Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Count former NBA washout Antoine Wright(notes) among those who are getting it all wrong. And while plays on words are just about the worst thing ever, they pale in comparison to losing a job on an NBA team, in this case the Sacramento Kings, because you just yelled at one of your coaches because the coach (a former starter on a two-time NBA championship team) didn't want to pose for pictures with your mother.

Does that last reference seem a little specific? Well, that's because this is exactly what happened last season in Sacramento to Antoine Wright, former 2005 first-round pick and current hopeful of the Chinese Basketball Association's Jiangsu Nangang Dragons.'s Sam Amick has the fascinating story down pat:

"I had an issue with one of the coaches and my mother," said Wright, who was with the then-Mavericks assistant Elie and Kings coach Paul Westphal in Dallas from 2008-09 as a key reserve. "Mario Elie. I'll say his name because I had a history with him. We had just lost a game. It was over the holiday, Thanksgiving holiday, and my mother was in town and in the [team] family room [at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento]. She came up to Mario Elie, and said, 'I'm Antoine Wright's mom. Can I have a picture with you?' My mom is a fan of the game, a big fan of Mario Elie, and he said, 'No, I'm with my family.'

"We're a team now, so I came into practice [the next day] and told everybody, I said, 'When we go into film, I'm just going to put Mario on blast.' So I walk in last, and I come in through the front and Mario is in the back, and I said, 'Man, you know what? That's foul what you did to my mom. All she wanted was a picture. Everybody in this room would have took a picture with your mom if she asked, or anybody else's mom in this room. That's probably why we don't have any team chemistry.'

"The next day [Kings officials] came in and were like, 'Uh, this is not really working for you. It's not working for us. No hard feelings. We wish you the best.' I said, 'Thanks for the opportunity, and I'm gone.' "

Please do read the rest of the feature, because it goes far deeper than this.

Wright's issues go beyond this, obviously. He was an athletic wing who was barely and ineffectively trying to develop his iffy jumper and ball-handling skills, pretty much the NBA's most ubiquitous also-ran position. He wasn't that good to start, nor finish, and yet he still wants to pin his demise on Mario Elie not wanting to take a picture with his mother. Not realizing that this was Sacramento's perfect excuse for letting him go.

And now that he's burned that bridge, on the Mario Elie Memorial Highway, don't expect to see Antoine back in the NBA anytime soon. Pity, because he really could have sopped up a roster spot without making any significant contribution.

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