The much-travelled Bonzi Wells, currently with the Kings, has his tumultous history reviewed by the Sacramento Bee’s Martin McNeil.
Wells was frustrated with Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello, who replaced a burned-out Hubie Brown early last season. Wells averaged just 21.6 minutes and 10.4 points and said Fratello didn’t communicate with him during the season.
“I just felt like he was scared of me,” Wells said of Fratello, “for what, I don’t know. He may be just a scary kind of dude and couldn’t handle a cat like me, who allegedly had this bad kind of rap. And he just didn’t want to deal with me. I think he fed into that.
“People never heard any reports of me doing anything in Memphis because I didn’t do anything. I had a great time. I’m not that type of dude. I can be, but I’m not that type of dude, really. And he just found some reason not to play me.”
In his postseason banishment, Wells said Fratello kept him from entering the gym for a team meeting after Game 3, then sent security guards to his house to tell him to stay away from the arena for Game 4.
“I called (team president) Jerry West, and he told me it was out of his hands,” Wells said. “He said (Fratello) didn’t want me around. (West) said he was upset about it, and the team wasn’t going to take any money from me.
“I didn’t understand that because he was the president. I asked him to tell me what I did. If I did something, then I could understand. But nobody ever told me what I did.”
Wells said he never received an explanation from Fratello or West as to what happened. He holds no ill will against West, who traded Wells to a better situation in Sacramento.
When the Grizzlies visited Arco Arena on Feb. 7, Fratello refused to talk about Wells or the playoff exile.
“I can’t get into that. I mean I could tell you, but it wouldn’t serve any purpose at this point,” Fratello said.
Then there was an incident while with the Blazers when Wells spit on Ferry, now the Cleveland Cavaliers’ president of basketball operations.
Wells’ agent, William Phillips said part of that story always gets omitted.
“Ferry (allegedly) called him a (racist name),” Phillips said. “That part of it never gets reported. And Ferry becomes the president of basketball operations.
Ferry did not return a phone call to The Bee.