Tag: Chris Wilcox

Channing Frye

Channing Frye on his return to Suns: ‘I never felt like I was done’

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PHOENIX — The big news out of Suns media day on Monday was the team making official what Channing Frye had announced personally the night before: that he has been cleared to play by a multitude of physicians, and will be back on the active roster beginning immediately.

“There’s a lot of weird feelings going on right now,” Frye said. “It’s been a long year. It’s been one of the hardest years I’ve had to go through, because I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t rehab it, I couldn’t go out on the court and work on it. It was something [where] I just had to sit, and wait, and heal.”

Frye missed all of last season with what was diagnosed as an enlarged heart. He was unable to exercise at all while recovering, and just recently started to work his way back into shape. As for basketball activity, there has been very little by Frye’s own admission — dribbling and shooting here and there, but certainly no full-court runs.

But before basketball comes health, and during Frye’s year-long absence, he was forced to deal with something that could have been even more severe had it continued to go unnoticed.

“It was very serious,” he said. “Every doctor I went to was like, ‘thank God we caught it when we did.’ There could have been some serious repercussions.”

Frye gave us a grossly oversimplified medical explanation of what his issue was.

“My heart had a cold for a year, it went away,” he said. “So now I’m better.”

Frye is expected to be a full participant in training camp, with no restrictions. He was emphatic when asked if he needed to be on any medication.

“None. No way. I’m all healthy,” was Frye’s response.

He’ll undergo testing every six months, which he seemed to be much more open to than being consistently medicated. Now that he’s been completely cleared for activity, Frye was adamant that he won’t be tentative once he returns to the court for workouts.

“No, we’ve got too good of a [training staff] for that,” he said. “They’re not going to let me go out on the court if I’m scared, and it’s just not my attitude. I’m a zero or a hundred type of guy. When I go out there I’ll go as hard as I can in a safe environment, and if the trainers or the coaches see anything, [they’ll tell me] to take a step back.”

Frye consulted with fellow NBA players Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green, and Ronny Turiaf for advice, considering they all went through a heart condition which took them away from the game for a period of time. They told Frye to listen to what the doctors tell you, get multiple opinions, and ultimately do what’s best for you and your family.

Frye didn’t have to return to the NBA, obviously. Not only has he amassed more than $28 million in career earnings with two more guaranteed contract years ahead of him, but he reminded us that with his education, he could easily go do something else.

“I could be a teacher if I want to,” Frye said. “I’ve got my degree now.”

But he doesn’t have to pursue other options just yet. When asked about his choice to come back, Frye pointed to the motivation of overcoming his illness, along with a feeling inside that told him he still had something left to give to the game he loves.

“I just felt like I was never done,” Frye said. “Even when things didn’t look good, I just felt like I wasn’t done yet. And I was determined to approach this like I approach everything else.

“I wasn’t always the best, I wasn’t always the strongest or the tallest or the fastest. I just want to play ball, you know? It’s what I’m supposed to do, and I never felt like I was done.”

Another veteran big out on the market, Chris Wilcox

San Antonio Spurs v Boston Celtics
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Around this time of year — late August, early September — is when teams fill out the end of the roster. It’s when Chris Wilcox got a call…

Except will he this year? Last season in Boston he was solid in a limited role — 4.2 points and 3 rebounds a game in about 13.6 minutes a night. He has a PER of 15.3, which is pretty good for a guy in that role.

But he is still looking for a landing spot, reports the Boston Globe.

August is a difficult time for lower-tier free agents because teams are still trying to figure out roster space and flexibility. Also on the market is former Celtic Chris Wilcox, who said he would like to return to Boston, but that’s highly unlikely with the new regime. Wilcox said that recovering from aorta surgery affected him last season and he promised to be in better shape this season

Wilcox missed a chunk of two seasons ago after heart surgery and that still looms over him. It will make teams hesitant but he still should get a look from a team looking to round out its roster with a veteran big who can perform off the bench in a limited role. There are other guys like Drew Gooden and Tyrus Thomas out there on the market, too.

But Wilcox should get a chance, just not with a rebuilding Boston team.

