Sunday, September 2, 2012

Xavier Henry relishes KU return

Ex-Jayhawk/current Hornet beats Isaac out of New Orleans

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.



Associated Press

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets guard Xavier Henry — who had been working out in the Big Easy after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on July 27 — hopped in his car and headed north last Monday, just a few hours ahead of Hurricane Isaac.

“I was down there with some of my teammates getting ready for the season early because we’re so young,” said Henry, a 21-year-old, third-year pro out of Kansas University.

“We’re trying to get acclimated with each other. They told us Hurricane Isaac was coming and didn’t know how bad it would be, so they let us evacuate. I went home (to Oklahoma City) and got some treatment then came here,” Henry added before the KU-South Dakota State football game Saturday outside Memorial Stadium.

Henry played at KU as a freshman in 2009-10 before entering the NBA Draft, where he was selected 12th overall by Memphis. He spent the weekend in his former college town, headed back to OKC on Sunday and was to drive back to rain-soaked New Orleans sometime this week.

“It’s great to be out here because the atmosphere at Kansas is something I’ve never been around ever in my life. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life,” Henry said of his year as a Jayhawk, in which he averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

The sweet-shooting lefty, who helped KU to a 33-3 record, has battled a series of injuries his first two years in the pros.

“Injuries happen to everybody. It’s how you deal with them,” said Henry, who played in just 38 games for the Grizzlies his rookie season. Memphis cut ties with the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder, trading him to New Orleans last January for a future second-round pick.

“I learned by being mature, by having to grow up, that the only way I can get past it (injury) is playing through it and doing the best I can. I’ve done my part getting the surgery I needed. I just need to rehabilitate to the best of my ability and go out there and have fun,” added Henry, who averaged 5.3 points off 39.5 percent shooting while logging 16.9 minutes a game in 45 games for the Hornets a year ago.

He upped his scoring average to 12.2 ppg in Las Vegas summer league action in July.

“We (he and the Hornets) hope so,” Henry said, asked if this would be his breakout season. “I’m going to come in and bring energy, scoring, defense. I play an all-around game. That’s what they’ve been looking for me to do. With my knee healthy now, hopefully I can play this whole season healthy and have a great season,” added Henry, who has one year left on his contract with an option for the following season.

Henry on Saturday provided an update on his brother, former KU guard C.J. Henry, who transferred to Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City after also playing one season at KU.

“He’s getting back into baseball again. He’s having fun with that, working out a lot back home (OKC),” Xavier said of C.J., a former first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees. “He’s waiting for this offseason to get back in (and sign with an MLB team). He’s doing his best right now to get in baseball shape, get everything in focus. I don’t know how much hard work it takes for baseball, but he’s definitely putting it in.”

C.J. is 26 years old, five years older than Xavier.

“I’d be a senior this year. Me, Elijah and T-Rob (Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings) came in together,” said Henry, who enjoyed visiting with former teammates Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford on Saturday at a basketball team autograph signing session for fans on KU’s football practice field. “It’s nice to come back. Everybody still enjoys me and appreciates what I’ve done, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me as well. I love this place.”

He also is fond of New Orleans and is relieved Hurricane Isaac did not devastate the city.

“In New Orleans, I was hearing the power got cut, but the floods weren’t bad,” Henry said. “Near the border line, I heard the water was over rooftops with broken levees and stuff. It wasn’t bad in New Orleans, but I feel really bad for those affected.”


RJ King 1 year, 7 months ago

Professor Bate - based on the recent innovative scientific experiment conducted by Professor Ralster, I thank you for not using the Italic font in your econ thesis, so as to risk its removal - resulting in the redistribution, restructuring and reregulation of this site. It was worth the read.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

This comment removed by site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey, I have been experimenting with font and italics, and have had many posts removed simply for typing the words "this comment removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement" in italics. Absolutely zero offensive or solicitation. Just watch, I will type that exact phrase again, because I think it is funny to look like I typed something so "egregious" to get "censored". See my very next post will contain the exact phrase, done in italics...lets see if it gets censored. (The following is test #5, usual censor phrase in italics):


Phil Leister 1 year, 7 months ago

I understand LJW has to filter some of these comments, and free speech doesn't exist under a private company's jurisdiction, but it's gotten a bit out of hand. Someone above offered their viewpoint of C.J. Henry, and called him a name (nothing obscene, racial, or anything you can't say on TV). LJW sees it fit to remove the comment. I don't get it.

