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Arenas Speaks -- Finally! And Briefly

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Gilbert Arenas's pockets were $25,000 lighter on Tuesday after the NBA fined him for passing on every interview request since media day on Sept. 28. So after his most explosive offensive outburst this preseason -- scoring 24 points with five assists in 28 minutes -- in the Wizards' 101-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons, Arenas was finally forced to make a comment other than, "I'm not talking."

Would he return to being his old, quotable and entertaining self? Or would he keep his answers shorter than Earl Boykins? You already know the answer. Paging Muggsy Bogues.

The highlight of the 95-second deluge was when Arenas channeled his inner Rasheed Wallace and said, "Both teams played hard." It was that kind of night.

The buildup for Arenas's first post-game media interview this preseason was far more entertaining than his actual responses (which were entertaining for other reasons). After Arenas grabbed his black shirt off of a hanger and slipped it over his shoulder, Brendan Haywood started shouting, "We want Gil! We want Gil!"

"That's what the media is yelling, Gilbert," Haywood said.

Arenas, holding back a smile, slowly buttoned his shirt, with his back to reporters. "C'mon, Gil. It doesn't matter how long it takes you, they ain't going nowhere ... You're almost out of buttons!"

Antawn Jamison tried to help Arenas from his corner locker room stall. "You guys can talk to me. I'm ready," he said.

Mike Miller, standing near Arenas, also tried to deflect attention. "You can talk to me. I'm wearing LeBron's shoes tomorrow. I figure you guys want to talk about that."

Nobody budged. Then Arenas walked back to the shower to do something. I don't know what. "They're still here!" Haywood shouted.

Arenas came back from the shower, put on his backpack and lowered his head. He was ready for the Q&Arenas. Here is the full transcript. Enjoy.

Q: Do you have any comment on the fine you received today?

Arenas: "Nope."

Q: Do you think the game tonight was a sign of progress?

Arenas: "Yeah, both teams played hard."

Q: How are you feeling out there on the court?

Arenas: "I feel fine."

Q: What are your thoughts on Will Bynum?

Arenas: "He's coming along well."

Q: Anything else about tonight's game?

Arenas: "No."

Q: Do you feel good about the way things are going right now, feel good about the way you are playing, feel comfortable about the new coaching staff?

Arenas: "Yep."

Q: What can you say about Flip and how is he different than what you've experienced here before?

Arenas: "He's just bringing something different than the last coach."

Q: What in particular is he bringing that's different?

Arenas: (Six second pause) "What was the question again?"

Q: What are your impressions of Flip? What has he brought to this team so far?

Arenas: "It's too early to tell. Maybe next month, I'll have a better answer for you"

Q: Do you have anything to say about the fine today?

Arenas: "Nope."

Q: No comment?

Arenas: "Nope"

The end.

By Michael Lee  |  October 13, 2009; 11:10 PM ET
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Posted by: Gooddad | October 13, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse


Just win.

I could care less if you don't say anything, like ever.

Just win.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 13, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Pleading the Fifth in basketball dosen't work to well does it. Boy, for $25,000, I think I'd might be inclined to say a few words.

It is all good though, I think I'd rather have a trash talkin' Gill, especially on the floor, but to the media as well.

The media can be brutal with your words, but going silent is really not the right answer either, especially at $25,000 a pop.

I think the NBA might fine him again. That was flippant and disrespectful. I'm all in for Gilbert, but I cannot go for that attitude.

I would fine him again for 'Indifference To The Press'.

It is just my selfishness, 'cause I want Hibachi back, Agent Zero. Controversy ain't necessarily all bad.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 13, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Action speaks louder than words.

Posted by: Theone9 | October 14, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse


Just Hilarious.

He's funny and I love him when he's quiet too.

Posted by: iamse7en | October 14, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

In an ideal world the NBA wouldn't bully their employees to give interviews. The man is dealing with great uncertainty right now regarding his future in the league. He doesn't know if he can play a full season or be the player he once was.

However, my advice to Gilbert is to keep it friendly and don't let them get to you. They have a job to do too and most of them don't mean to be antagonistic or offensive when they ask their silly questions.

We're all rooting for you buddy and hoping you have a great year!

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 14, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse


Sorry, but some of us will never be 1st! I can't imagine it, or what it might be like.

Gil, just the same. I can't imagine it or what it must be like. I read 9-11 from the field, 5 assists with 6 TO, and I think Gil can do little wrong on a basketball court. Wow, wish I could have seen the game or afford the $150 for decent seats to see one live. Gil's for real. I'm a fan.

