Thursday, August 26, 2010

Patiently waiting: Henry hanging out in Lawrence with contract pending

Former Kansas University guard Xavier Henry talks with media members Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. Henry, who was taken as the No. 12 pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Draft, is in town working out with former teammates while waiting for an agreement on his pro contract.

Former Kansas University guard Xavier Henry talks with media members Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. Henry, who was taken as the No. 12 pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Draft, is in town working out with former teammates while waiting for an agreement on his pro contract.


One of these days, when he finally signs his NBA rookie contract, former Kansas University guard Xavier Henry will be a millionaire at the ripe young age of 19.

Former Jayhawk Henry still unsigned

Former Jayhawk Xavier Henry has yet to sign a NBA contract. Henry has been advised by his agent to hold out for a better contract.

In the interim — as Henry’s agent, Arn Tellem, and Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley haggle over about $300,000 — the former Kansas University guard is “working out” and “chilling out” on KU’s campus.

“It’s not really stressful. I just get anxious. I’m just waiting for something to happen,” Henry said Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. “It’s been awhile (since June 24 NBA Draft) so I’m just hoping every day something new pops up so we know where I’m at. All I can do is keep working out and getting better.

“I’m going to let my agent handle it. He’s one of the best. I know he knows what he’s doing way more than what I do (so), I’m letting him handle it.”

Henry ultimately will be awarded between $1.7 and $2 million during the 2010-11 season, followed by approximate sums of $1,809,700 (give or take $300,000) his second season and $1,936,000 his third campaign.

Henry admits he’s a bit envious of former KU teammate Cole Aldrich, who already has signed his rookie deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Aldrich apparently was not asked to sign a contract with incentives, such as earning a berth in the All-Star weekend’s rookie challenge or a spot on one of the two all-rookie teams.

“It’d be easier. I could already be in Memphis working out, getting good with my coaches and learning all my plays and stuff,” Henry said. “But I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing right now, so I’m just working out and getting myself the best chance to be in shape and be ready to compete.”

He hopes Grizzlies fans don’t hold this contract impasse against him.

“I would hope they don’t think it’s me trying to hold out to play like I’m a stingy person or anything,” said Henry, a 6-6 guard from Oklahoma City. “The basic principle is if everybody gets what they are supposed to get, then there’s no problem. They are trying to change it a little this year (adding incentives). I respect that, so I’m just going to do what I have to do — me and my agent.”

He arrived in Lawrence on Monday night and will be here until Sunday when he drives back to Oklahoma City. After that, he’ll pack and fly to California to work with a personal trainer until the start of preseason camp in October.

On Tuesday, after dining with KU sophomore Elijah Johnson, Henry decided to follow Johnson to class.

“It was some science class, a big lecture class,” Henry said. “I wouldn’t go to a small class where they’d be like, ‘You are not in my class.’ I just went back there and chilled out.

“I think it’s great I can come back, even if it’s for a week. I love it here at KU and love my teammates.”

He’s been working with KU academic advisers on advancing toward a degree.

“I’m still trying to work on my online classes while I’m doing everything,” said Henry. “I’m going to try hard for one. It’s going to take me awhile because I’m going to be busy with basketball, but I’m going to be persistent.”

Of course he’s hoping for a long NBA career.

“This is a dream come true,” he said. “Everything you did since you were a kid, it leads up to where you want to play in the NBA. When you finally make it, then you feel like, ‘OK, I need to keep this going as long as I can.’ That’s what I’m working for.”

His brother, 24-year-old C.J. Henry, announced last week he was leaving KU’s team.

“I have no clue yet,” Xavier said of C.J.’s plans. “He decided to leave here, and I don’t know where he’s thinking about going or where he’s going to go.

“He can do a lot of things. He can still do baseball (he played in the minor leagues three seasons). He can keep playing basketball. I’m trying to see where his head is at, too. He doesn’t have that long to make a decision.”

