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Some Clarity on Gilbert

You will probably see me again on Monday against Toronto. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

There is a 99.99 percent chance that Gilbert Arenas will not play tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. I will leave open the 0.01 percent because nobody has been able to fully figure out Gilbertology just yet.

Seriously, Arenas doesn't plan to attempt to re-create the magic from last Thursday, when he had 11 points and 10 assists as the Washington Wizards beat the Cavaliers, 109-101. Arenas did not participate in shootaround this morning. Afterward, Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott said, "I don't think Gil is going to go."

When Arenas announced that he would come back, I knew that it would create some panic and produce daily guessing games over if he will play and why he won't play against different teams. But I want to advise everyone to relax. Don't get so twisted up and overreact with every comment Arenas makes. He says a lot, and contradicts himself a lot, but that is more the result of him having no filter when he speaks. That often leads to some confusion.

He has played two of the three games he originally said he would play, so the plan hasn't changed too much.

Some people want to compare Arenas's situation with Brendan Haywood's, but they are not the same. Haywood didn't damage his lower body and his right wrist injury didn't force him to miss nearly two seasons and have three surgeries. Both the Wizards and Arenas want to be smart about this comeback, especially since the team is lottery bound, and it's been a really long time since Arenas has played consistently -- because his two previous comebacks ended poorly.

Tapscott said that Arenas's knee is fine and that he has not experienced any setbacks. He added that the plan all along was for Arenas to play "selective games," with the preference for Arenas to play home games.

"It's a matter of being prudent," Tapscott said. "We wanted to give him plenty of rest between starts to be smart about it. When you don't play for an extended period of time, other parts of your body hurt, too. We wanted to make sure [Arenas was okay], take a look at where he is, what he's doing, without taking any risks. That's what we're doing."

Arenas probably will only play one more game this season -- next Monday, at home, against Toronto. "That's what I'm hoping for," Tapscott said. "Let our fans see him. If there is any place he's going to extend himself with, it will be at home."

It will be nice when Arenas comes back full bore next season, so that the guessing games can be replaced by actual basketball games.

... I spoke with Nick Young (sprained left knee) and he said he was going to play. Juan Dixon (sore right Achilles) also said that he was going to play. Dixon explained what happened last Saturday, when the left the game in the fourth quarter after scoring three points with two assists in 20 minutes against Miami.

"My Achilles and calf tightened up," Dixon said. "I'm still a little sore, but it's not like it was when I was out. It was some swelling, but it's okay. It's cool. It's all right."

By Michael Lee  |  April 8, 2009; 1:55 PM ET
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1st. Still dont buy it.

Ill believe it in November

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | April 8, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Would like to see him play regardless of whether it's a home or away game, thanks to the technological wonder of television. But there are only four games left so it really doesn't matter.

On another note: We lost Marvin Webster, the "Human Eraser" of Morgan State, Seattle Sonics and NY Knicks fame, on Saturday in Tulsa at the age of 56.


Posted by: jcbcmb68 | April 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Another issue with this Arenas nonsense is, will a (good) coach have enough confidence in what he saw in 2 games to believe this team can compete?

Obviously we are saddled with some undesirable players for next season (ahem, Etan, ahem), but did Gil show enough that hes healthy so when we try to hire someone good to coach these losers they'll take the job?

And, fans arent just fans at home games. We would like our team to win any game and have our players play any game, not just when we are at the booth.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | April 8, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Good reporting Mr. Lee. I liked Ivan but I am becoming a bigger fan of yours. I especially like your comment that the fans shouldn't get all twisted up over Arenas this season. We want to see him play but it is more important that he is ready for next year. We are playing for ping pong balls right now.

Posted by: Chad32 | April 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Only the most fanatical of fans will care whether Gilbert plays in a road game.

Posted by: tundey | April 8, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Despite Mr. Lee's word of caution, there is no way to shine a positive light on this development. A reasonalbe person can only come to one conclusion based on the latest development: Gil's knee ain't right, yet. His last game was 1 wk ago. You mean to tell me that he can't go another 15-20 minutes b/c he hasn't had time to recover from his last game? Please. The fans are not that dumb.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | April 8, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't you put clarity in quotes?

Posted by: truthaboutit | April 8, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see his first game against Detroit, but he was clearly favoring his leg in the Cleveland game. He ought to shut it down for the rest of the season.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a 4th operation and/or a new doctor/physical therapist in the off-season.

Posted by: Izman | April 8, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee>Ivan Carter

Posted by: PrisonBalls00 | April 8, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"It's a matter of being prudent," Tapscott said. "Our priority is to catch Sacramento in the Griffin sweepstakes."

