Julian Wright never seems to have understood that the problems he’s faced in his NBA career are not the work of the bogeyman. He’s not the victim of a conspiracy to keep him off the floor. He struggles with basic flow on both sides of the ball and has never been able to apply his considerable athleticism in a meaningful way.
A fresh start in Toronto was supposed to mean that for him. It was a chance to get out of the doghouse in New Orleans and start over. But instead, he’s vanished from sight again. And on Friday, he wound up disappearing on purpose.
Wright was told by head coach Jay Triano to enter the game during a blowout to the Warriors Friday night, and Wright responded by staying on the bench, according to Triano. On Saturday, he apologized to his coach and the team:
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.
Wright pulling a stunt like this, regardless of circumstances, isn’t going to sit well with Raptors’ management. They took a chance on Wright to turn around his career which has been underwhelming in every aspect. It’s one thing for established veterans to pull stunts like this, like the situation in Detroit, and even then it draws criticism. Wright is flirting with ruining what may be his last chance for a productive career with an attitude like that.