Julius Hodge‘s second stint with the Adelaide 36ers came to an abrupt end Thursday when the Australian club agreed to release Hodge from his contract following his no-show at Wedneday’s game against Wollongong.
A contract squabble was behind Hodge’s ugly breakup with the 36ers. The former North Carolina State star was not being paid in time, according to agent Cervando Tejeda.
“It was the second time this had happened,” Tejeda said. “He was supposed to be paid on the 15th, but earlier this week he had not received the money for the month of December.”
Hodge — who signed with the Adelaide 36ers for a salary of $40,000 per month, according to Tejeda — ended up being paid right before Wednesday’s game. Why didn’t he show up for the game then?
“It came down to a trust issue,” Tejeda said. “Ownership told us last Friday they would send the money right away, but they did not. We felt we couldn’t trust them anymore.”
Tejeda denies claims by 36ers owner Mal Hemmerling that the club had paid Hodge in advance for the rest of the season.
“It’s all lies,” according to Tejeda. “The money is not in the bank account. They said the same thing when Julius was owed the money in December and in the end they had to pay him in cash Wednesday before the game.”
Tejeda says Adelaide owed money to several players other than Hodge. The 36ers are not an exception in the NBL, a competition that features several clubs in bad economic shape. Bucks center Andrew Bogut recently donated money to help pay the staff and players of the Sydney Spirit, according to the Australian media.
As for Hodge’s future, Tejeda assures the former Nugget has no contract lined up with any other team.
“That had nothing to do with Julius leaving the 36ers,” Tejeda said. “We have not received calls from the NBA. There’s some interest in Europe, but that’s not the reason why Julius is leaving. He loves the fans in Adelaide, but he couldn’t deal with this situation anymore.”