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Gilbert Breaks It Down

I figured folks would be chatting about the column Mike Wise wrote on Gilbert Arenas for today's paper so here's a link so you can weigh in.

Throughout the season, I've chronicled the progress or lack thereof of the team's young core and Arenas hits that subject pretty hard in this column.

Check back later for an update from practice. I'll get the latest injury info and interim coach Ed Tapscott's feel for what you can look for from Arenas tomorrow night.

By Ivan Carter  |  March 27, 2009; 8:01 AM ET
 | Tags: Arenas, Mike Wise, Tapscott, young players  
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Okay, Arenas is stepping forward and taking responsibility for developing Young, Crit and McGee. But where the heck has the rest of the organization been for the last year on taking on this responsibility? It's a team. Therefore, any objective or responsibility must be embraced and shared by all.

Also the Wiz can point to the vets on the Cavs for success. But the Big 3 in Boston figured out that because they take most of the salary room, the team has lots of young players -- who are crucial to the team's success.

The Celts are the more relevant comparison for player comparisons.

Posted by: Izman | March 27, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

izman: "Also the Wiz can point to the vets on the Cavs for success. But the Big 3 in Boston figured out that because they take most of the salary room, the team has lots of young players -- who are crucial to the team's success."

The young guys seem to have stepped up a little in Garnett's absence. That's a good sign. Still, Boston actually traded away some of its most talented young guys to Minnesota. That's why I'm wondering how they'll do in the playoffs this year.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 27, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Great article on Gilbert by Mike Wise. I've been saying that Gilbert was a leader on this Team. The comments in this article proves that for me.

I pray that his knee is healed and NBA ready. For this time around there will be no doubt what kind of playa' Agent Zero really is.

I liked the fact when he says he got on AJ and CB. I feel sorry that he feels responsibility for not developing the young core. A responsibility that clearly was not his. That is Tapps job with the help of the vet's that are playing.

He lays blame for a big portion of this season on a young inexperienced core verses not having a veteran core.

If that is correct, then with the return of himself, Haywood, and DStev, it changes that core and sends them in the right direction.

I tell you all though, Gilberts return is like a cast iron pot filled with golden fried fish, its like my first car my second year of college, its like flirting with a pretty woman and she likes it, and its like hearing Kolby Bryant saying he's just lucky after Gill had just dropped 60 on his Butt.

Yeah, Agent Zero, I'm Wit' You, and we gonna' change some opinions rounds' here'.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 27, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I think Gil's observations about the Wiz kids were spot on. Except for McGuire, they just didn't progress enough. I know there are Young, Blatche and McGee apologists who assert (vehemently) that consistency and improvement can only be gained with playing time but Gil is right tho...

Posted by: MEssex | March 27, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I have great respect for Mike Wise, as a columnist. But I think this column misses the mark.

First, the question isn't whether the Wiz are better off without Gilbert. It's: Is Gilbert the best use of $111 million?

Second, this notion that if Gilbert was there he would be developing the younger players is kind of a joke. He should set an example by playing some defense. His insistance on acting and talking in complete disregard to the the front office or the coaching, sends a me-first message to the younger players.

Finally, it's not up to the vets to develop the younger players; it's up to the younger players to develop themselves.

Mike Wise is usually a tougher sell; I felt this was another Gilbert puff-piece.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 27, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is the new Zach Bolno -- Ernie Grunfeld's personal mouthpiece.

Posted by: SteveC28 | March 27, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD, No matter what we think, there will be people who are gonna hate on Gil and are going to form their own opinions based on those feelings and not fact.
Gil is a leader. His persona is just that...a persona created to get attention (read endorsement MONEY).

When it's time to produce, he produces. If you were to remove the names from the stat sheet and put the numbers up for Gil when he's been healthy up against any other player in the league, you'll see that he was clearly a superstar. The stats below are for the 2005-2007 seasons. Stack them up against each other...

2005-2007 stats

Player A
49% FG%
22% 3 point FG %
80% FT%
2 Steals PG
27 PPG

Player B
43% FG%
36% 3 point FG %
83% FT%
2 Steals PG
29 PPG

Player C
46% FG%
34 3 point FG %
86% FT%
5.5 RPG
2 Steals PG
33.5 PPG

Gil is Player B. A is DWade and C is Kobe. Gil shot a couple hundred more 3's than Kobe and almost a thousand more than DWade during this period. This accounts for his lower FG%. He also went to the FT line more than DWade and roughly the same as Kobe.

Posted by: original_mark | March 27, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

This is the first I have heard about Ivan leaving...

My thoughts are that it has been great to have this venue to vent, but can not recall any information received from Ivan, that was not available elsewhere...I am only on for the perspectives of the fan bloggers...

AS for the team, I know that the most important decision is the new's hoping they do not sell out, and actually bring a veteran coach, with presence and attitude.

This team needs strong leadership, and executive backing to make the tough calls.

This obviously has been a dismal season, and in fact has been so for me for over many more seasons, playoffs not withstanding.

This teams needs a leader with heart and muscle.

The weight room, will end the wait!

There is no physicality on the team. GA offers a hint of that, but obviously he is precarious at best right now.

I love NY. his game is Monroesque...he has been mishandled like so many here.
He can light it up, and with coaching and new philosophies he can floursih.
I do not see Dmac as a starter...he is a back up to me. AJ is a 3 at best, and CB is a 4...
Blatche, OP, Dmc all need muscle and development....with the muscle will come attitude that they all lack now...

Look forward to a defensive approach of switching, manomano in your face D, like the Celts and 76'ers, but once again only with the addition of muscle, muscle and more muscle...can Taps be gone fast enough, along with ET, DS, MJ and for me even BH?

