I'm sure many of you have heard by now that Bonzi Wells has taken his talents to China this year for the princely sum of 80,000 dollars. This is a guy that turned down a 36 million dollar contract 3 years ago. THIRTY SIX MILLION DOLLARS. And slowly but surely, this is turning just as funny as you might imagine. A look at Bonzi's exploits thus far:
December 12th: Bonzi Wells lands in China
- Joins Shanxi Zhongyu, which finished last in an 18 team league last season.
- At the time of his arrival, they're 7-5, good for 9th in the league.
- AFP Beijing's headline: "Former NBA Bad Boy Lands in China"
- Says Bonzi Wells: "I am not a bad boy."
- Team manager Zhang Beihai denies the $80,000 contract, saying "Wells' salary is around half that amount."
December 21st: Bonzi Debuts
- The China Post: "Former NBA bad boy Bonzi Wells scored 48 points and snared 11 rebounds in his Chinese league debut, helping the Shanxi Zhongyu to a 107-106 win over Tianjin. "
- Asia Basket: "His Majesty poured in 48 points and made 7 steals." Yeah, that's right. His Majesty.
- Wells goes 7-7 on two pointers, en route to his 48 points.
- "In the NBA, I was never able to play so freely," says Wells post-game, after attempting 15 three pointers and making just 5.
December 24th: Bonzi Makes TV Debut
- Bonzi's team loses 93-92 as Mr. Wells plays on Chinese television for the first time.
- Taiwan News: "The former NBA badboy scored 41 points in the game late Wednesday."
- Bonzi scales down his rampant three point shooting and shows that he can be a team player, taking just 11 threes. Out of which he makes 1.
- Wells, post-game: "What were you expecting from me? No one can play a perfect game every time." I might be waaay off here, but I think they were expecting you not to go 1-11 from long range.
December 26th: The Bonzis Lose Again
- Prior to the game, Bonzi has this to say: "I shot the ball way too much. I need to avoid so much individual play and pass the ball more."
- Bonzi goes 5-18 from three point land, making him 11-54 in three games. He somehow manages to score 46 points.
- Stephen Jackson plans a getaway to China.
December 28th: Bonzi Makes Home Debut
- Impressed with Bonzi's amazing passing ability and legendary 3 assists per game average, Coach Bob Weiss decides to play Wells at point guard.
- Bonzi embraces his new passing role, scoring a season high 52 points.
- AFP Beijing: "Basketball bad boy notches 52"
- Asia Basket: "His majesty Bonzi Wells shined with 52 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists."
And that's that. Let's end with a few conclusions. For starters, the appropriate way to refer to Bonzi in China seems to be "His Majesty" and not "LOL That Guy Turned Down 36 Million Dollars ROFLMAO." Second and more importantly, Bonzi Wells has single-handedly carried a mediocre, 7-5 team to an utterly dominant 9-7 mark. Seriously, how did we let this gem of a player get away from us?
Chris Paul is good and all, but is he a Bad Boy? I think not.