Sonny finally pays up
Old 05-30-2011, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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As Maclean’s reported last year, Weems quietly took advantage of a lucrative but little-known enterprise: companies that loan wads of cash to elite college athletes, on the condition that the money be repaid (with interest) as soon as the client inks a pro contract. In his case, the lender was Felix Wright, a one-time Hamilton Tiger-Cat who went on to play nine seasons in the NFL before dabbling in the financial services industry. Back in 2008, after a standout senior season at the University of Arkansas, Weems and Wright signed a contract of their own: a cash loan worth US$23,500 (at eight per cent interest) plus the use of a Ford Taurus—“all of which,” according to court documents, “was to be repaid and returned respectively when the said defendant was selected as a draft pick on a National Basketball Association team.”


That didn’t happen. After draft day, Weems reneged, forcing Felix Wright to file lawsuits on both sides of the border to recoup his dough. Only now, three full seasons into his NBA career, has Weems settled the account. “He made $900,000 last year,” says Morton Adelson, Wright’s Toronto lawyer. “Why he didn’t deal with this sooner, I don’t know.”

Weems spent his rookie campaign with the Denver Nuggets, and his stats (1.6 points per game, 0.3 rebounds) were as unimpressive as his debt repayment plan. He did return the Taurus—dented and scratched—but not the loan. In 2009, when Wright asked a Colorado judge to intervene, Weems didn’t even bother sending a lawyer to court.

Wright won a default judgment, including an order that compelled the Nuggets to garnishee Weems’s wages. But by the time the paperwork was filed, he had been traded again—first to Milwaukee, then to Toronto. Wright, who lives in Ohio, had no choice but to hire a Canadian lawyer and file a fresh lawsuit, this one demanding nearly US$35,000 in damages ($29,745 for the loan, plus interest; $2,250 for the car repairs; and $2,500 in legal fees). Again, Weems didn’t bother mounting a defence—and again, a default judgment was registered against him (the court settled on a figure close to US$26,000).

Shortly after the ruling, Weems was signed to a one-year US$854,000 contract with the Raptors, but he didn’t exactly jump at the chance to abide by the court’s decision. Wright’s lawyer had to secure a separate order that forced Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) to hand over 20 per cent of his paycheques until the loan was reimbursed. The first instalment arrived in June 2010.

That wasn’t the end of the court battle, however. In August, a lawyer for MLSE wrote to Wright’s attorney, saying the company “will take steps to ensure that Mr. Weems pays the full amount owing forthwith”—approximately $24,000—and if that wasn’t possible, “MLSE will itself make the payment and make its own arrangements with Mr. Weems.” Wright’s lawyer wrote back, pointing out that with interest, legal fees and the unpaid car repairs, the actual amount owing was nearly $37,000, not $24,000.

MLSE balked at the calculation, calling it “baseless and vexatious” and “far in excess of the amount actually owing under the judgment.” Both sides eventually settled on an acceptable figure (the exact amount isn’t disclosed in court documents), but yet again, the case wasn’t quite finished. In December, with the season now under way, Wright’s lawyers won a third default judgment, this one for $6,000 to cover the remaining legal fees and the still unpaid auto repair bill.

After another application to garnishee Weems’s wages, the final payment was recently forwarded to the Toronto sheriff’s office—the last stop on its way to Wright’s bank account. “They made me jump through hoops,” says Adelson, his lawyer. “But it’s almost over.”

Roger Montgomery, Weems’s agent, did not return a phone call from Maclean’s. His client, according to his Twitter account, is back home in Arkansas—“Chilling in West Memphis with the squad!!!!” and waiting for his next offer.
LINK - Macleans.ca
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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wow. This is enough to make me think it would be best for him to go elsewhere. And I can't believe MLSE calling the claims vexatious.

The other side of this story would seem to be about the situation with college athletes that would lead to such loans in the first place.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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wow. This is enough to make me think it would be best for him to go elsewhere.
I was thinking that prior to this.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's just grimy. What a weasel. I mean who abuses a Taurus? It's a classic! Somewhere, Rick from Pawn Stars is shaking his head.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Was just going to post this. I kow the guy is young, but this is beyond dumb and shows a lack of responsibility for his actions, lack of leadership and is just stupid. His not even sending a rep is the worst, who cares what MLSE says. Can't have guys with a lack of character on your bench. Good riddance.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Let alone armchair GM's now we're financial advisors too!
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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weems isn't the smartest guy...
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Who was Weems' agent at the time? I hope for Weems' sake that he has a new agent because something like this should never have reached the complexity that it did.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I mean who abuses a Taurus? It's a classic!
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Let alone armchair GM's now we're financial advisors too!
I could tell you that you shouldn't stick your finger in an electrical outlet and I don't have to be an electrician... which is probabaly advice you can use. No charge.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Who was Weems' agent at the time? I hope for Weems' sake that he has a new agent because something like this should never have reached the complexity that it did.
What's so complex? He owed a bit of money. He tried to get away with not paying it back. It seems pretty simple. Anybody that needs to have their employer take money out of their paycheques, because they can't handle any responsibility, might be best getting their paycheques elsewhere.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Haha, that's just stupid. Even I know that he should of just paid up at the time he got his contract. He would lost significantly less money.

Also, as a cheap shot, I hope he isn't here the upcoming year.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What I don't get is why couldn't he wait till he got drafted instead of getting a loan. Stupid in my eyes, when your just about to get payed and if you don't get drafted you don't get screwed.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Everyone makes mistakes but he sounds intentionally negligent. Good thing I don't like his game on the court, either.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I miss the old Sonny(2009-2010 and beginning of this season) just as much as anyone, but some people are delusional to think Sonny would be coming back next year, if there is actually anybody out there that thinks that. The only reason to keep him around though, is because him and DD's bromance. Even then, I seriously doubt BC gives a shit.


At best, he can be a 3rd-string bench player on this team.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I was thinking that prior to this.
i agree 100%
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I miss the old Sonny(2009-2010 and beginning of this season) just as much as anyone, but some people are delusional to think Sonny would be coming back next year, if there is actually anybody out there that thinks that. The only reason to keep him around though, is because him and DD's bromance. Even then, I seriously doubt BC gives a shit.


At best, he can be a 3rd-string bench player on this team.
Considering the team we have that says a lot about him lol
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I miss the old Sonny(2009-2010 and beginning of this season) just as much as anyone, but some people are delusional to think Sonny would be coming back next year, if there is actually anybody out there that thinks that. The only reason to keep him around though, is because him and DD's bromance. Even then, I seriously doubt BC gives a shit.


At best, he can be a 3rd-string bench player on this team.
...and that's exactly where the open roster spot is. At SG behind DD and Barbosa. And at SF behind JJ and LK.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Makes me wonder if Sonny knows where his money is going. Bye Sonny. Hello Shane Battier.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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So you are all on the side of loaning company that tricks young athletes into loans they don't really need and then asks huge interest?
Company that by definition knows court system, pays the lawyers and will get a win every time?
Usury is what it is

And giving the kid a Taurus... ugh

Respect to MLSE for attempt to protect their players.
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