(as it should be at this point)

Posted by: p1funk | April 8, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe anything Wiz management has to say. If we don't land Griff, we may have to trade down and take Ty Lawson or Ricky. Don't count on a healthy Gilbert next year, that's the bottom-line.

Posted by: closg | April 8, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It's Gil. He will continue keep everyone guessing, so he gets all the attention!

Posted by: sagaliba | April 8, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse


Mike, you did say you were a fan right? Then start posting like one. Its a given that the wizards had a bad year. Mostly because of injuries to key players not because they are such losers like you say. They were a playoff team last year but fans did not appreciate having a playoff team. Maybe you so called fans needed a bad year so you could learn to appreciate the difference between a bad team and a playoff team. You fans dont deserve a championship team if you trash a playoff team. Do you see cavs fans or hornets fans trashing their teams like wizards fans do just because they did not make it to the finals? No because they remember when their teams were sorry and they appreciate them winning now, not winning championships but at least winning. The only thing worse than a losing team is fans who act like losers.

Posted by: ged0386 | April 8, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What a shame to commit all that money to talented, and now fragile, fruitcake. We Wizards fans are screwed for years to come. I think that, in general, Ernie Grunfeld has done a really good job here, what with the Caron trade, bringing AJ here, and I'm one who thinks that several of these young, supporting cast guys are going to be pretty darn good. But I think he whiffed on the most important piece, the superstar. A guy like Gilbert's not equipped, character wise, to be The Man and lead this team, or any team, to the promised land (aka, a championship.) When you put all (or most) of your eggs in one basket, it can't be the fruit basket.

Posted by: clfrdj | April 8, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Re: fans who act like losers. Sorry, the job's been taken. Slurped up, you might say.

Posted by: dabing | April 8, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

If he can't play after a week off, he's not back. Perhaps he won't be willing and able to play back to backs in the 2009-10 season. either. One or both ends are totqally messed up.
It's back to TRADE THE PICK the Wiz won't afford, limp (figuratively and actually) through 2009-10, and plan for the 2010 draft and free agent season.
Wait til the year after next year.

Posted by: lrmc623 | April 8, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

A Note to CLFRDJ; You actually think Grunfeld has done a good job? you're kidding right? Stop giving him credit for the Butler deal that was a no brainer Stevie Wonder would have made that deal!! No Grunfeld has done nothing to rave about except mismanage the salary cap(AJ&Gil)let Roger Mason get away because of outright stupidity made not one offseason accquisition to help the team and then fired a coach who got your team to the playoffs four years in a row despite the fact that most NBA pundits didn't think the Wizards had a playoff roster and that was with Gilbert,hired a head coach with no professional coaching experience who can't draw up one play even if his life depended on it(not Tap's fault)and has turned the season into a nightmare and made this team the laughing stock of the NBA. He should fired no if and's or butt's about it!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 8, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm really getting tired of this Arenas saga, will he play or not... I just dont' care about it anymore. I think there's something wrong with the knee, c'mon it's been months since the injury and he still can't play a normal game. Gilbert is ripping off the fans and the whole organization. If he can't play, he should just come out and say it.

Posted by: MOrgil | April 8, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jasonma1 | April 8, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Please Mike, don't create any more hype and hysteria behind Gilby.

He said he grew up, and won't be playing games anymore.

Tell him to put up or shut up.

If he says he won't play, which he should since he's 100% healthy, but probably 25% mentally ready, and if he plays, then drop the hammer on him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 8, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

If Gilbert is healthy, shouldn't he play? He is being paid a LOT of money for cameo appearances every now and then. Dump this crew and get the best of the D-leaguers, they are hungry and want to play.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 8, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse


You want to advise everyone to relax? I don't care about whether they are being prudent or not but to post something saying he is not playing when he was "supposed" to play without saying it's not a knee setback is a slight oversight on your part. If you would have stated such in that post, there would be no reason to not relax. Like it or not he's our franchise player!

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 8, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand why the club never knows what it's players are going to do? Who is in charge of this club?

Posted by: jtrob_1 | April 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Gil had 2 good games, BUT the knee aint right. Ray Charles can see that. He aint the same and won't be the same. But that could be good. He will have to use his mind more (on the court). Probably looking at 20ppg, and lots more assists.

But how will he be able to defend??

Posted by: kevenjones | April 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Also, Tapscott you don't have any fans. Cut the jokes with the our fans talk

Posted by: kevenjones | April 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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