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Why Gilbert Arenas will shine again

After being suspended for much of last season, Gilbert Arenas, the man formerly known as Agent 0, has changed more than his jersey number. He seems to have changed his approach to how he does things, and who can blame him?

Arenas has faced many challenges in his life. He has fought through major injuries, the legal system and tons of media scrutiny. Not to mention he has a new baby; children will help grow you up.

Most people would not have been able to make it through all of these things and come back and play, but Arenas has and I believe that he will not only be the better for it but will re-emerge as a star. Here's why:

The repercussions of Arenas's actions off the court last season forced him to mature as a person, which will carry over into everything else he does. He has clearly focused in on cleansing himself from the nicknames and shenanigans that have been a part of his giant persona. His focus is on playing ball and that's it.

Gilbert is a superior competitor. Believe me, he has noted all of the fierce criticisms that people have directed toward him. He will be determined to prove them all wrong.

Also, I really feel that the departures of two of the Big 3, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, were a blessing in disguise for Arenas. Why, you may ask? Well, to me it's simple. Jamison was like a locker room father figure, so much so that the development of a young man like Arenas may have been stunted. You may say Arenas has been in the NBA a while, and that's true. But he was very young when he came to Washington; honestly speaking, he's still young. So with Jamison gone and younger players on the team, Arenas is now the leader -- not because he can play basketball but because he is the old man in the locker room. He is the veteran that has been through things and has wisdom to lend to younger players so that they don't make the same mistakes.

Arenas is well aware of the fact that the Wizards are being portrayed no longer as his team, but rookie John Wall's team. I'm willing to bet the house on this: Arenas will prove that this is still his team and he will help guide Wall during this season.

Arenas has already been redeeming himself off the court. This fall, the redemption will take place on it.

By LaVar Arrington  | October 5, 2010; 12:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

Agreed, to think Wall is better than Gil is nonsense. Gil is still in his twenties. If healthy, not too many guards in the league can score at will like Gil. Not a knock on Wall, just facts, he is not better than Gil.

Posted by: cj658 | October 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

CJ658. U COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG

Posted by: slim4 | October 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

CJ658. U COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG

Posted by: slim4 | October 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Any person who knows this sport knows this... Gil knows too... which is why he will do what LaVar is saying but he will never be able to take any reigns from Wall. Wall will crush Gil 1 on 1 for real, ask Gil.

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | October 5, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Wall will crush Gil 1 on 1 for real, ask Gil."

I don't agree with any of you, lol! :)

Two different guards, two different styles. Both are good in thier own little space.

Gil will be more focused this year because of the lack of "shinannigans" that have gone on in years past. He'll be a better player and team mate this year then years past.

Beyond that we'll just have to see.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 5, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Lavar: You should have written in the first sentence of the article that you are a close friend of Arenas, that your wifes are friends and your kids have play dates together and that you as you write this article may not be fai because of the above. First part of broadcastign and journalism is to come out clean and show that you as a writed are not biased ....

Posted by: maz3 | October 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is true. It seems like every year we hear that Gilbert's finally grown up. Most of the reasons listed here don't seem convincing (a new baby? doesn't he already have a few kids?) except possibly the idea that he's the old man in the locker room now. Perhaps seeing others looking up at him will force him to look at himself differently. We'll see.

Posted by: kerewin1971 | October 5, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I am 100% with LaVar on this one and am also willing to bet the house that Gilbert Arenas will re-emerge this season as the superstar he once was. The guy was putting up 25 points and 8 assists per game during the final month before he was suspended. No one in the league was putting up the numbers he was. (Insert "yeah but we weren't winning" comment).

Just watch, the guy will return to his All Star form THIS season.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of the franchise, lets hope Arenas can finally justify that obscene contract he was given and give fans a reason to go to Wiz games again other than to go see the other team lay wood on the Wiz night in/night out.

That was a long sentence.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 5, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Arenas will probably play very well or even great when and if he can get over the nagging injuries that can stifle a great player's game. But to think that he will prove that this team is his, would be like one of those made for the movies happy feel good endings for the guy that gets a second chance and for real that's not happening. It's Wall's team, he is running the point, he is the future of the franchise, end of story. Good luck to Wall, Arenas, and the rest of the Wizards for the 20010/20011 season.

