MVP (Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns, in case you weren't aware), and have been attending NBA games for many, many years. Yes, I even attended Kansas City Kings games. I was actually making a joke that if Wright was that great he would have gone right into the NBA. Many great college players don't make great pro players (Ralph Sampson and Danny Ferry never lived up to the hype, for instance), while others who faired just okay in college end up being superstars (Steve Nash, for instance).

Now, does anyone want to argue that the college game is somehow "better" than the NBA? If so, then why is a great college player like Wayne Simien riding the bench in Miami?

Raju Ahmed 11 years, 2 months ago

Why are you all talking about Easter anyway? Did anyone ask you about that? Freedom of speech needs to set it's boundaries!! Good God!!!!!!!!!

***Julian Wright is not only an asset to Basketball, but also is one of the best players of NCAA. I agree with him about the money issue. I do not think it is about the money. If I were Julian, I would have done the same thing he is doing.

One shot! One opportuniy! It may not come again. God is smiling on you brother......leave as soon as you can......KU needs a lesson to learn. Next year it is going to be 20 years since 1988 we won the title.

Julian, I pray that you shine in your career. Show KU what you are made of. Go Julian..............

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

myjaan, myjaan, myjaan, the question of the day is often treated as a "suggested topic" by OTS posters. What a boring, boring board if we discussed nothing other than the question of the day. You are right, God is good, and he made strawberries and all the goodies necessary for shortcake. We will be discussing desserts long after Wright is gone. We had one great day discussing our favorite ice cream or blizzard.

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

Dats right Das. I prefer college ball but can still enjoy an NBA game.

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

Das, you said it for me -- "Though the game might not be played as well ..." I obviously watch it for the skill of the sport, not for the mascot, or which songs you get up and clap with, or which stadium has the best tailgate party, or any of the other things surrounding the game. All those things are fine and dandy, but when you cut through it all, I like the game. So give me the players that can play it best, and that will be the game I enjoy the most. Otherwise, you might as well say you like pee-wee best, since then you get to watch your own kid play -- and can anything be better than that?

Stephen Prue 11 years, 2 months ago

i think it takes a big dog to weight a ton

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 11 years, 2 months ago

What about the KU player with bright red hair? Will he join the NBA too? I hope not. It seems that almost every college basketball team has one player with red hair. We need ours to stay put.

Raju Ahmed 11 years, 2 months ago

What team do you all think Julian Wright should be chosen for?

I would like to see him playing in Celtics.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Me and my wife call him our Weasley. If we ever go to a game when he's still on the roster, I'm going to make a Matt Kleinman poster that says "Weasley is our King!"

I'm such a geek.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

Bea, I'd venture a guess that you're in a minority. For me, and maybe for a lot of fans, sports aren't much fun or overwhelmingly interesting without emotion. I love sports, but I find it hard to actually love the sports without everything around the games. In my mind, none of it is as good unless it's all together. I like Michigan football, but without the stadium atmosphere and the band and the fight songs and the tailgaters, it's not the same.

So I do appreciate your outlook, and in some ways I think there should be more appreciation of the skills; I just can't focus that closely without losing some enjoyment of sports.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

Tomorrow's ?: What is your favorite kind of smoothie?

Ms_C, I was in Wichita over the weekend and saw an Orange Julius! Wow! They actually have flavors other than orange now! Who knew??? On that note, I'm off to make a strawberry-banana-blueberry with a plop of peanut butter for the kiddies! I always make just a bit too much and have to finish it myself.

Alternate?: Who has resorted to eating supper at 4pm because the kids are famished after school because of the crappy lunches?

abbynormal 11 years, 2 months ago

anyone else think rush is going to follow?

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

Das-U, "traditions and culture" you say. Do you mean the type of "culture" where must give a "gift" of $10k or more to keep your long-held season tickets? Nice way to treat the tradition of regular attendance. Sure, tell me about who is soulless and who isn't. Go ahead and support that type of tradition if you wish. At least by attending pro games nobody is fooling anybody about who is and who isn't capitalist swine. Oh, while enjoying your tradition don't forget to buy your ticket for the infant, culture boy.

(not that Das would, but before anybody freaks out, yes, I am just poking fun -- please don't take what I say too seriously. I did enjoy attending KU events when I lived in Lawrence ... just not as much as I enjoy pro events.)

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB, you made me think of an Onion article from a while back. Something about an NBA Finals game having to be postponed because of a conflict with an NBA preseason game.

Although I'd be more inclined to say that about Major League Baseball. Seriously -- 162 is at least 100 too many. And 82 is too many for basketball, and for hockey (I think the NHL is 82 or 84 games).

This is one reason I like high school sports: the seasons are reasonable. Twenty games for basketball, nine for football, just under thirty for hockey (can't remember exactly). Baseball is under or around thirty, too, I think. And you do have to throw in playoffs, but even if you win a championship in basketball, you're still under thirty, and you'd be around 14 games with a football championship.

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

sgt -- the Onion is too good sometimes. I'll agree that the season is a tad too long, but I still love it! Go Suns!

Wayne Seymour 11 years, 2 months ago

I wish Wright would have truthful for leaving. In the paper he said that money was not a motive. If it was not, then why leave to sit on the bench for a few years. Wayne S. has played very little the past couple of years and he is a better ballplayer than Wright.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

Bea, I lose interest in regular seasons, but I enjoy the playoffs for the pro sports. I'm really looking forward to the start of the NHL playoffs this week, and the NBA playoffs are right around the corner. I'm looking forward to that. And if things go right up here, maybe the Pistons will meet the Suns. Though I'm not sure I actually want that, since the Suns pile up points faster than an electric pencil sharpener.

I will say, though, that when it comes to football, I like the regular season. I like the NFL regular season, and I love the college regular season.

kudubb 11 years, 2 months ago

True KU fans are upset by JW leaving... I believe someone was filling his head full of #$%@ because he can definitely benefit from another year in college. The real problem is that the NBA sucks and needs players lik JW to make it better. More kids than ever are going pro straight out of high school... there is no doubt that the NBA is not the product it once was. They need to eliminate a few teams and try to revive the rivalries.

It used to be about team and now it is all about $$$.

I think JW is a great kid, but I really wish he would have stayed. Without him, we don't have a good shot at a title (as much as I want to believe we will and will root my @$% off for them), even with the new recruits and great returning players... and I don't think Rush will come back either. Which makes it even less likely that KU will make it to the elite 8 next year, much less win the Big 12.

Its no wonder there is a college coaching carousel... there is no stability with the way players bolt after the $$$.

Go KU!!!

kudubb 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey phogku... your point is great... JW will sit the bench for a while in the NBA, depending on which team he goes to. But as for Wayne being better, I'm not sure I agree totally (and Wayne and I graduated from the same high school). Wayne is a better post player, but JW is much more athletic. Two different styles here.

kudubb 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey abby... I do believe Rush will follow JW out the door of the Phog... I think he has much more offensive potential than JW for the NBA... plus, he has proven he is a great defender.

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