Will this be removed as well, because I'm saying something critical of LJW?


jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 6

Now, in no way, am I suggesting that HEM is on the side of slavery, and anti-unionism. I know for a fact that he is not racist and detests slavery as much as any of us here. I frankly don't know his views on unions. But these are both besides my point here. I used these examples only because they provide striking clarity and contrast regarding my point.

Institutions often ought to be changed (and often have to be changed), when an economy is not producing the desired distribution of goods, services, wealth, income, cost and risk.

So: I would not disagree with HEM that there are significant benefits to keeping teachers pay very low, just as, say, there are significant benefits to keeping grain prices low by maintaining huge surpluses of government purchased grain in grain elevators, so that the random droughts and producer oligopolies, either at the corporate farming level, or at the level of, say, grain distribution cartels, and bread producer oligopolies, use mother nature's excesses, or there own cornering of markets, as means of price gouging.

But by the same token, it may well be that certain institutions in the society need to be altered in order to skew pay levels of educators higher simply to attract more and better minds to the education profession so that in turn we get greater productivity from our educational system, and achieve this end by using the same institutional change to avoid cost shifting this increased cost onto the very persons that HEM says benefit from keeping teacher salaries at the current institutionally constrained level. Frankly, there aren't enough basketball players in the economy presently, given current institutionalization, to make it matter much how much these fellows are paid. Truly, the economy could easily quintuple the salaries of all NBA players and the national economy would probably not feel it at all. But teachers? Oh, my, there are lots of them, and they teach probably 50-100 million kids a year. Heck, something like 10 million new kids enter the labor force each spring.

It is the sheer numbers of teachers and students that makes many, especially the top .5% now holding 90 percent of wealth, constantly hope the American people don't decide their children need to be better educated. The money would, naturally, come largely from them, at least until the institutions are re-regulated again to redistribute the wealth back downward, so that middle class persons would then vote for improving the education of their children and the future's children.

Rock Chalk!


jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 5

Now, the last 30 years especially, since the demise of the USSR as a countervailing political competitor with huge natural resources, we have seen the upper class systematically orchestrate the strangling Leviathan tactic to both cannabalize wealth from the middle class, and recover a great deal of influence and autonomy in government that the upper class had enjoyed prior to the New Deal. They do this, because there is no longer a competitor that could spirit away the allegiance of the middle class. So: ironically, perhaps the best thing that ever happened to the middle class in terms of prosperity were the competitive alternatives of fascism and communism that drove the American upper class to tolerate the New Deal, however briefly, so as to stave off the on rush of these two competing ideologies. But I digress.

And, besides, there is a keener insight to realize.

When the lower classes found themselves on the short end of the stick, they turned to institutional change to alter value and pricing and risk dynamics in their favor.

And when the upper classes found themselves with less control over the political and economic systems than they liked after the New Deal, they, too, turned to institutional change to alter value, pricing and risk dynamics to favor them.

So: we can reasonably infer from this that institutions are the key to redistributing benefits up, down and sideways, and to emphasizing and de-emphasizing what will be valued and priced more, and what will be valued and priced less.

It does not matter which side of this you may come down on. The key thing here is that the record is clear. Institutions decisively shape how an economy values and prices things and in who's favor. This is not a liberal, or conservative agenda, I am pushing here. This is basic political and international relations institution building knowledge. Each move to "de-regulate" something is not de-regulation. It is "re-regulation." The rules are being altered to favor a new group, essentially whatever group is funding and spearheading the change.

