HoopsHype Bonzi Wells rumors

September 8, 2013 Updates

Bonzi Wells was both startled and “hurt” by allegations made in a recent lawsuit filed against him by a lifelong acquaintance. Wells, a star at Central High School and Ball State University before a 10-year career in the NBA, for the first time publicly addressed the claims made in the lawsuit — filed in May by Rasul Shabazz and his mother, Raushana — in a Friday interview with The Star Press. The Delaware Circuit Court 1 suit alleges that after Rasul Shabazz, then 37, clashed with Wells’ 11-year-old son at the downtown YMCA on May 7, 2011, the basketball star came to Shabazz’s home in Muncie’s Whitely neighborhood, damaged a door and threatened to kill Shabazz, at that time a YMCA employee, and his mother. It also alleges Wells battered Rasul Shabazz several days later during an encounter in a Ball State University athletics office. The Star Press

“That’s not me,” the 36-year-old Wells said Friday. “People can feel some type of way about me, because I was an aggressive type of player on the court, but in real life, I’m not that type of guy.” Local attorney Mike Quirk — who recently joined Anderson lawyer Dan Whitehead on Wells’ legal team — accompanied Wells to the interview, and brought with him a large knife — with a folding blade about 4 inches long — that he said his client had taken from Shabazz during that encounter near Worthen Arena. Quirk said in a formal response to the lawsuit, Wells’ attorneys agreed with only two of more than 50 assertions made by Shabazz’s attorney, Trent McClain of Merrillville — where his client lives, and the addresses of the plaintiffs. “He’s going to defend himself,” Quirk said. “Not only when someone pulls a knife on him, but also in a court of law. So we fully anticipate this going to trial.” The Star Press

Ten days later, Wells said, he had been playing basketball with current Ball State players at Worthen Arena and, as was his routine, was saying hello to old friends in BSU athletic offices — where he encountered Rasul Shabazz. “I was surprised as anyone,” Wells said. “I wasn’t prepared to see him.” Wells said when they suddenly found themselves in the same office, Shabazz shouted, then shoved a female employee in his direction. The NBA veteran said when he saw Shabazz reach into his pocket, “I reacted the way I was supposed to react.” Wells said he gained possession of the knife, and “we had an altercation.” “I restrained him, took the knife from him, and told him, ‘Hey, I just want an apology from you.’” With that, Wells said, Shabazz apologized to the basketball player’s son. The Star Press

June 23, 2013 Updates
June 5, 2013 Updates
June 26, 2012 Updates
April 30, 2012 Updates

Volatile NBA veteran Bonzi Wells is open to playing in the PBA but which team is willing to give him a chance? Wells, 35, played 10 years in the NBA, averaging 12.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 591 career games with Portland, Memphis, Sacramento, Houston and New Orleans. Throughout his NBA journey, he was hounded by controversy. Wells once admitted to media “I black out sometimes” when asked why he made an obscene gesture to a jeering fan. philstar.com

December 23, 2011 Updates

The Wolves cut guard Bonzi Wells today, so their opening-day roster should be set, barring a last-minute trade. Wells, 35, hasn't played in the NBA since 2008. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

December 15, 2011 Updates

Jerry Zgoda: Wolves officially announce signings of Malcolm Lee and Bonzi Wells. Don't worry, tweeps, Bonzi's still is just that make-good camp invite Twitter

December 12, 2011 Updates

Jerry Zgoda: Bonzi hadn't received FIBA clearance yet to practice today. Adelman said he hopes he gets on the court tomorrow... Twitter

December 11, 2011 Updates
December 10, 2011 Updates

Jerry Zgoda: Wolves camp newcomer Bonzi Wells, 35, played SG for Houston during Adelman's first year there Twitter

June 12, 2011 Updates

Bonzi burned through millions of those dollars, though, with regrettable purchases such as jewelry and cars and by generously supporting family and friends, some of whom he eventually cut off. "I know when I was growing up, I was young and dumb," Bonzi says. "I've never had nothing in my life, and then you give me a million dollars. There wasn't a blueprint for what my life was. I didn't know what I was doing. Every day I was learning. My mom was one of 18 kids, so we never had anything. The most I ever had was $500 in my life, and then next thing you know I'm getting $100,000 checks. That's a lot of money, so I didn't know how to handle that aspect. I didn't know how to live the life. I didn't know anything. I wish I had a mentor. The Star Press

"I spent a lot of money that I probably shouldn't have been, but when you've got a big family, you've got to do what you can for your family. But my family's going to be fine for a while. Hopefully, we'll be fine for a while. I know how to have money, and I know how to not have money. I've been on both sides of the fence, and I'm not really tripping. In a place like Muncie, you don't have to have a bunch of money. I'm not even worried about it. ... I don't have to have a driver. I don't have to have nice cars. I don't have to have any of that stuff. I've got two cars (a Hummer H2 and Cadillac Escalade), I've got my house, and I'm happy. The Lord blessed me with all of this stuff, and I never take it for granted." The Star Press

When taking into account his millions of dollars worth of assets, Bonzi is living just fine, posh actually. But he missed out on a golden opportunity to be filthy rich. Bonzi says his agent, William Phillips, turned down a five-year, $38.5 million offer from the Kings after the 2005-06 season. The Kings chose to sign John Salmons at a mid-level exception rather than up their offer to Bonzi. Bonzi fired Phillips soon after negotiations with the Kings fell through. "Any decision we make, we make as a team, so we can do what's best for us," Bonzi says before explaining his team consisted of his agent, financial adviser, accountant and himself. "My agent was talking (to the Kings) without the team, and he wasn't bringing back all of the information to the team. When they hit him up with an offer, he denied it without coming back to the team, so by the time he told the team, they had already taken it off the table and offered it to someone else." The Star Press

Bonzi takes pride in those donations, but he wishes he would've done more for the community back when he was cashing in those NBA paychecks. "I let the wrong people handle the money, and they didn't put it to good use," Bonzi says. "I should've taken more of an active role rather than relying on people who had never seen money like that in their lives. That was probably my biggest downfall, because the money didn't get to the places I wanted it to get to. ... It just didn't work out that way, and when I got burnt with that money, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not going to lie." The Star Press

June 11, 2011 Updates

How desperate are the Knicks for a sweet-scoring shooting guard? At their two-day free-agent tryout camp that ended yesterday, the player that by far impressed the most was 34-year-old veteran shooting guard Bonzi Wells, who has been out of the league since 2008. The Knicks actually are considering inviting him to training camp -- whenever that is, pending a new labor agreement. Whether they offer him a guaranteed pact is unclear. New York Post

The 34-year-old Wells auditioned Thursday and Friday in front of the Knicks brass at their free-agent minicamp. Wells spent the past two months training in Muncie for the tryout. "You've got to be in shape," said Wells, who will return home today. "You walk into the gym and you see everyone from the president on down to the equipment manager with chairs along the court, so you've got to bring it." The Star Press

Wells tried to convey to the Knicks brass that he has matured since then and has learned from his past mistakes. "With the interview process, they kind of ask you what you've been doing," Wells said. "I just told them, 'I've been playing with the local Y for the last couple years and I've been coaching AAU, so that's been my life the last couple years.' I just stayed straight forward and was very honest. Hopefully they understood my sincerity. "(D'Antoni) said, 'I remember how young you were, and I thought you were a good guy. You were just in a bad situation, and I'm glad you're at this point in your life.' It makes you feel good when guys understand, because they've been 23 or 24 before. They know what it's like to grow up and they see my maturity." The Star Press

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