I've read a few stories about how Gil gives back. And through the years I've seen Abe P. ship off guys who don't measure up in the character department. Abe hands Gil a very big check. So, I respect the man.

That said, it seems like Gil could spend 10 minutes giving reasonable answers to a few questions. For example, Gil, by the numbers I would be thinking that you really like the new offense -- does it fit like a new suit or an old pair of jeans? I think the reporters asked some decent questions in this latest interview. They tried to throw Gil an assist here.

I really don't want to get all in Gil's business, but Gil sounds like less than himself these days. We all know the entertainer, and if that suit doesn't fit anymore, fine -- just be a man. We can all respect that, but I can't say I really respect this. It says here that Gil will figure it out. He gets the benefit of the doubt. He's earned it.

Posted by: EWE1 | October 14, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Come on reporters! (At least most of them.) Ask freakin' questions that can't be answered with a simple yes or no.

Posted by: charley42 | October 14, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

The press can waste a lot of ink trying to make something controversial out of what Gilbert says. Does he respect Flip? Is he dissing his teammates? The only reason they want to talk to Gilbert is to cause him problems. Gil should say no more than a republican at a Senate committee meeting, I can't recall, i am not sure , I have no opinion on that, I can't comment on hypothetical questions. All he has to do is have one bad game and they will be questioning his contract and his commitment. Stick to your story Arenas

Posted by: | October 14, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Folks please meet the newest member of the Les Boulez," Gilbert Portis!!!!! Get over yourself. In the big picture you are not that important.

Posted by: dougieyoung1 | October 14, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Trust Gil to make news with a non-response response. :)

Posted by: tundey | October 14, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

My man! That is EXCACTLY what I would do if those idiots in the league office tried to force me to give a damned interview. You would get nothing but one word answers from me!

Posted by: guisher | October 14, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert thrives on controversy! He plays better if he can perceives a "me against the world" situation. I love it! I want him to hate the world that cause the injury and robbed 2 years of his career, hate the media that "ridiculed" Gilbert being Gilbert, hate the fans that mocked his franchise salary, and hate the NBA in their ridiculous rules and fines. Take it out on the court, Gil, and let your actions speak by making the opponents pay for all the hate! By the way, Gil, I heard that LeBron called you a "Clown" and a "Buffoon" and that you will never be able to make a game winning shot against him. OK, maybe LeBron did not say that, but his eyes say that! I swear!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 14, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Just a thought Mike, but I think you have to realize that someone in your position cares more about this than readers.

Posted by: ZachMorris | October 14, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I wish Gil would stop with all the antics of a petulant child. He is already starting with his attitude and the season hasn't even begun yet. Hey Gilbert, grow up and act like a professional...maybe then you can be successful and lead the team like a captain and leader should.

Posted by: sjp879 | October 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It should be illegal for the league to fine players for not talking to the media. What if a guy had a speech impediment or had severe case of stage fright? I realize neither is the case with Arenas, but I'm just saying how can a league force people to talk to reporters? Should not be part of the job. The media is just so self-important it's sad.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

A new, reticent, 2.0 version of Gilbert speak. He's learning how to deal with the media whipsaw.
If you talk, particularly the way Gilbert used to open up, the media takes it and spins it into a rope that they proceed to hang you with.
If you don't speak that have fits and frame you as a malcontent.

Personally I prefer mostly silent athletes; they are mostly gifted with a ball, not words.

Posted by: midlevex | October 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: KDSmallJr | October 14, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Gil being fined 25k is like an everyday person making 50k getting hit with a 78 dollar fine just to put things in perspective.

Posted by: DMoney28 | October 14, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Gil, don't say a thing. Make em look bad for fining someone that won't speak. That, my friends, is a silly rule.

Posted by: richs91 | October 14, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Gil, I heard that LeBron called you a "Clown" and a "Buffoon" and that you will never be able to make a game winning shot against him. OK, maybe LeBron did not say that, but his eyes say that! I swear!

Gil should use that as motivation when playing against LeBron. I don't think he respects Gilbert or the Wizards as a threat to him. He thinks we're fools. Gilbert can't be seen yucking it up with him between plays like they're buddys or something. It's all business now. The joke is gonna be on LeBron when we hit him in the mouth. GO WIZ!!

Posted by: thecomedian1 | October 14, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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