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Wizards' morning brew: a win over the Blazers

The Wizards won consecutive games for the fourth time this season on Monday, taking out the Brandon Roy-less Blazers, 97-92, at Verizon Center. It was an encouraging win in many ways, as Antawn Jamison continues to play well and Caron Butler made some key plays at the end. It was a rare feel-good moment for the Wizards, as Michael Lee explains in his postgame blog post.

But columnist Thomas Boswell says nonsense to all that in his column in Tuesday's Post.

Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog offers more evidence of Gilbert Arenas being erased from our consciousness.

On his personal blog, "The Truth," Celtics forward Paul Pierce talks about the tragedy in Haiti, but he also calls out the Wizards for failing to support Arenas "after all he's done for that organization."

Meanwhile, ESPN.com's Marc Stein floated a rumor about Arenas possibly landing in Orlando because of his relationship with Magic General Manager Otis Smith http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/12350/arenas-next-team-keep-an-eye-on-orlando. Well, Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that there is "[n]o talk about it on this end or any other end."

Next up is the Mavericks on Wednesday as the Wizards attempt to win three games in a row for the first time this season. Dallas just polished off the Celtics in Boston behind Dirk Nowitzki.

Elsewhere, Truth About It talks to the Wizards players about what it means to play on MLK Day. They also found one of the few remnants of that Agent Zero guy remaining in Verizon Center. Speaking of Arenas, the New York Times writes about what hurdles the Wizards face if they attempt to void his contract.

As usual, game highlights courtesy of NBA.com below:

Around the League ...

Twelve games on Monday's schedule, and NBA.com's Daily Zap gets you caught up:

By Ed Guzman  |  January 19, 2010; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Washington Wizards; NBA; Abe Pollin; Gilbert Arenas; Antawn Jamison; Flip Saunders; Ted Leonsis; Caron Butler  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards 97, Trail Blazers 92
Next: Some more answers on Arenas

Comments

FIRST...WE WANT GIL BACK!!!

Posted by: Gooddad | January 19, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

How about the Washington Post writes an article about what will happen if the Wizards try to void Arenas' contract?

Posted by: awb9h | January 19, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"How about the Washington Post writes an article about what will happen if the Wizards try to void Arenas' contract?"

the link to the NYTimes offers some interesting possibilities. I didnt realize that Stern's suspension may in fact help Arenas having his contract voided.

It would seem that since the team wants him gone and he wants to leave...a buyout is in order being as it's less risky for both parties.

Posted by: divi3 | January 19, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

LOL...how funny would it be that "crazy Gil" baited Stern into HELPING him keep his contract...

Pure comedy.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The possibility of Gil suing the Wizzies might make Ted L think twice about taking over right now.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/sports/basketball/19arenas.html

Posted by: VBFan | January 19, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Boswell flat out nails it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/18/AR2010011803530_2.html

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

kal,

I've been writing the same thing on here for years just to have you say I was wrong.

Funny how the truth always wins?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 19, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Paul Pierce is right. Don't think for a moment that other players in the league aren't paying attention to how the Wizards organization is treating Arenas. You think a big name free agent will want to sign in Washington if he knows the organization won't support him through difficult times. Yes, we all know that Arenas broke the law and acted foolishly and childishly. But as a player, I think you expect some form of support from your organization, provided the crime you committed isn't something truly heinous. The Washington Wizards don't have to condone his behavior. They can publicly condemn it. But removing all images of Arenas, getting rid of Arenas apparel from the team store, prohibiting buyers from purchasing Arenas products and essentially erasing Arenas from the Wizards organizational memory is extreme and, quite frankly, stupid.

Posted by: CDon | January 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

There is very simple explanantion why Arenas must be gone, even though I love him as a basketball player. You see Arenas' actions within this organization are different whether they are fair or not. The owner changed the name because he hated guns/violence with them. Abe dies and his most prominent player spits in his face by playing of the worst jokes ever...not even very clever if you ask me. And Paul Pierce needs to keep his mouth shut. He says after all Gil did for the Wiz, they should stand by him, but look what did off the court minus the chairty-type things. He constantly feuded with EJ about defense, which could care less about. Sure he made amazing shots, but he was also a ball-hog that stopped movement. He basically picked Nick Young, pushed to keep jamison, resigned Deshawn, etc...I mean what is management thinking actually listening to this guy. I've gone on a tangetn now, but the fact remains that Gil should have respected his owner/friend by making thoughtful decisions. I don't want anymore "goofballs" on my team. I want ballers and people who are respectful, play hard, don't pout, play Defense, and be good people. sure it won't be easy to find but we have put up with people Nick young, Blatche, stevenson, and Gil for far too long

PS: Randy Foye must stay!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 19, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Burg

Did Jamison(the captain) feud with EJ about defense? Arenas, like Jamison, is a terrible defender, but I don't remember a feud. The thing is, Arenas has done a lot for the wiz and the community. When was the last time a legitimate free agent chose the wizards? When Arenas chose the Wizards. Who will be the next after the team takes the punk way out of the contract? That is the gamble like Paul Pierce is saying...players are watching.