Of KU’s current team, Xavier said: “I think they’ll be real good. They reloaded kind of this year. They’ve got Josh Selby coming in. I’ve seen a couple of the other freshmen. They can play, too. With Marcus (Morris) getting better and Tyshawn (Taylor) getting better and everybody evolving, I think they’ll do real well this year.”


Edward Daub 3 years, 7 months ago

Some science class? Probably, thermodynamics. Who can forget Henry's Law (developed by William Henry in 1803).


dynamitehawk 3 years, 7 months ago

$300,000 would buy a ton of warrior necklaces.


nohohawk 3 years, 7 months ago

This few hundred K is the small pictures. Its about a standard that Memphis has vowed to change with rookie contracts. I would guess you have every major agent in the industry emailing, calling, texting this agent telling him to not back down because it will have an impact on all rookie contracts going forward. So in reality this actual contract may come down to a few hundred K but long term you are talking few hundred million when it comes to rookie contracts.

Also, If it wasn't for the the chance of a strike next year, then I don't think it would even been a consideration about X entering the draft. I think he enjoyed his time there and realizes he could have become a better player by staying, but you have to take the millions when you are offered the millions!


Mark Wooden 3 years, 7 months ago

Rookie contracts are pretty much set in stone. The fact that he hasn't signed shows how idiotic he is, so sit back and watch another NBA bust from another overrated college player.


Krohnutz 3 years, 7 months ago

Must not be a lot going down in the world of KU sports right now.

And to answer you, RockChalk26... Yeah. 100% think that, and the majority probably do as well. Here, let me fix that statement...

"Does anyone NOT think that X deep down wants to be in Lawrence?" The rest is correct. Better to deal with a smaller audience.


RockChalk26 3 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone think that X deep down wants to be in Lawrence? And if it weren't for his father, he would be gearing up for the 2010-11 season.


jaybate 3 years, 7 months ago

Part Two How much would the nepotists and fools that are the NBA's GMs be willing to pay for Xavier next year...after a year of hype and 25-30ppg?!

X would be the center of a media circus for 12 full months before he comes back up for the draft, or the draft were perhaps exposed for being unconstitutional.

Yeeeeehaaaaw! This might be the kind of attention the Henry's have seemed to court and thrive upon in the past. Talk about a bidding war for Xavier after next season!!

Go for it Carl!!!

What the heck!

This is about money...and power.

No reason the putzes and reputed grifters that constitute so much of the NBA ownership should be allowed to fatten at the trough forever.

Push them aside!

Its time for a new set of hogs.

And there would be a long list of super rich guys who would not be being allowed into the NBA cartel that would work behind the scenes in the corridors of power to pull of the coup d' cartel.

We apparently don't have coup d'estats anymore, because the cartel's have all the power.

Coup d'cartel. Coup d'cartel! :-)

Cartel's were meant to be broken. We know this, because so many wars have been fought through out history to break them and then they have been replaced by other cartels...well, by oligarchys, I suppose, would be the more politically correct word choice. But we're really talking cartels here. aren't we?

In the midst of the double dip in The Great Stagflation, America needs a good commercial donnybrook involving the little man against the greedy, fat rich guys.

Take off the gloves.

There is a lot of pain, suffering, hunger, homelessness, medical bankruptcy, and frustration in the land, as a result of Perma War and The Great Stagflation.

Bring it on, Carl, as Dubya would say, were he not hiding out in Dallas just now probably wobbling as usual on the wagon and watching the reaping of what he sewed so well. :-)

Yeeeee haaaaaaw!

America loves a donnybrooke, when the real problems go unaddressed.

(Note: ahem, this was satire. Surely, X is just back for some home cooking. And if I had to choose between goofiing off in Lawrence, or Memphis, as an 18-19 year old, I would choose Lawrence's parties this time of year every time.)


jaybate 3 years, 7 months ago

Part One

"There's gotta be a first for everything."

Ditto the title.

