Skip to main content

"I black out sometimes" — Jail Blazers swingman Bonzi Wells once made an obscene gesture to a fan and claimed he forgot what he did

This was just a minor incident compared to the other episodes of bad behavior displayed by the Jail Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers player Bonzi Wells

Bonzi Wells

Bonzi Wells donned the Portland Trail Blazers during their Jail Blazers era. They were one of the best teams in the West in the 2000s, but they were also ill-tempered towards their foes, the referees, and the fans. One time, Wells displayed savage behavior toward a fan but claimed he forgot what he just did.


In a game against Allen Iverson’s Philadelphia 76ers in the 2003-04 season, Wells made an obscene gesture to a fan and threw a towel and water bottle onto the court. The Blazers slapped Wells with a fine. Asked about the incident during a practice session, Wells had this to say.

I don’t remember nothing like that, but if I did I was probably wrong, but I don’t remember doing nothing like that, I black out sometimes,” said Wells, per

He later added: “If something like that did happen, I apologize.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

This was just a minor incident compared to the other controversies during the Jail Blazers era. The other major incidents included marijuana possession, first-degree animal abuse, threatening a referee, teammates sucker punching one another, and a slew of other incidents.

Interestingly, Wells was one of the team’s captains. Earlier in the year, Wells claimed he would try his best to set an example and clean up the team’s image.

I mean you try man, I tell you I try, but I want to tell you, I ain’t gonna be 100% perfect,” said Bonzi. “I told you I’m going to have a ten percent lapse sometimes so that was my 10 percent lapse.

Fans gone wild

To lay all the blame on Wells seems unfair amid his team’s reputation. According to then-Blazers president Steve Patterson, the fans crossed some lines that weren’t meant to be crossed.

I would say having been there, that the two guys were verbally abusive. We’re going to have to do a better job of security to keep that from happening, but that doesn’t excuse what Bonzi did, so we fined him,” he said.

Perhaps history was harsher than it should’ve been to Wells and the Blazers. Yes, they displayed some erratic behavior. But Patterson’s comments reveal that fans, too, played their part in contributing to the chaos.

If the Jail Blazers played in the era of social media with cameras everywhere, they might have been treated more fairly. Maybe they would have even captured the hearts of many with their raw and unfiltered swag.

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

"You always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that" - Iman Shumpert discusses his on-court battles with Kevin Durant

Iman Shumpert reveals Kevin Durant was the hardest player he had to guard in his career

Larry Bird

"It makes me sick to my stomach" - Larry Bird on tanking in the NBA

If Larry Legend knew his team was tanking, he would've left it outright.

Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc

"I knew when I'd come here I am going to be this rookie kid that carries bags" - Toni Kukoc on how European players felt criticized coming into the NBA

His European basketball legacy may have not mattered in the NBA, but for Kukoc, he was still the "Croatian Sensation"

New Jersey Nets forward Kenyon Martin

“Everything after that was just basketball” — Kenyon Martin revealed the best moment of his career

For K-Mart, being drafted in the NBA was monumental but not a dream-come-true.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Philadelphia 76ers forward Georges Niang

“Now, you can’t even sneeze on a guy” — Gary Vee on why he prefers the physicality of old-school basketball over today’s NBA

Vee explained that the physicality back in the day was more than just players punching or close-lining each other but also about mental toughness and perseverance.