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Leonsis says it's time to re-embrace Gilbert Arenas

Ted Leonsis introduced his new partners and a new name for his investment group -- Monumental Sports & Entertainment -- during his I'm-buying-the-Wizards press conference on Thursday. He said Washington is a "basketball-mad city" and the Wizards as a franchise are "a sleeping giant." But the first headline from his presser came after Tarik El-Bashir asked what his relationship is like with Gilbert Arenas.

"There will be a time when we should spend quality time with me and with Gilbert," Leonsis said. "Gilbert is the biggest asset that the Wizards have in terms of contract. And statistically, if you looked at his contribution, he is a great player. Both as being a star, and also his productivity.

"And last year was a very difficult year for the organization, and for Gilbert and for just everyone around it. And so one of the first things I did was reach out to Gilbert. And we have had several conversations, and now we're e-mailing back and forth.

"And it think it's very important that Gilbert be re-embraced as a person and as a player. So suffice to say that Gilbert knows that the most important thing for him to do is to get in shape, and to be a great teammate, and to be a pillar of our community, and that he will show atonement. But his major deliverable is to come back and be a great part of this next generation Wizards franchise and what we're trying to accomplish.

"And what I feel comfortable with is that we communicate very well, and he knows the expectations. And I kind of liked him, you know? And so that's a first part of it, if you have mutual respect and you like each other and you can communicate. So I think we're gonna be ok."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 10, 2010; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

If Arenas is willing to come in and play the off-guard position and not be a distraction in the development of John Wall then I say let by-gones be by-gones.

He is under contract for 4 more years and the team may be able to trade him in 2 years IF he stays healthy and shows himself to be productive at the 2 guard.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | June 10, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Thankfully there is a strong leader for the "Zards" who not only is sucessfull in business but is also a guy with character. Maybe the cynical fans in the DC market will shut up and let Ted run the team as he sees fit.

Posted by: cmann083@yahoo.com | June 10, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Right on cmann!

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | June 10, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Amen Cmann and to ad to that, leave Gil alone! I like Leonis. He is an extremely smart and sucessful man in many endeavors. At least he's not Mark Cuban!

Posted by: ivyleague | June 10, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It was interesting to hear Ted talk his way through the Gilbert thing. He took pains to give Gil's bona fides as a great player, but also stay away from saying something as overt as "He's our best player." or "He's one of the cornerstones of the franchise."

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I love Gilbert, but biggest "asset"? This doesn't make any sense. By any reasonable definition, he is our biggest liability. Of course, if he somehow starts performing like a max-level player again, he'll be roughly equal on the balance sheet, and we'll be able to trade him hopefully. But unless this happens, Gilbert retires, or he accepts a reasonable buyout, we're stuck with him as our biggest liability towards successfully rebuilding.

Posted by: Dellis2010 | June 10, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

love Gilbert, but biggest "asset"? This doesn't make any sense. By any reasonable definition, he is our biggest liability. Of course, if he somehow starts performing like a max-level player again, he'll be roughly equal on the balance sheet, and we'll be able to trade him hopefully. But unless this happens, Gilbert retires, or he accepts a reasonable buyout, we're stuck with him as our biggest liability towards successfully rebuilding.

Posted by: Dellis2010 | June 10, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

In what ever way he is the biggest asset.No one should talk bad about Gilbert at this point,we have said it all for the whole season, let us see him again.

Posted by: gtefferra | June 10, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards need someone else besides Wall to step up or else Wall will be TERRIBLE this season....he isn't anywhere close to being able to carry a team.

I agree with Leonsis that a healthy, effective Gilbert means a LOT more wins for the team

Posted by: Bious | June 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Say it ain't so, Ted.

Arenas is BAD news; he'll poison everything. Mark my words.

Please buy him out or find a way to ship him somewhere far away. PLEASE!

You only get one shot at starting over, Ted, and you're already beginning with one bad apple right in the middle of the basket.

Posted by: loulor | June 10, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

He said basketball is a "basketball-mad city" and the Wizards are "a sleeping giant."
----------------

Huh?!??

Posted by: Juan-John1 | June 10, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

gtefferra: your statement was utterly incoherent. Please explain.

Posted by: Dellis2010 | June 10, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ted Congratulations... I have a question for you... So many teams have good, solid foreign international players so when we gonna start getting some? We have old Oberto and we had a terrible Pecherof. We don't like euro players?

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | June 10, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert's contract has been a financial liability weighing very heavily upon the WIZ for 4 years. He's a liability just like Nylander and Jagr were for the CAPS. After this lengthy lay-off from NBA style and season, how will it even be physically and mentally possible for him to return?

It will be very difficult to preserve Wall during the time it takes to get rid of Arenas, so he just might fail too, or get the same 'attitude' that's ruined too many NBA players. I see 4 more years of lousy to mediocre play by the Wiz. The bad characters will disappoint and disillusion even the world's greatest optimist!

Posted by: hildea | June 13, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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