So: I think it not really accurate to make arguments that educators ought to be paid less (or more) relative to basketball players, or so that doing so enables a certain array of possible benefits down stream, say, as those advocating slavery, and anti-unionist agendas once did, unless one also notes that the institutions themselves are largely arbitrary and that it might actually make a whole lot more sense to alter the institution, i.e., re-regulate in a way that produces a more effective distribution of goods, services, wealth, and cost, rather than asking certain citizens to bear and unusually large share of the cost of maintaining a existing institution that has largely triggered the problem in the first place.


jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 4

here are few realms of economic activity farther removed from traditional capitalism and instituted competitive markets than university basketball and professional basketball teams. The former is a state/federal entity operating a basketball team through the shell of a closely held, private not-for-profit corporation. The latter, the pro league, is by most economic definitions a professional basketball cartel and at the very least it would be a producer oligopoly. Value and price in such circumstances are vastly more determined by collusion among producers and their written and unwritten institutions than by increasingly archaic notions of supply and demand within competitive markets. It is just a fact. Not something that would even be debated among knowlegeable analysts and economists.

Next, to HEM's points.

First, any time persons assert that some level of compensation is "best" for one part of our labor force this proves my point that value and price are largely products of moral-ethical values about what would be best, as expressed through institutions, rather than market derived through supply and demand. Slavery was long argued to be best for cotton growing, and so for textile industries and so for consumers needing clothing, because it held down labor costs, and filled a need for labor in harsh conditions that "labor markets" might not supply at feasible supply with feasible pricing. Likewise, factory owners opposing unionized labor often have felt that non-union, peonage, indentured servants, and slave labor are beneficial to keeping labor costs down, which keeps finished product prices lower, which enables both cheaper prices for consumers and more retained earnings for reinvestment in technology to improve productivity. Institutions can and have been written that asymmetrically skew human activity to certain ways of doing things with various kinds of asymmetric cost shifting (usually onto the less fortunate), and benefit shifting (usually on to the more fortunate). Doing so is a primary function of institutions.

But of course what historic and present economies, and especially those central bank centrically financed economies, teaches by evidence and recurring example, is that any value system can be favored. We have been through an era called the New Deal when new institutions established a set of trade offs on cost shifting and benefit shifting, where in publicly owned untilities and infrastructures could flourish, wealth would tend to distribute much more broadly, access to education and jobs would be broadened, and employment would orchestrated much higher, as policy. During this period the middle class was being broadened as a bulwark against the spread of Communism and Fascism.


jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 3

So: as BlownJay wonders would we be better off if we paid our educators the way we pay our athletes, and as HEM asserts that is a dream world notion, because educators cannot generate the value to a firm and economy that a basketball player can, I see both as slightly missing the mark.

BlownJay, it is true that you ask a metaphysical question that is hard (and perhaps irrelevant to answer) in the real word of economics of government and business, because such could never happen without a massive reinstituting of our economic game space.

At the same time, BlownJay, there is no reason in the world that a society could not, if it were to choose collectively to do so, do exactly what you say and make it work just fine. What persons are paid in any society is rooted in a value choice of what the society finds most valuable and so is most willing to enable with education, indoctrination, institutions, legal enforcement and asymmetric subsidy.

We know this is so, because of many realities.

IQ, mental flexibility,and even hard to measure work ethic are not highest in the top .5% where 90% of the wealth now resides, so the only way to explain its long term concentration is in long term asymmetries created by our institutions, regarding things like (but not limited to) inheritance, taxation, membership in organizations that enable preferred access to high benefit employment and high benefit investment (e.g., insider knowlege of grand scams like derivatives trading, especially when the plug will be pulled, that go unpunished, and bailed out,etc.) and so on.

