UK didn't need parental baggage from Henry

Sometimes things just work out for the best. The Wildcats should count themselves as fortunate that they did not end up with Xavier Henry.

Sometimes things just work out for the best. The Wildcats should count themselves as fortunate that they did not end up with Xavier Henry. I say this not because the roster is filled with so much talent now that it would be difficult to keep all the players happy, though that is certainly an argument that can be made. I also do not say it because Xavier Henry is somehow not talented enough to play significant minutes on the roster, for that is also clearly not the case.

I propose that it may be a good thing simply because Henry would not only bring an incredible skill set to his team, he will also bring what appears to be an over-interfering and controlling parent with him. Wildcats fans need only to look back to the Alex Legion situation to know what a distraction and disaster that can be, though there are others as well. Does Michael Bradley ring a bell to anyone?

In late June the Kansas City Star wrote an article which characterized Carl Henry, father to Xavier Henry and his brother C.J., as a man who appeared to take an overly controlling interest in his 18-year old sons' day to day interests, including personally supervising the players' individual workouts and speaking, sometimes loudly and inconsistently, on behalf of the boys.

Carl took strong exception to the article and began to angrily backpedal on sports radio stations about sons' commitments to Kansas, and implied that Kentucky and/or Europe might be the final destinations for his boys.

Before the elder Henry could leave the radio station the Jayhawks staff was headed to Kansas City to plug the hole in the dike. Though no member of the media was there to record the event, I can only imagine that Kansas Coach Bill Self had to kiss Carl's ring a few times to mend matters and it worked. Self and Kansas won the battle at the end of the day; or did they?

Time and time again, it seems that over-protective parents create headaches for coaches and disruptions for teams that result in turmoil that simply doesn't help anyone, including the player.

In the case of Alex Legion, it was an over-protective and vocal mother that poisoned the waters. Out of high school, Alex Legion was a phenomenal talent, poised for college and perhaps NBA stardom. Like the Henry situation, the Legion recruitment turned into quite a drama before he finally landed at Kentucky.

Legion's time at Kentucky was frustrating and unproductive and at the center of the chaos was his mother, vocalizing to the media, characterizing her son as a victim. Legion left UK frustrated at the lack of playing time; he played at Illinois last season. The result: not much changed.

The Illini gave him plenty of opportunities early, but his act got old there too. Legion averaged just 3.5 points per game. Legion scored a total of five points in the last six games of the season; his playing time had dwindled to almost nothing.

The Wildcats have, by all accounts, the makings of a final four team. Henry's skill set would have certainly been welcomed, particularly in light of Jodie Meeks' departure. However, count me as one person who thinks coach John Calipari just didn't need the potential baggage that Henry would have brought with him to Lexington in the form of a vocal and perhaps over-protective parent. Coach Bill Self has an incredible team. Henry will add talent to it. I just hope he has enough Tylenol.


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