Luther Head Again

A relatively sensational headline from Ziller at Fanhouse yesterday: Report: Hornets Lied About Luther Head's Ankle.  I slap the "sensational" tag on it due to the lack of any new information on the situation. The story that has been circulating on Twitter (and that MrWayneKeller FanShotted here) is just a reference to the original A-Woj story/destruction of the front office. 

A quick refresher on the timeline; in bold, the person in charge of front office decisions at the time (from my critique of the team's decision from July 15th).

Sat., July 10th: Hornets, Head agree deal [Jeff Bower]
Tue., July 13th: Jeff Bower leaves team [Hugh Weber]
Wed., July 14th: Hornets withdraw offer [Hugh Weber]
Wed., July 14th: Head's agent/Woj slam Hornets [Hugh Weber]
Tue., July 20th: Hornets hire Dell Demps [Dell Demps]

 

Let's start with this: we still don't know if Head did or did not fail a physical. We have the word of the Hornets against the word of Mark Bartelstein. Yes, A-Woj is a respected reporter that has broken a staggeringly large percentage of NBA stories in the past two years. But let's remember that A-Woj's original report was simply the result of a phone conversation he had with Bartelstein. Sure, other sources "have told" Woj that the failed physical affected Head's chances. But as far as the physical itself? It was Bartelstein's word, as held up by Woj for all to see. 

In Woj's latest Y! story, one can find an updated sourcing: "Several sources insisted that there was nothing wrong with the ankle." But again, I'm not convinced. Were these sources all present during the physical? Are these sources that are close to Head, but that weren't present at the physical and don't know specifically what the Hornets contended? Are these Hornet sources that leaked the information out? Keeping in mind the confidentiality associated with medicals, it's unlikely that very many people outside of Weber/Williams/medical staff were on hand for the physical. 

Second, the decision to withdraw the offer was Weber's. Woj explicitly calls out Weber in his scathing TweetackTM. As dubious as the situation still feels to me, the current front office- Demps, Williams, etc.- is almost entirely unattached. 

And finally, I don't buy the "failed physical doomed Head's future chances" argument nearly as much as I did two months ago. Let's say a team wants a bench shooter. They draw up a list of options. They see Head as the best fit. At that point, it seems absolutely ridiculous to dismiss him from consideration because of a heavily contested failed physical, administered by a so-called sleazy team. Likewise, if a team is going to bring him to camp but is afraid of guaranteeing a contract due to the Hornet physical.... why not give him a physical themselves? Do NBA physicals cost in the thousands? Do teams not want to pay for plane tickets? 

The conclusion is the same as it was two months ago. If the Hornets lied, that's messed up. If the Hornets didn't lie, then... yeah. For now, all we can definitively say is this isn't nearly as black and white as people are making it out to be. 

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