But there are many other less egregious realities to note. For instance, our written institutions about basketball, particularly the one and done rule, make it so that a player can receive relatively modest compensation for playing at college one year, and then an order of magnitude greater compensation a year later, often not because of skill development, but rather because the institution arbitrarily and for reasons largely unrelated to the abilities and degree of development of, say, Xavier Henry force him from one institutionally determined earning status to another. Hence, price paid is not directly determined by what Xavier can generate for a college program, or for a pro team, but rather more by the institutions that collectively shape the benefits of college programs, pro teams, and what Xavier may be allowed to be paid at either level.


jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 2

Note: inflation does not count in this assertion, as inflation (or deflation) is simply the ratio of money supply (in all its varied definitions)to goods and services produced in a given period of time. Money supply increasing faster than goods and services equals inflation. Money supply increases, or decreases, lagging behind goods and services production, equals deflation. Stagflation is just unemployment above 5% structural unemployment, with real wages lagging behind a money supply exceeding production of goods and services. Prices are rising at the same time that more and more can afford less and less. For what its worth, we have lived, since 2007, in an intentionally stagflated economy. It is what I call the Great Stagflation, rather than a depression, or recession. The economic statistics make what I am saying indisputable, regardless of what talking points the mass media repeats ad nauseum.

Fourth, what can vary the tendency of value and price with in an established equilibrium range is short term supply and demand variations and mid term expectations about both. In the long term, as Lord Keynes said so memorably, we are all dead, even after monetarism, even after trickle down, even after voodoo economics, even after central bank centrism, even after the Plunge Protection Team, even after Helicopter Ben and the "print currency" button, even after the untraceable bailouts, even after floating the stock market up in the jaws of rising unemployment, even after a series of interrupted recoveries, even after the car companies finally decided it was time to start bringing new product to market, etc.

My point here is that supply and demand are very far down the list of what drives value and price. They are situational drivers, not structural. This is why you will see cars and houses sitting on real estate owned lists at banks without the price continually being slashed to move them. This is why you will not see new cars collecting dust on a lot ever being discounted more than the pre-planned 30% even when the car company is bankrupted and awaiting a bail out. Supply and demand are not fundamentally every what triggers changes in equilibrium range of value expectation and price reality in the short term, and often not in the mid term. They are very far down the pecking order in determining what happens in an economy, especially in a managerial economy foundationed on producer oligopolies that have essentially transitioned from the role of producer firms competing in a market place into the role of infrastructure providers distributing an oligopolized good/service.


jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 1

BlownJay and HEM,

First, we don't live in a capitalist, free market system anymore; that went out some time ago.

We live in a managerial economy, as per Peter Drucker's definition, and have for several decades. It is an economy driven by producer oligopolies, the control over which is shared 50-50 by: a) the central bank centric banking system that typically finances 50% of the operating budgets of most producer oligopoly corporations; b) by holding companies that either own the other controlling interest in the equities of the producer corporation, or control the boards of the pension funds that do own the producer oligopoly corporations.

In the interstices of these producer corporations arranged in producer oligopoly regimes, that is to say in the secondary and tertiary portions of the economy, there are remnants of marginalized market-driven capitalism, but any time these innovate significant productivity-enhancing technologies, that sector of the economy is then financed heavily, then collapsed during the next central bank triggered credit contraction into producer oligopoly regimes, and acquired at discount values. This is the American economy as it actually operates for the last three decades. But the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy rarely see extraordinary innovations, because the competition keeps them so lean that they cannot invest much in technological innovation from within their field because of slim profits and slim retained earnings.

I point out the above not to be pedantic, but to put your discussion in a realistic context.

Second, what is valued (an estimate) and priced (a consideration of currency, or property, actually given in exchange at a moment in time) and the amount it is valued and priced at, in any form of economy, short of a metaphysical one operating without formal, or informal institutions, depends substantially on the formal (written laws, regulations and agreements) and informal (unwritten agreements) institutions shaping trade in a particular economy.

Third, what can vary the tendency of value and price from one equilibrium range to another equilibrium range within such a context is changing technology that alters and or redistributes productivity and cascading net benefits within an economy.


Ron Franklin 1 year, 7 months ago

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danno1313 1 year, 7 months ago

Funny, he couldnt wait to leave KU.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

On the OAD stuff, I can't stand it. I would just prefer that by April 15 preceding the draft, you either declare for the draft, or not. The late signing period follows. If you don't declare for the draft, you aren't eligible for 3 years like baseball (I'd take 2 years, too). If you declare, you're done. Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard .. those guys should go. And we can't legislate against stupidity for those that declare and shouldn't.

