HoopsHype Larry Wayne Ziegler rumors

April 12, 2012 Updates

League sources have confirmed to Blazersedge that Ziegler, who has conducted similar assessments on professional athletes in a number of sports, was contracted by the Blazers in 2008 to provide biomechanical assessments for Oden first and then a number of Blazers. Prior to this work, Ziegler assessed the free throw shooting stroke of then-Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O'Neal on at least one occasion, an encounter documented by a local news station and confirmed by a league source with knowledge of the relationship. Ziegler has also worked with Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, as documented in a separate local news feature. Blazers Edge

The Portland Trail Blazers have dealt with an endless series of injuries in recent years and, hand in hand, an endless series of questions from fan and media critics who assert the team's players have not received proper medical attention. But they've never dealt with anyone quite like Larry Wayne "Zig" Ziegler. Who Is Zig Ziegler? Ziegler is not Zig Ziglar, a well-known motivational sales speaker with a similar name. Ziegler is a sports kinesiologist who has run a fitness assessment company called Motion DNA, currently based in Arizona, for more than a decade. Ziegler has worked with athletes at the high school, college and professional levels as well as with amateurs. Blazers Edge

In an email exchange and multiple telephone conversations with Blazersedge -- the first conducted last Thursday, a follow-up conducted on Wednesday -- Ziegler went into further detail about his relationship with the Blazers, he passed along portions of the biomechanical testing results for Oden, Roy and former Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez, and he offered an explanation for why he decided to go public with his account. In Jan. 2012, as noted by Corvid, Ziegler was arrested in Arizona along with two co-defendants on charges of the sale of unregistered securities and financial fraud. Last week, Ziegler retained Ashley Adams of AZWhiteCollarCrime.com. Adams explained the criminal charges to Blazersedge on Wednesday and said that her initial impression of Ziegler is that he came across as a "nice guy." Blazers Edge

Ziegler said on Wednesday that he had no open cases against him at the time of his work with the Blazers in August 2008. On Ziegler's website, AWorldClassAthlete.com, there appears a promotional video for his prospective reality show with the same name. There also appears a logo for Fox Sports Net. Lou D'Ermilio, the Senior Vice President of Communications for Fox Sports, told Blazersedge on Wednesday that the network is not planning to release a television program by that name and that its national and local programming departments do not have a professional relationship with Ziegler. "We have not been in contact with him and we have no plans to broadcast this program on any Fox Sports affiliate," D'Ermilio said. Blazers Edge

Despite that injury history, Ziegler said that Portland made the wrong decision in releasing Oden at the Mar. 15 trade deadline. "If I were the Portland Trail Blazers, I wouldn't have cut him," he said. "I would not have cut him. What I would have done is figured out exactly what his issues are and began to address those issues. Even if it took me another year.... I would have kept him, I would have hired someone to work one-on-one with him. I know we see this in professional sports, where you hire someone to go out with the athlete on the weekends and to stay with them in a social setting. I would have hired someone to make sure that Greg Oden was doing exactly what he needed to do, eight hours a day for a year if I had to. I would get my investment back." Blazers Edge

One model to follow, Ziegler suggested, is the one established by the well-regarded Phoenix Suns staff. "The Phoenix Suns brought in Mike Clark and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. They rocked the boat, they shook things up, they've also kept athletes healthier." After 45 minutes of conversation last week, Ziegler closed his account by acknowledging that he expected the Blazers would respond to his lengthy, detailed statements. "They're going to say we brought the guy in and hopefully they are going to say they paid attention and did everything they could," he predicted. "Hopefully they'll say that. I hate to think of them saying, 'We brought him in and we didn't buy that.' I would hate to hear them say that because everything in [my reports] has come true." Blazers Edge

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