As you might have already seen, Dwight Jaynes did, as I hinted that he would last night, clap back at John Canzano first thing this morning.
(Praise where praise is due: that link in his article to Blazeredge was supposed to point to knickfan's fanpost. Much respect to knickfan.)
Quick rewind: In his article today, Jaynes was responding to claims made by Canzano on his radio show earlier this week that Jaynes's earlier story about the potential illegality of statements made by the Blazers concerning Darius Miles's health was a plant from Darius's agent.
To quote Jaynes:
The column I wrote did NOT come from Miles' agent, Jeffrey Wechsler. There are any number of people who knew I had been snooping around about the story way before I attempted to speak to Wechsler - because I called them and asked them if they'd had any luck getting the guy to talk. They hadn't, and I didn't, either. He has no interest in speaking to the press, it seems.
Given the veracity of Canzano's radio comments, Canzano's large profile here in Portland, and the history between Mr. Miles and Mr. Canzano, I think, for a lot people, Mr. Canzano's stance, even if not backed up by a source, was quite believable.
This afternoon I was lucky enough to have an extended talk with Mr. Wechsler. Unfortunately, most of it necessarily stays off the record. I can assure you, should he ever like to write a book about his times as an agent, specifically as Darius's agent, publishing houses will be lining up. My impression, however, is that route is not in his future.
On to the printable news: Mr. Wechsler flatly denies any contact with Mr. Jaynes prior to the recent story regarding the potential HIPAA violation. At that time, Mr. Jaynes, as he noted in his article, did seek comment from Mr. Wechsler. Mr. Wechsler acknowledged briefly speaking with Mr. Jaynes, but described their conversation as, "My only comment was no comment." Indeed, this "no comment" is what Mr. Jaynes printed in his piece. From the manner in which he presented these details, I have every reason to take Mr. Wechsler at his word.
Unfortunately, despite my hope that Mr. Wechsler would speak on the record regarding Darius Miles' progress, current activities and feelings about his time in Portland, he firmly demanded that all of those discussions remain off the record.
However, he did confirm a previous report from Ian Thomsen that Darius, after receiving the news that his knee injury was deemed career-ending, left Portland, went to visit his mother, and then went "immediately to Phoenix, where he worked out twice a day, seven days a week" with Robin Pound, a trainer he has known since his early days here in Portland. Mr. Wechsler also confirmed Mr. Thomsen's report that Darius is currently working out in Chicago.
Other than that, I received "no comments" to the following (paraphrased) questions...
- "Do you think Darius will sign a contract this year?"
- "Which teams are showing the most interest in Darius?"
- "How exactly does he look physically?"
- "What is Darius's side to this whole story? Why is he so quiet?"
It is that last question that I was most hoping for him to answer on the record.
Previously, I have stated that talking publicly is only to Darius's benefit, as his silence allows Anti-Darius sentiment to be the only voice.
Thinking this through, I still believe this to be true-- but only in Portland.
Outside of Portland, choosing to comment on any extracurricular matters might cause harm to Darius's hopes of securing a new contract. It is often difficult for Darius supporters and/or sympathizers, here in the Portland fishbowl, including myself, to understand that. Clearly, today's conversation included, Mr. Miles and Mr. Wechsler have chosen silence as their best approach for securing a new deal in the NBA. At least, it seems, until a new deal is done (if and when).
Their spot is a tricky one, no question, and I greatly admire their ability to remain so tight-lipped. If it were me in Darius's sneakers, I know I would have great difficulty keeping my thoughts to myself
One thing has not changed throughout this ordeal: I am still the VP (and sole remaining board member) of the Darius Miles fan club. I wish Mr. Miles a productive career, I hope that he continues to be given try-outs by NBA teams and I hope he gets a contract.
Yes, I realize that his signing a contract would make life more difficult and expensive for Mr. Allen. However, I think it is fundamentally wrong to begrudge Darius the opportunity to continue his career.
As a postscript, Mr. Jaynes's account and Mr. Wechsler's confirmation of his account were also confirmed by another writer actively involved in this story as it developed.
Another postscript, I sought comment/clarification from Mr. Canzano regarding Mr. Wechsler's and Mr. Jaynes's denials. His response, in full:
Love your website.
Weschler is part of Darius' problem. He's an enabler. Also, he's bitter, and transparent.
I welcome him on the radio show anytime he'd like to come on.
So, where does that leave us? Unfortunately, no closer to the answers that Mr. Jaynes was originally seeking. For that, we will almost assuredly need to wait until Darius is ready to talk. Even with all this hot air, we aren't any closer to Darius stepping back on an NBA basketball court either. Only Darius, his knee, and, yes, his agent can make that happen. On both issues, the ball is firmly in Darius's court, as it has so often been in the past.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)