It seems so easy. But don't blame the NCAA. It's the NBA. The NBA doesn't permit the kids to declare. They obviously believe that the straight out of high school stuff is not in their best interests. They'd rather see the kid in college a year to see what they have against better competition. The NCAA is at the mercy of the NBA.

I did like JayDogger's catch of the most important quote .. “It’s great to be out here because the atmosphere at Kansas is something I’ve never been around ever in my life. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life.”

Tough. But X made a good business decision. When you get three years of guaranteed money like that, you almost have to take it. The only way is if you're a sure top 15 pick, because otherwise you could slip out of round 1. If there's doubt, you should stay one extra year it seems. But it all depends on if the player makes it in the NBA, and there's the rub.

Universally, we all thought Selby made a bad decision. But did he? He seems to have made it now, so things may look a bit different.

I mentioned the other day .. don't you think if Selby would have stayed another season, he would have likely made more money in his first 2 seasons in the league, than in three leaving early a year early? That may be true. If he was the #16 pick in the 2012 draft, he would make about the same in one season, as his two year deal (about $1.3+ million), but would have two more seasons guaranteed for a total of appx. $4.35 million.

But I looked at Selby's contract further. He'll make about $2 million in his first three seasons, assuming the club picks up his very reasonable 3rd year option. If he turned pro after his junior season (2012-13), he'd need to be the 8th overall pick to make that same money in his first season vs. the first three he will play. But if he was, say, the 10th pick in the 2013 NBA draft, he'd have a three year guaranteed contract worth a cool $5.9 million. Will be interesting to see if he makes that combined in his first 5 seasons. Nothing says he would have been in the top 10 after 2013, either.

The "guaranteed" part is the big deal, and that's getting into the first round. How many guys wash out as a 40-something pick like Selby? He took a bigger risk turning pro, than staying, really. A tough, tough decision for these kids.

But rarely does a kid's stock go way down. Play three seasons. That seems to be the best bet.


Ron Franklin 1 year, 7 months ago

When I see a young millionaire athlete, I always wonder:

How much better off would we be if we paid our educators that way?


Joe Shaw 1 year, 7 months ago

Love Xavier, he was such a nice guy when he met my little son, however, it would have benefited him to stay at KU till he was a senior. With Xavier on the team last year, I am sure he would have been worth the 10 points we needed to beat Kentucky in the national championship. He would have left KU a national champion and much more polished NBA ready player after receiving the proper coaching. Also would have had a degree to fall back on.

Just sayin', generally speaking, most kids would benefit from staying in school the four years and then making the jump to the NBA.


KEITHMILES05 1 year, 7 months ago

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 7 months ago

Every major team plays these what if games these days. So here we go. What if KU broke the mold and kept its' players for four years? Xavier, Selby and TRob mentoring the youngsters this year. Last year with the Morris twins alongside TRob. I know, we can't go there but it's still kind of interesting to speculate.


REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Sportsmoney interrupted this kid's development as a complete basketball player in the BIll Self System. Can't fault him for grabbing the big bucks while he was healthy and could rake in the millions with a guaranteed contract. X did help the Jayhawks to a magnificent 33-3 season, and another league title. However, the whole thing sucks. One and done business a real blight on college hoops. X's tears at departure time appeared to be very sincere. I'm happy to see him return to Lawrence while some of his former teammates are still in the program.


AsadZ 1 year, 7 months ago

X has been a great ambassador of KU basketball program. I wish him all the best in NBA.


MrMario15 1 year, 7 months ago

Nice job staying one step ahead of the hurricane Xav-eey--ay


Jay Dogger 1 year, 7 months ago

“It’s great to be out here because the atmosphere at Kansas is something I’ve never been around ever in my life. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life.”

But how could it be the best year of his life if he wasn't making millions of dollars a year??? Something for new recruits to consider.


Phil Leister 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh C.J. It's hard to judge the kid, but I never took a liking to him. I feel like he could have been a decent player if he stuck it out. He didn't make it once as a baseball player, hopefully the second time's the charm.


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