Saturday March 26 2011 – 6:25pm Pacific – Los Angeles, CA

Julian Wright has apologized for refusing to go into the game last night … as the Raptors were being blown out by the Golden State Warriors.

With Toronto down by 35+ points for most of the evening, head coach Jay Triano called upon Wright to go into the game late in the contest.  But the swingman told the coach that he wouldn’t sub-in.  When word of this story leaked out after the final buzzer, there was some talk that Wright may have been sick (he had recently returned from the rest room when Triano called his number) but it turns out the Kansas product’s health had nothing to do with his decision to not enter the game.

Wright addressed the coaches and his teammates in a game-day meeting earlier today.  He apologized for his actions but said “everyone understood” his frustration. 

“The best way to put it is this was not characteristic of me,” said Wright.  “That’s why I think this is (now) a thing of the past.”

Wright, who is the Raptors union rep, wouldn’t say whether or not he regretted his decision, simply saying that things have been handled internally and the team is just going to “finish strong”.

He has not been suspended … he is at the arena and is getting set to get dressed for the game.

Whether or not Wright has been fined by the Raptors is being kept internal as well.

For what it’s worth, a number of Wright’s teammates — especially Reggie Evans — were playfully yelling out some cat-calls at the reporters and offering words of support to Wright as we were chatting with him.

E. Smith

15 Responses to “Wright Apologizes”
  1. 1.

    There is no question there is significance to this act. Player reps have responsibilities to their constituents — and, without doubt, Wright was sending a message to his coach, GM and ownership last night…and, likely, to the fans, too.

    He knew EXACTLY what he was doing…and, I support him 100%.

    The ones who should be apologizing for last night’s fiasco are the players who showed ZERO concern for exerting any effort, whatsoever. Bargnani, Calderon, et al — they should all be ashamed of themselves and their lack of professionalism.

    Julian Wright should not have been coerced to give a b******* apology to his teammates. It’s ridiculous.

    - brento.
  2. 2.

    You are delusional if you think Wright should NOT have to apologize for waving off his coach and, in a sense, his team too.

    - Eric Smith
  3. 3.

    brento, I’m so sick of your comments. This is not Eric Smith’s blog. This is Eric and brento’s blog.

    - Michel G
  4. 4.

    if the coach stinks he stinks

    Jay looks the part but the wins are not coming

    this team needs a real winning coach not some rookie head coach

    i say give the job to coach K

    and no way im going in a game down 35

    does this team realy want to win?

    - king david
  5. 5.

    Wright’s actions were the tip of the iceberg, my friend. You know that.

    Deny it all you want. But, Wright knew full well what he was doing. As player rep, he holds a greater responsibility than being just another player.

    Feel free to brush off the incident as isolated. But, it isn’t. There clearly is dissension on this team, and Wright’s act demonstrates a serious need to make significant changes. Not only is the team losing, but there is turmoil involving ownership, a classically “lameduck” general manager, a coach who looks flabbergasted on most nights, and a highest-paid player rapidly gaining the ire of every basketball fan in this town.

    Anyone even remotely detached from this team would see the state of mess the Raps are currently in.

    - brento.
  6. 6.

    who brushed it aside or called it isolated?

    YET AGAIN … don’t put words / thoughts into my mouth / mind and assume you know what i’m saying or thinking.

    it MAY have been calculated at a player rep. MAYBE. but whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t excuse him bailing on his team and his coach.

    - Eric Smith
  7. 7.

    I hope you’re never a teammate of mine at any level david

    - Eric Smith
  8. 8.

    Michel G…and, I’m just as sick and tired of this Raptors team losing…year after year after year after year.

    No one is forcing you to read E. Smith’s blog.

    If you’re unhappy with my comments, there’s another very well known Raptors blog just brimming with Bargnani, Colangelo and Triano supporters.

    If you think having a handful of anti-sheep is disturbing…just wait’ll you hear what piles upon piles of other Raptors fans have to say. You’ll be back before I can count to ten…

    - brento.
  9. 9.

    Anyways, three quarters of this team checked out long, long ago. Andrea Bargnani hasn’t been interested in breaking a sweat in about four and a half years.

    Julian Wright just decided to do his checking out from the bench.

    So, I ask:

    What’s the difference?

    - brento.
  10. 10.

    Brento-

    Bargnani isnt our highest paid player.. Calderon is.. and i certainly dont think that calderon is gaining much “ire” with is 10 plus assists per game since the allstar break.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/team/roster/_/name/tor/toronto-raptors

    - Rapture
  11. 11.

    Semantics, Rapture. Bargnani’s per season salary is higher than Jose’s. I believe he signed a 5 year $50M contract extension. On average, I believe Jose earns about $8.5M per season.

    Anyways, I don’t recall discussing Bargnani’s salary…at least, not recently. Obviously, he’s overpaid. But, that’s not news.

    As for Jose, I’ve always been okay with him. He plays hard, stays out of trouble, and seems to be a positive influence on his teammates. Unfortunately, his biggest problem has been staying healthy — and, just as important, having to deal with a pantload GM who destroys any possibility of team chemistry by turning over the entire flippin’ roster every flippin’ season. For a PG, that’s an impossible atmosphere to develop team chemistry within.

    I know Jose gets knocked a lot by fans. But, I’ve always like him. He may not be a top-tier PG buy he’s solid.

    He’s just in a terrible situation here in TO.

    - Rapture
  12. 12.

    yeah man i’m on your side here and idk who i quoted but i see what you’re saying and if it wasn’t you i’m sorry.
    I’ve been a fan of Jose’s basketball IQ since I started to follow the raptors, and granted his glaring defensive struggles, i would hate to see him get mouthed off without any loving support. But I see you appreciate him as much as i do.

    - Rapture
  13. 13.

    Point 1. Calderon was not the main problem in Friday’s loss at G-State. He played only 14 minutes and was -8. Bargnani, OTOH, played 27 minutes and was -40. -40!!!

    Point 2. Wright was wrong for refusing to go in the game. Wright was not wrong, however, for feeling disrespected by Triano. Wright did not bail on his teammates. Wright refused to be disrespected by Triano. When your skill-set is predicated on defense and rebounding, and your team gives up an astounding 84 points in the 1st half, and your coach does not put you in the game sometime in that 1st half, but, then, asks you to sub into the game when the outcome has already been decided a LONG TIME AGO, then, it is completely disrespectful towards who you are as an NBA player … and, it is completely understandable, by anyone who knows how NBA players actually think about themselves and their coaches.

    There are have been major internal problems in the Raptors organization for the last several seasons and those who fail to see this are simply in denial.

    It is sad to see what has happened to this franchise, if you are someone who truly cares about its future. The fine City of Toronto DESERVES betteer than this.

    - khandor
  14. 14.

    I got two things to say

    1) If I was Julian Wright I wouldn’t want to be on the court as well because last time I checked I’m playing for the raptors.

    and

    2) Why is the media making such a big deal out of this? Really last time I checked it’s Julian Wright. Who has played sparingly throughout the entire year and hasn’t play at all for a good stretch of games. Like I would understand if it was like Calderon or Derozan but again it’s only Julian Wright no one really special. What I wrote might sound like I’m playing both sides but hey that’s just the way I feel.

    - Steve S
  15. 15.

    Nothing wrong with GM – team is young and building solidly. Give them time. Not 2012…but 2013. But a new coach may be in the cards in order to get the most from the players. Julian Wright – a lack of respect like that deserves a fine. Raptors deserve credit for keeping info on that in house.

    - wayner
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