Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Leonsis stands by Arenas

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)

Through countless media appearances over the past few months, Ted Leonsis has stuck by Gilbert Arenas, consistently saying that Gilbert would still have every chance to succeed in this town, and to get a second chance. Still, there's been a perception that all is not right in this world, and that Leonsis would rather be rid of Agent Nine. Here's from David Aldridge's recent column:

Washington tried to ratchet up the penalties with a $50,000 fine on Arenas, but that's throwing good money after bad. The only solution is to sit Arenas down, Jamaal Tinsley-style, and keep him away from the team until it can either work out a trade or a buyout. Both are problematic; not many teams were interested in Arenas before the latest incident, and Arenas certainly has no motivation to give any money back.

And here's from Joseph White's AP preview:

No one in the organization wants to talk much about him; it only dents the team's image even more. Leonsis will blog about anything, but he didn't post a word about Arenas' fine. Asked if the franchise is just going to have to keep putting up with inevitable bumps in the road with Arenas, President Ernie Grunfeld avoided answering the question by talking about how Arenas, Wall and Kirk Hinrich will form a "nice three-guard rotation."

Leonsis was asked about Arenas during a lengthy Tuesday appearance on DC101's Elliot in the Morning, and he again went with praise, repeatedly using Alex Ovechkin as an example. He certainly didn't shy away from the topic.

"It's so strange what you've seen in the last two days about Alex," Leonsis said, referring to the GQ coverage. "And I think what happens is that when you develop a very high profile, you end up feeding the monster....I'm certainly guilty of it. I'll do something, say something on my blog, and it becomes front page news.

"And I look for the signal in the noise, and every time I've spent quality time with Gilbert, what he talks about is his love for the game of basketball. He is a student of the game, he's excited that we were fortunate enough to bring someone in like John Wall, he knows how he and John Wall and Kirk Hinrich and Nick Young can form the nucleus of one of the better backcourts in the NBA, and he's psyched to play. And he understands that if we have a great team, if this team can develop, then that's what the fans will fall in love with. So I am convinced that the signal is very strong."

Leonsis then talked about how Ovechkin is "fundamentally, instinctively, a very gracious, very sweet, very well-behaved young man," but how stories of his sweetness and grace don't make news.

"I can only deal with what I see and what I deal with," Leonsis said. "I love Alex Ovechkin, and so far everything that I've seen personally from Gilbert Arenas has been positive, and that's how I have to judge it."

Leonsis also said he told Arenas that he "had to come to camp in great shape" and that he had to be a great teammate, and that Arenas has thus far delivered on both demands.

"He's highly regarded, he's well-liked, he's bonding with everyone," the owner said. "And everyone, from the coach to the GM to the players, has been supportive of him. This is his chance for redemption and comeback. I don't want him to be pressured. I want him to fit in and be a part of what we're building, and I think he can do it."

By Dan Steinberg  | October 26, 2010; 3:47 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nats to unveil uniform changes Nov. 10
Next: Frank Herzog joins Redskins alumni


Take what Ted has to say about these matters with a grain of salt. He claimed that the Caps sponsors were demanding a Red Rocker troupe. Ted also said that creating a Red Rocker troupe would give the Caps have more $$$$$ to pay their players.

Three years later, the Red Rockers still don't have a corporate sponsor (the Penalty Kills now do though!) to help pay the players but the Caps have the highest ticket price hike in the NHL.

Posted by: CapsNut | October 26, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Part of what's going to be so great about Gilbert's upcoming season is that he is going to prove just about every sports media pundit wrong. You often here players in any sport talk about "outside chatter, outside speculation." Translation: the media has no idea what it is talking about.

I take Leonsis at his word: Gilbert will be given every opportunity to succeed again in this town. All the idiotic claims that he will be traded this season are just that: idiotic. It's the very same "experts" who repeatedly told us Haynesworth would be traded and that the Redskins were "shopping him" to Tennessee. Yet even Tennessee's head coach said point blank: "we tried but the Redskins weren't interested in trading him."