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 19, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Barkley is correct in that the organization should not be allowed to get out of a bad decision by using Arenas' troubles as a pretense to void his deal. EVERYBODY knows that if the team was in 3rd place, we'd hear nothing but support from management towards Arenas through this "trying time" as they'd call it.

However, you can hardly blame the organization for trying to get out of the deal one way or another.

As to big name FAs with Arenas' talent willing to sign here, the next one to do so is probably 10yrs old right now.

Posted by: divi3 | January 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Randy Foye is pretty good, but he cannot carry the team like Arenas offensively. Arenas is won of the few players in the league that can take over a game. How many players have taken over a game with Kobe an opponent? or Tim Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili? Not many. Who else has proven capable besides Arenas? LeBron and Wade. There are others like Melo and some new kids. Foye will never be capable of that.

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 19, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

What besides cap space will the wizards be getting by getting out of Gil's contract?

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Arenas picked Nick Young?

Wow.

Gilbert Arenas is the single cause of the recession as well.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Part of rebuilding is understanding there will be no player on the team capable of much more than "trying hard" for at least 1 season if not several.

Take over a game?

We wont be seeing that for sometime...though AJ does have his stretches of singlehandedly keeping us competitive

Posted by: divi3 | January 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas was also the author of the health care bill.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Like I said the other day if Ted L. is smart he'll find a way to mend fences with Gil (if he buy's the team) all of you other knuckleheads screaming for Gil to be sent packing will live to regret it.He made a mistake that's it but we all piled on(including me) we all need to take a step back and consider what we'll be in for if Gil goes and they trade AJ in effort to rebuild, trust me we don't want to see that movie again.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas is not only the creator of weapons of mass destruction...he also sold them to Saddam Hussein AND is currently hiding Osama Bin Laden in his grotto.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Boswell flat out nails it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/18/AR2010011803530_2.html

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Seconded. True words. Gonna be interesting how Teddy handles it.
Despite such a pitiful record over the years there is still a hardcore fan base. With the right philosophy & type of players the Wizzies could challenge the Skinnies for loyal fans.

Posted by: VBFan | January 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Any word on whether Shiela Johnson is part of Ted's purchasing group? Nice piece on her after the game yesterday on CSN. She's a tough business person with a huge community commitment.

Posted by: Blurred | January 19, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Times article on Arenas and his contract issues is inconclusive but why shouldn't it be? The situation itself is totally confused by the ambiguous wording of the morals clause, Stern's actions, the Wizards' inaction, ownership change and by the circumstances of the criminal act and the sentencing delay.

The article presents an interesting angle regarding double jeopardy, i.e. that the NBA's punishment may preclude a second punishment, or even the contract void by the Wizards. Does the impending trade deadline and the ownership change somehow put pressure on the NBA to remove Arenas from limbo so that moves can be made?

I'm not sure the assumption that voiding Arenas' contract will make DC a 'no go zone' for free agents is correct. Voiding is risky and perhaps likely to fail but if the process is engaged before Leonsis takes over, (if he does), it might distance him from it.

Leonsis could fire EG and have a more or less clean slate as far as Arenas. The unlikelihood of the Wizards acting to void before the sentencing screws up that scenario. In fact the Wizards seem totally screwed once again; ownership change combined with trade deadline and the delay in sentencing is kind of huge monkey wrench in decisive moves by the Wizards.

I wonder if Arenas has engaged an agent to maneuver in the background? I think there is room for some maneuvering.

Posted by: midlevex | January 19, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure the assumption that voiding Arenas' contract will make DC a 'no go zone' for free agents is correct."

The problem is that Washington was already a "no go zone" for significant FAs and has been for a long time. Ironically, the only real sought-after FA the Wiz have signed in the last decade was Arenas, and even he was still a largely unknown quantity at the time, after only 2 years in the league, one of which he barely played.

Of course if the team has money to spend they'll find someone to take it. But in terms of established, potential impact players on the FA market, Washington has never been a go-to destination, and there's no reason to think that the current mess will help change that any. So all these dreams of voiding Arenas' contract and using the cap space to go after a huge star are most likely just that: dreams

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"But in terms of established, potential impact players on the FA market, Washington has never been a go-to destination, and there's no reason to think that the current mess will help change that any."

Agreed but new management may remove some of the stigma.

Posted by: midlevex | January 19, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Agreed but new management may remove some of the stigma. "

Not right away it won't. Leonsis (assuming it's him) is an unknown quantity in the NBA, both to players and agents. Just as it will take time to significantly change the organizational culture behind the scenes after the new owner takes over, it's going to take time (probably more of) to change the perception of the franchise--among players, agents, and fans.