Celtics to sign D.J. White for the rest of the season

D.J. White, Doc Rivers

The Celtics will sign D.J. White after the expiration of his second 10-day contract, according to a report from Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com.

White has appeared in four games for Boston this season, averaging 2.8 points and 1.5 rebounds in seven minutes of action per game. He did not appear in the Celtics’ close loss to the Heat on Tuesday — despite the absence of Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers chose to go just eight deep into his rotation, with Chris Wilcox being the only big to get any minutes off the bench.

White has likely been added to the roster not to appear in games, but to be a solid and serviceable healthy body for the team to roll out during practices. Rivers wishes to give his veterans some extra rest in preparation for the run into the postseason, and having White around for the remainder of the season will allow him to do exactly that.

Wednesday And-1 links: Greg Oden looking at four teams this summer

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Greg Oden’s agent Mike Conley Sr. (yes, the father of the Memphis point guard) told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida that the center is still looking at four teams to sign with this summer — Miami, San Antonio, Cleveland and Charlotte. The smart money is still on Cleveland, but one should never rule out the temptations of Miami (and the sales job Pat Riley can do).

Who are the worst contracts in the NBA? Here’s a good list. And yes, Joe Johnson is on there.

• Here is a great story about Chris Wilcox and his efforts to get back from heart surgery. For athletes who got where they are pushing through barriers, it’s hard to go slow.

• The Hawks signed Shelvin Mack to a 10-day contract.

• It’s not just the basketball side of the NBA front offices that are using advanced stats, they are starting to use the same thing to target ticket sales. Which is if anything behind the curve of what other marketing businesses are doing.

• Lawrence Frank will not be coaching the Pistons Wednesday, he’s away from the team on a personal matter.

• Greg Monroe is also out for the Pistons on Wednesday.

• Lamar Odom dozed off in the hall this week outside his child support hearing. At least he didn’t do it in front of the judge.

• Speaking of courtrooms, Mark Cuban’s efforts to get an insider trading case against him thrown out of court fell short.

• Taj Gibson is planning to return sometime next week.

Doc Rivers feels for Philadelphia and what it’s been like to be without their star all season.

• It’s not really a surprise, but the Timberwolves plan to re-sign Nikola Pekovic this summer.

• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he would love to coach the Milwaukee Bucks. I imagine so. But he should have to do what Patrick Ewing and so many others have done first and spend years as an assistant coach, not just be given the gig.

• Nick Young’s new haircut is…. interesting.

• The brother of Donald Fehr — the respected head of the NHL’s players union — basically ruled out Fehr taking over the NBA players union for Billy Hunter.

• The Rockets let Tyler Honeycutt go to make way for Aaron Brooks on the roster.

• The Hawks have brought Mike Scott back from the D-League.

• Finally, Tyson Chandler has hooked up with a good cause — protecting elephants.

Report Bradley will rejoin Celtics lineup Jan. 2

Avery Bradley, Nolan Smith

Avery Bradley is back in Boston, not with his Celtics teammates out West enjoying the balmy weather (although they didn’t much enjoy their welcome by the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night).

But while Bradley did not make a West Coast swing, he likely will rejoin his teammates on Jan. 2 when they host the Memphis Grizzlies, reports the Boston Globe.

Rivers reiterated that point guard Avery Bradley will not join the club on this West Coast trip but is expected to return Jan. 2 against the Grizzlies.

Bradley is working out in Waltham, Mass., with strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo and Chris Wilcox, who is out for a month with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right wrist. Bradley has not played since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last May, and Rivers did not want to rush him back from double shoulder surgery.

This has been the expected return date for a while, so while not shocking news it’s confirmation that Bradley’s return is near.

And while the expectations for what Bradley brings seems to have gotten a little too high in parts of Boston, he is key. He brings another strong perimeter defender to the Celtics starting lineup, which will help improve their defense. It lets Doc Rivers start to really set his rotation with Jason Terry going back to a sixth-man role where he thrives.

A lot of good things happen. But a lot of good things need to happen for a Celtics roster that is playing .500 ball so far this season.