Welcome back, Xavier, your locker and Kansas uniform are reassigned to you.

Can't be, right?

Not possible. No way!

But what if X's reputed agent, Arn Tellum, actually signed a deal with Carl to represent Carl, who actually retains rights to represent his own son? What if Xavier doesn't technically really have an agent?

What if Memphis' GM has been too clever by half and created a holdout situation that actually voids X's relationship with not only Memphis, but with the NBA, and its chattel lottery draft system, also?

What if X were back in town not just for some home cooking from Mom, but for he and Carl to work out a deal with Bill Self and KU and KU's legal team to play another season, while the Henry family work out the legal issues with the NBA?

What if Carl were talking a package deal in which both his sons go to the D1 school that wants them both for a season?

What if KU were being given first dibs, but he's also talking with Calipari at UK and others?

Improbable? Yes.

Impossible? Nothing is written.

What happens when the NBA cartel welches on its obligations to its collective bargaining agreement to an OAD?

This hasn't been litigated yet, has it?

This could create a legal line of dominoes knocking over a bunch of untested, dubious "rules" imposed on US citizen/basketball players challenging what all the NCAA and the NBA have cavalierly imposed on USA citizen/basketball players.

Does the conventions of the shaky OAD rules still apply once the NBA welches on its end of the quid pro quo with the NCAA?

Can the NCAA deny a player a chance to play, if he has never actually taken on professional standing with an agent and a "legitimate" draft and contract signing?

Is X free to go back and play another season, and do so where ever he wants?

Again, this hasn't really been litigated that I know of.

Talk about pub!

X becomes the sympathetic poster child for all the unfairness of the draft and player exploitation by the big bad NBA-NCAA collusion.

X comes back to college and averages 25 ppg, maybe 30ppg if they let him quit sand bagging and go to the rim the way he really can.

He's a great, great player waiting to super nova.


AverageCitizen 3 years, 7 months ago

anthonyzal- " If they were arguing over millions of dollars that would be one thing, but they are in dispute over a few hundred K. "

Exactly, that's why I blame the owner. He has the ability to make ten of millions on these players yet you are blaming X? Beside, that is not the issue here. The issue is that he is singling out his players from the rest of the NBA rookies, not that the agent is greedy. The rookie contract is fairly straight forward.

"I think it is more important for him to be on the court w/ his teammates and coaches getting familiar w/ each other. "

Developing chemistry with his teammates? And, where are they? The season doesn't start until October. Do you think they all hang out together in the burbs and socialize in the off season ?


kufankam 3 years, 7 months ago

Some of you need to get a life in a major way... He said it clear as day that he is letting his agent handle this. If you were 19 and were negotiating big business and millions of dollars, it would make sense to just let someone who knows what their doing take care of it. His agent is telling him he is being jipped, why shouldn't he believe him. Get off the kids back. He is letting people "in the know" (his agent) handle things on his behalf? Big deal... I would want my son to do the same.


William Blake 3 years, 7 months ago

Great seeing X again! That smile should be worth plenty in the NBA, where there is a lack of sparkle in most players.

Shine on, X!


Texas50Jayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

This is a great story, for October! Our football season opener in 9 days and this is the front page story!?


Jaminrawk 3 years, 7 months ago

I think X is a very misunderstood kid. Obviously KU did strike a chord with him while he was here and I think it's great he is still planning on getting his degree. He's a Jayhawk forever and people need to lay off of him. He was one and done, get over it.


thedudelovesKU 3 years, 7 months ago


ya it was a circus of an ordeal getting x here but give the man some credit. he obviously fell inlove w/ ku when he got here. pump the breaks, man.


RockChalkGuy 3 years, 7 months ago

Good luck to you X. I hope you accomplish your dreams and stay close to the Jayhawk family.