Did Jason Reid, Jason La Canfora, Barry Svrluga, etc ever apologize to their readers for their incredibly ill-informed and inaccurate reporting? Did they ever say "whoops, we were wrong"? Of course not. There's rarely any accountability when it comes to the sports media.

As Jason La Canfora once ironically wrote: "I Need A Job Where I Can Just Make Things Up And Create The News."

It's call the sports media, where you can make things up and not be held accountable (Unless you use twitter to illustrate that point about your fellow reporters, then you are in deep trouble).

Posted by: Barno1 | October 26, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

That piece on Caps' ticket prices going up is malarky. The face value of caps tickets went up a lot, but the vast VAST majority of fans in the building are season ticket holders who pay a fraction of those costs. My seats are $32 per seat per game, which is just over a third of the "face value" of the ticket. Since the Caps have amongst the highest number of season tickets as a percentage of the whole building in the league, they really didn't have that much of a price hike.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | October 26, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Come on FS. You mean to tell me that the season ticket holder rate didn't go up either?

Posted by: CapsNut | October 26, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the CONTRACT! Just another.. and probably most compelling.. example of the utter incompetence of one Ernie the hack Grunfeld!

Posted by: iubiquity | October 26, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Ted said: "I'll do something, say something on my blog, and it becomes front page new." Um, when exactly did Ted blog ANYTHING and have it become "front page news"... Spin, Teddy Spin!

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | October 26, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

For the Wizards to be competitive in the East they will need a very healthy, motivated Gil Arenas...

if they feel that trading Arenas is best for the organization then they need to get a "HIGH" number 1 pick (or) a "COMPARABLE" player (or) a "GOOD" player with a draft pick...

Gil is a very good baller when healthy and I'm tired of Washington teams coming up with the short end of the stick when dealng/trading with other teams around the country...

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Gil plays out his contract motivated and healthy...the Wiz will be contenders each year if he does that!!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | October 27, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

The comment comparing the Haynesworth situation with Arenas is right on target. Gil is a great player and, if he can get healthy, we'll all be talking about his teaming with Wall and Hinrich and what a suprise the Bu'zards are this year. This nonsense about sitting him or keeping him away is just that, nonsense.

Posted by: truke | October 27, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Barno crushed this one. I'm sure if we dug deep enough, we'd find Aldridge blathering about how the Bullets would win a dozen championships with Webber and Howard, or odes to the upside of Kwame Brown, or love letters to Eddie Jordan's coaching genius.

Posted by: bryc3 | October 27, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

That's right. Ted is wrong about Gilbert because the Caps have unsponsored cheerleaders.

Posted by: GFisher1 | October 27, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I get tired of this overused notion that 1) because so-so is "a nice guy when I talk to him" that 2) therefore, he is of high moral character. "Good guys" do destructive things all of the time. Focus on the behavior, not a few brief meetings between an owner and an employee.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 27, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I think Mr. Leonsis has the best intentions but Gilbert will betray him...

In my opinion it's just in Mr. Leonsis nature to want this kid to succeed and to be given another (I won't say second) chance.

However, and as much as I like Gilbert, Gil has some emotional if not psychological issues. Mr. Leonsis and the organization will regret not getting rid of Gil and all costs. Even if he couldn't be traded I would have kept him away from this team.

The money is spent regardless correct? I mean either way the contract is what it is. So jut because EG made a huge mistake doesn't mean we have to keep paying for it.

But I do get that the best way to "trade" him is if he plays well and doesn't do any stupid sh**, and doesn't get injured.

Well it's not looking good so far is it??

At the end of the day Gil needs a change of address sooner rather than later.

He is still a very good player but clock been struck 12 here in DC..

Let's see how this plays out but I think I know what will happen here.

Posted by: kevenjones | October 27, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company