Posted by: Theone9 | October 5, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree Lavar, this is his year. Wall will be a great talent for years to come, but it is unlikely that he will possess the offensive talents that Arenas currently possess during this year, so Arenas will indeed be the go-to-guy. That's not to take anything away from Wall, but Arenas is a top talent in this league. I also agree with Ray that comparing the two is apples and oranges. John Wall's strength is not to score at will like Arenas so a comparison is difficult.

Posted by: meatkins | October 5, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

What happened to that nice sports bar in Landover?

Posted by: dedicato | October 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Gil is still the best player on the roster, I hope he retires with the Wiz. I expect come back player of the year and possible MVP candidate...depending the media scrutiny and the record of the wiz. If Joe Johnson got a MAX contract, there's little was can say about Gil. Go Agent 0, Hibachi, Number 9, whatever...I'm a fan of yours and look forward to another 60 point game agains Kobe or Miami or anyone you choose to open a can of whoopazz on!!

Posted by: Gooddad | October 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas has already been redeeming himself off the court. This fall, the redemption will take place on it."

And Gil will ride with #TheSheriff John Wall, and Gil will be #TheSilencer... lmao Gil better keep his head screwed on straight - if so, the Wiz backcourt will be dictating tempo thanks to #TheSheriff!

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

Arenas is, and always has been a liability when his shots not falling. He takes a lot of bad shots and plays no TEAM defense. He goes for way too many steals, doesn't move the ball on the wing quickly enough, and gets a hot head everytime he plays someone better then him (AKA KOBE). At our best in 2007 we were only 10 games over .500 before the all-star break. I don't care how mature he gets he has never, and again this year not commit to playing team defense.

Scoring 100 pts a game means nothing when your opponent scores 102.

Hopefullly wall will get us 10 fast break points a game

Posted by: dochs1 | October 5, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Gil is a driven men,he is a superb athlete who can shoot the lights out of anyone. He is driven and for the sake of the wizard we all hope that he will come out with a chip on his shoulder and work towards his next contract.....

Posted by: mazbar | October 5, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Gil is exceptional, Wall is exceptional, Blatche is exceptional. Hinrich is very good. Yi is quickly becoming better as is McGee. Armstrong, Booker, Seraphin, Thornton, are going to be quality contributors along with Hudson and later Howard. Hopefully Ndyae and Morrison come on. Young needs to go, he almost single handedly blew a 15 point lead tonight. We have beaten Dallas the last few times we have met, easily. GA and JW could be the best backcourt in the league, along with Hinrich, most definitely. There are not five teams in basketball that can run with the Wizards.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | October 6, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"1bmffwb", I hate to disagree with you, but dude you are drinking the Kool Aid. Gil was exceptional 3 years ago, Wall was exceptional in college, he's a pro now, Blatche was never exceptional, he was very good for a 20 game stretch, McGee and Yi are underweight guys that when the season starts are going to be pushed away from the basket, Howard has some talent and the rest are just bench warmers. If the Wizards run they have a chance to be repectable, but the front court is going to have defensive problems if McGee can't erase alot of shots. It's good to be optimistic, but let's keep our feet on the ground shall we until they prove they can play together as a team!

Posted by: JAMNEW | October 6, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Gil is clearly going through a depression. He has gained weight. He is sulking. He is still battling demons with him, and not receiving the support from his family to become the best man he can become. Mental health is determined by a long patter of behaviors. I mean no disrespect to Gil, but he has some issues and needs consistent professional care. He is all over the place! In all candor, I don't care how he does this year w/ the Wizards. We should care about him, as a human being, be grateful for his contribution to date and be concerned with what his future holds for him, after he finishes playing --- because this mania he demonstrates is not sustainable long term.

Posted by: friendofalobar | October 6, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree with a lot of your comments. I am saddened that Gil does, however, seem depressed. His comments about "moving on" also sadden me. I want him to succeed again in Washington.
Why can we be talking about our big three, Gil, Wall, and Dray? Aren't they assets to celebrate and embrace? I wish Gil would embrace it and stay with the Wizards. There is enough room on this team for three stars. (Miami can do it)
Gil mentioned Larry Hughes helping him (and then moving on). Larry's career after he left Washington is not stellar. I don't want to see Gil follow this path.

Posted by: PA_man | October 6, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ur dreaming. I like Gilbert. Loved him as a Warrior. I just dont think he is that good anymore.

Posted by: patshan925 | October 6, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert is still the best. I still love the Wizs because of him.

Posted by: Danbauchi1 | October 6, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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