I wrote a story in today's paper about Gilbert Arenas and his plans for the summer. Here's the link if you haven't read it.
Not a ton of red meat but a couple of key things stand out: A) Arenas still plans on opting out of the final year of his contract. That is something he has been amazingly consistent on for nearly two years now. B) He seems to be sincere about taking his time and getting that left knee 100 percent this summer.
In other words, no pick-up games at Barry Farms (something I've always respected him for. I've seen the guy roll up without a crew, play like everyone else and then sign autographs for folks who will never be able to attend a Wizards game until every single person got one) and no other risky antics. That's a good sign.
He plans on waiting until June 30 to file the paperwork that will make him an unrestricted free agent. Why wait? Why not? He can't sign a new deal until after July 1 anyway and waiting keeps his options open. Remember: he doesn't have to opt out.
-The Wiz will begin working out draft prospects this week. As soon as I get a list of names, I'll post them here. I'll be attending the workouts as well and will provide as much info as I can for you folks leading up to the draft.
-A few folks in the comments section have asked about attending summer league. My advice to any basketball freak: do it. It's like immersing yourself in basketball paradise for several days and, you're in Vegas baby. This summer's league runs from July 11-20 at the Thomas and Mack Center. The gym is a short drive/cab ride or a long walk from the strip and you'll be amazed at how close you can get to the action.
Because it's open seating, there will be times when you are sitting just a few feet away from Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Joe Dumars, Kevin Pritchard, Danny Ainge, Ernie Grunfeld and every other gm in the league. And then there is the, um, other kinds of scenery. Wow.
As for the hoop, there are a ton of games, often two at a time and they are fun to watch because you get an interesting mix of talented rookies, second and third years guys and the period "Where-has-he-been guy?" (For me last summer it was Lamond Murray)
- My favorite moment from last year's summer league was sitting down at a black jack table at 3 a.m. or so (I was up late conducting research boss) and seeing Gary Payton across the table from me. Now, I love me some GP. Always have and always will. My dream was to have him trash talk me into getting so nervous, I broke my cardinal rule and hit on a 15 but it didn't happen.
(On a side note, someone - can't remember who - once told me a story about GP's greatest trash talking moment. Apparently he was inbounding the ball once when some fan was giving it to him pretty good. Without even turning around, GP yelled over his shoulder: "Shut up fool before I slap you with my wallet!" God I hope that's true.)
-My other favorite moment from last summer was looking up from a table in the wee hours my last night in town and seeing LeBron James come strolling through. Amazingly, he didn't travel and Damon Jones wasn't five feet behind him like some kind of parrot. (That's a joke Cleveland fan. Relax.)
I can't be anymore direct about this folks: if you love basketball and like Vegas, it'll be the best vacation you'll ever take. Trust me.
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