Gilbert Arenas Channels the Caps
Today's Wiz practice ended with Gilbert Arenas making a Washington Capitals maneuver by serving an energy beverage to the winning team following a late-practice "competitive situation."
Ok, step back. Coach Ed Tapscott was talking after practice about how his players have enjoyed the competitive situations they've experienced in practice during this spell of off days, and then he went on by describing today's session.
"Today we ramped it up one level higher, we played a Juice Man game," Tapscott said. "I stole that from the Capitals. What happens is you put players in a competitive situation at the end of practice, and the winners have their post-game drinks served to them by the losers. We called it Juice Man Day. They do it with Gatorade, we do it with our recovery drink. So as we stretched, the winning team gets to sit and stretch while the losing team has to go over and get the juice and serve it."
Tapscott said he heard some Caps players talking about their version of the game--which is called Juice Boy in Ballston. Over there, in a game supervised by assistant coach Dean Evason, players get in line trying to send shots into two blocked off corners of the net. The last player left hands out little servings of Gatorade to the other competitors.
So Tapscott ran it by his captains, who approved, and by the time it debuted today, at least one teammate mistakenly thought Arenas had provided the inspiration.
"That's all because of Gil," Brendan Haywood said. "Gil came out there talking junk about how he was gonna win with the younger guys. And I was like, 'Man, I don't know, it's gonna be tough, you'd better get some vets on that group.' "
And Gilbert's result, according to Haywood? "He served Mike James some good juice," the center said with a laugh.
(You want more on Gilbert? I chased him all over the building today trying to ask why he hasn't been talking to the media. The word he kept using to explain his recent behavior was "disappear," as in he wanted to disappear from public consciousness.
"That's the word, disappear," Arenas said. "Disappear out of everybody's mind. Two things people don't respect any more: people who play through injuries and people who come back from injuries. We don't respect that like we used to."
I asked Brendan why Gilbert had adopted such a different media strategy during their recent rehabs; "See, me and Gil are different," Haywood said. "Gil's trying a lot of that Superhero, Superman, Change-in-the-phonebooth, Come-out-of-nowhere-and-shock-the-world type stuff. Me personally, I'm just trying to get healthy, make sure I don't get re-injured, do any more damage, and come back when I'm at full strength.")
Anyhow, Oleksiy Pecherov had to give juice to Darius Songaila; "I'm a good basketball player, man, I'm not a good waiter," Pecherov said.
Tapscott said he had never discussed his Juice borrowing with Bruce Boudreau, and said he wasn't even sure the two men would recognize each other if they passed in the hallway, but he was nevertheless pleased with the results.
"I don't necessarily want them to talk about it, but you hear the guys going, 'I'd like my juice served at half-court please, while I'm sitting, could you shake it up for me?' So when you hear guys talking about that, you know you've got a little motivational thing that gives them some extra stakes to play for, so we had a very spirited last situational segment, because it was the Juice Man segment."
I told Tapscott about how the Caps also award a Hard Hat following wins. He considered that.
"I haven't picked that one up yet," Tapscott said. "I like that. I would probably give the Hard Head award, with my crew, and I probably could pick out the six who might get it every day, but I'm gonna leave that one alone."
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