Posted by: mricklen | March 27, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Obviously stats don't explain everything. For example, defense is a big one that differentiates Gil from DWade and Kobe. But.....

If you look at the PER +/- for the players versus their competition for those 2 years, here's the breakdown:

Kobe averaged a + 6.1 PER over the opposing SG

DWade averaged a +5.3 PER over the opposing SG

Gil averaged a +5.7 PER over the opposing PG

In other words, while Gil's D is nowhere near that of Kobe and DWade, he still outperformed his opposition weel enough for his team to be able to win.

Posted by: original_mark | March 27, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Among young players, I think McGuire is the one improved the most (from the start of the season to now), followed by Crittenton and Blatche. I don't see progress on Young and McGee. Pech just did not play enough to tell.

However, I do not think Arenas would necessarily be a good mentor. I really, really think Wizards should hire a big-men coach to tutor McGee. Other than alley-oops and block shots, he has absolutely no clues, and yet we all can see the tremendous physical talent he has. He is a project, so start to be serious about it, and not just cross your finger and hope he figures it out on his own!

Posted by: sagaliba | March 27, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The key to Arenas' comeback will be whether or not he still has his quick first step and ability to change direction at well.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, once you move onto the Post, are you going to have another blog or website, or are you retiring from the web for a while? Thanks, and once again thanks for your great work at the Post

Posted by: emmet1 | March 27, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

*on from the Post

Posted by: emmet1 | March 27, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

mricklen, Ivan had a long tenure at the Post and broke many stories here on Wizards Insider, and had the best relationship with and thus got the scoop first from most of the players on the team including Arenas. When they wanted to speak to the press, they came to Ivan first. Off the top of my head, I recall Ivan having the scoop on the Arenas contract negotiations this past summer, there's one example of hearing it here first for you, one among many.

Posted by: emmet1 | March 27, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Gil would be a great role model for them to follow as far as preparation. No one stays in the gym more than him. I remember one of the analyst during a postgame interview saying that the best thing Blatche could do to be the player he could be was to hitch himself to Gilbert and go to the gym with him everytime he went. I for one thought his comments were spot on and thought the same things myself. And, I see a certain level of maturity developing in him and for that I am glad. Now, I just hope that coupled along with his maturity his total game is back. Love him or hate him, he said what a lot of people have been saying or thinking.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 27, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

As much as Wise's column tries to portray Gilbert as a team leader and someone the young players could emulate in terms of work ethic, I seriously question his true commitment to the team / organization. He does what is best for Agent Zero and his total lack of respect for a coach he liked (Eddie Jordan) was glaring last year. EG also seems to have little or no control over him. Agent Zero answers only to the owner which is scary considering Mr. Pollin's age and declining health.

I seriously hope that Agent Zero backs up his words with actions in terms of working with the young players to help them improve. The fact that they didn't learn from the team's real leader Antwan Jamison who has been a great role model shows me that there are issues with NY and AB that aren't going to be remedied by Gil. Hope I'm wrong, but I thought those two showed little or no improvement from last year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 27, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about Arenas' quirks, but he hits the nail dead center on the head when he said the team got too young too quickly and loaded up on projects without adding any real veteran help.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 27, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about Arenas' quirks, but he hits the nail dead center on the head when he said the team got too young too quickly and loaded up on projects without adding any real veteran help.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 27, 2009 4:02 PM

How can you sign a "real" vet when "someone took all the $$$$'s that u'd need to pay one???

Posted by: VBFan | March 27, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments made by Gil regarding the influx of youth rather than vets reminded me of some of the things that EJ said during his interview with CSN a couple of months ago.

EJ listed off the areas of improvement that he identified to Grunfeld at the end of each season. As he listed them off, I couldn't help but think that Grunfeld tried to fill most of those needs with young players over the years. Some of EG's pick-ups may work out in the long run. Either AB or McGee could still become a center that can effectively step away from the basket and draw out the defense to create cutting lanes for teammates. And I definitely prefer a guy like Crit as your uptempo push-it-up and pressure the ball PG, rather than a vet like Ty Lue. But, it is obvious from what Gil and EJ both said that this team was crying out for some more vets.

That's why EJ had a long pause when Chick Hernandez asked if those needs were ever filled. Then, he said "Well we were never able to get the veteran defensive-minded frontcourt player. That's for sure." It seemed that he felt like some could say the other needs were filled at times, even if it was not with the type of experience EJ wanted.

Posted by: SportzWiz | March 27, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "it's up to the younger players to develop themselves".

One of the cardinal rules of managing people which has been codified in writing repetitively over the past 50 or so years is to develop the people you manage.

Here's the definition of a coach:

one who instructs or trains; especially, one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs team strategy

Posted by: Izman | March 27, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"How can you sign a "real" vet when "someone took all the $$$$'s that u'd need to pay one???

Posted by: VBFan | March 27, 2009 4:34 PM "

And, Gilby needs to open his eyes and then he'll see that the "Big 3" are vets.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 27, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"How can you sign a "real" vet when "someone took all the $$$$'s that u'd need to pay one???"

By not waiting 4 or 5 years into his tenure as GM to acquire young players with talent worth developing. If he hadn't wasted so many years, draft picks, FA money, and/or roster spots on dead ends like Ramos, Taylor, Lang, Veermenko, et al then maybe one of the young players he could have acquired 4 or 5 years ago would have developed into a decent young vet by now. Instead, going on 6 years in, he's just now starting getting young players worth developing, right after signing two high-priced vets to long-term deals.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 28, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

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