Bottom line: Even if Leonsis closes the deal tomorrow, it's not going to automatically change how the Wizards do things or how their perceived from the outside. Both processes will probably take years of hard work.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"it's not going to automatically change how the Wizards do things or how their perceived from the outside."

It's not black and white. Leonsis (assuming it's him) is not an unknown; NBA agents, some of whom also rep clients in the NFL, are not operating in a vacuum and have a pretty good idea that Leonsis has been actively and successfully building an NHL winner in Washington.

With Leonsis and without Grunfeld there will be a perception of a new regime and a clean slate. Which leads me to wonder about EG's future; up until the Arenas incident I thought he had been a reasonably good GM but it is unclear to me at this point whether he is too mired in facilitating Arenas' pattern of misbehavior to be part of the Wizards' future plans. Probably not many good GM's floating around but it may be time to start thinking about it.

Posted by: midlevex | January 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"It's not black and white. Leonsis (assuming it's him) is not an unknown; NBA agents, some of whom also rep clients in the NFL, are not operating in a vacuum and have a pretty good idea that Leonsis has been actively and successfully building an NHL winner in Washington."

Which means nothing to an NBA agent or player. The two sports operate differently and have different cultures, in terms of business, ownership, and players. His success in the NHL means little in the NBA.
Exactly

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis may have some standing with some agents who handle players in both leagues, but I am with Paul Pierce on this... NBA players will be watching how Leonsis (assuming he is da man) handles the Arenas situation from here on out.

Gilbert is still the best player under contract to the Wizards. His past knee injuries preclude his ever regaining the lightning-quick first step that made him a distinctive offensive threat, but there is no question he was rounding into form as a very effective guard (19 points and 14 assists in his last game is not to be sneezed at, nor is 22-7-4 across 30 games).

If Leonsis and a small army of lawyers ... we've had the guns and the money, can the lawyers be far behind... can sort the Gilbert endgame out in a way that satisfies everyone involved, the Wizards may be able to look relevance in the face sometime in this decade.

Meantime, as much as many people think the current team should be dismantled and sold for parts, it would be flat out stupid to part with upper echelon talents like Butler and Jamison for a bunch of expiring contracts. We have enough of those already, and our three key expirings (Haywood, Miller and Foye) seem to be playing like men with something to prove.

If you must trade anyone now, Blatche, Young and James might have willing takers, and the Wizards are better off without all of them. McGee has too much potential to jettison. Oberto and Boykins are one year rentals and McGuire and Stevenson are good end of bench kick-butt defenders.

For the most part, ya gotta know when to hold 'em and it ain't time to fold em just yet.

Posted by: khrabb | January 19, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree that if Leonsis assumes ownership and should Arenas still be around, then all actions are attributable and devolve to the new ownership. The whole thing is so gummed up now it would take, well a wizard to predict the exact outcome.

That, "the two sports operate differently and have different cultures, in terms of business, ownership, and players. His success in the NHL means little in the NBA," well sure. I have noticed a difference between hockey and basketball, despite the commonality of nets to both sports. One is played with pads and a puck on ice the other by pituitary cases in shorts on hardwood. Still in all they are both businesses centered on sport.

Considering that Leonsis may soon own both teams I assume that basketball players and their perceptive agents, when dealing with him in the future, will take serious notice of his handling of the Senators and their business, particularly until he has a track record in the NBA; to do otherwise would be inexcusably negligent.

Posted by: midlevex | January 19, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that should be Caps not Senators, wrong capital and team.

Posted by: midlevex | January 19, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Try this--Stern DID NOT put a time certain as to when Arena will be able to return to playing status. If Stern decides to keep the suspension on for say the rest of this season OR until the playoffs begin AND Arenas gets say a 6 month sentence or even a 3 month with probation for the remainder of his sentence--by that time TL--HOPEFULLY---would be the new ownner and Arenas after all his jail time and BAD BEHAVIOR AND BAD PRESS MIGHT have seen the light and TL would have settled in and use that time to sitdown and figure out what to do. It could be a one on one with TL and that MIGHT clear the air and the final decision will be made--trade him or perhaps work out an arrangement with Stern and the union and sit Arenas down for the rest of this year and spend that time to let him seek help from a professional who can "rehab" and set Gil up in aprogram that will teach him to GROW UP and teach him how to act in his livelyhood and in his life. That makes everybody whole and this team can move on. He can came back with strict rules of behavior on and off the court or else he is gone.I think 1 year away from the game would really help him get his head on straight. He is lucky that Crit. didn't pull the trigger--this is no joking mater. Paul Pierce has his own problems--who the hell is he to give anyone advise or critize anybody.

Posted by: vergens2 | January 20, 2010 4:40 AM | Report abuse

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