Almost every college student goes to college because they want to prepare themselves for their career-stage of their life and, hopefully, make a bunch of cash in the process. Xavier was able to achieve this goal by spending one year in college. I don't understand what the problem is? Are the haters just jealous? I admit that many of the OADs are just in it for the ball, but you simply can not lump X into that category. He's a Jayhawk through and through.


honk_for_hawks 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm tired of people acting like X is being ridiculous holding out over this. Since the NBA has introduced the rookie salary scale, about 500 players have been drafted. only ONE of those players has agreed to performance incentives in their contract. Now I ask you, how stupid of a decision would it be to agree to a deal that only helps the owner when 99.8% of all the other players weren't required to perform to get their money. Yes, contracts probably should include performance incentives since a lot of these players are drafted on potential and flame out in a couple years. But why would X want to agree to basically wager on how well he is going to do? Its like saying, " I bet you 300k that I am going to be in the rookie challenge." will he be in the rookie challenge? sadly he probably will be since this rookie class is really weak, but why would he agree to the incentives when no one else had to. Get your heads out of your a88es and think about things before you judge people.


Munich_Jayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Quit being a bunch of haters. I love it when grown men bag on a 19 year old kid for actually working hard and accomplishing success. Its embarrassing.

areyouserious...dude, get a life. you're a loser. talk about insecure...its unfortunate that KU has "fans" like yourself.


KGphoto 3 years, 7 months ago

Ironic that William Miller from "Almost Famous" is behind X.


TraditionRich 3 years, 7 months ago

Great hearing X is back on campus and knowing he feels at home here. He will always be a Jayhawk.


theajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Good luck X and thanks for the Year. With every article, I am more and more convinced you always wanted to come here but the family comes first (so followed your brother initially). That speaks a lot about you because not many 18 year olds will put family first. I hope the comments like the first one dont make you rethink the wonderful year you had here. Thank you for being a part of Jayhawk family the rest of your life.


klineisanazi 3 years, 7 months ago

When you have a system that makes multi-millionaires out of 19 year old kids that have no interest in a college education, but are required to pretend they do for at least one year, you get this. I don't begrudge the Henrys. We live in a society in which material wealth is considered an indicator of success. So the Henrys are trying to be successful. Seems entirely predictable to me. JacquesMerde--what are you talking about? Few are coming? Self has to redshirt and run off quality recruits to make room for the Henrys. KU landed the number one player in the country. If you want the top three players in every class, every year, then it would be best to cheer for UK not KU. But with that would go vacated Final Fours, which are an inevitable part of UK's future. Hand wringing over basketball recruiting is one of the more annoying traits of a lot of KU fans.


FSUJHAWK 3 years, 7 months ago

Good luck X! I'm happy to learn that you have such admiration for KU, Lawrence and your teamates. Follow your dream and don't be a stranger.



JacquesMerde 3 years, 7 months ago

More worrisome than these minor gripes, which are correct, is that very little is being presented concerning recruiting and recruits. We seem to be going after many but few are coming. Also, I wish the Selby business was completed favorably for KU.


areyouserious 3 years, 7 months ago

Its not about the decision to leave early. We all expected that. It is how this entire family has created drama (not only for KU, but other Universities) for the last 6 years or so.......its a joke. Goodbye already.

Not Stingy??????? LMAO......he is scared and insecure about his abilities!


phoggytoast 3 years, 7 months ago

It gets old seeing KU fans bag on Xavier and CJ for leaving school early. These are young men who are following a life long dream. Personally, I'm elated to see Xavier still around campus and excited to be part of the KU family. Pursuing an opportunity to earn millions shouldn't be considered a negative. If you are put off by the decision making or choices made by these young men, one should reflect back at the actions or choices made by them at that age. These men have been good ambassadors to the campus. They haven't been caught up in a pile of legal trouble or scandal (outside of the fan/media hyped recruiting scandal). I would have loved to see both or either stay in school longer. Good luck to you - Xavier and CJ!


Matt1958 3 years, 7 months ago

He and CJ proved to worth neither the time nor the headaches. I wish them well, but Goodbye already.


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