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Bog: Leonsis says it's time to re-embrace Arenas

From Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog:

Ted Leonsis introduced his new partners and a new name for his investment group -- Monumental Sports & Entertainment -- during his I'm-buying-the-Wizards press conference on Thursday. He said basketball is a "basketball-mad city" and the Wizards are "a sleeping giant." But the first headline from his presser came after Tarik El-Bashir asked what his relationship is like with Gilbert Arenas.
"I think it's very important that Gilbert be re-embraced as a person and as a player. So suffice to say that Gilbert knows that the most important thing for him to do is to get in shape, and to be a great teammate, and to be a pillar of our community, and that he will show atonement. But his major deliverable is to come back and be a great part of this next generation Wizards franchise and what we're trying to accomplish."

Read the full blog post here. For Leonsis's answer regarding name and uniform change, read this.

By Alexa Steele  |  June 10, 2010; 2:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Leonsis: Arenas will be 'a great part' of the new Wizards

Comments

For all of you Gil-haters who said/wanted him to be traded,HA!

Maybe as much you hate to do it, you will finally now let all of this anti-Gil crap go and welcome him back into the fold. I think he will prove a lot of you wrong and you will be singing his and John Wall's praises next year. The leader has spoken and Gil is staying. I listened to the whole speech and Leonsis is a very smart, charismatic man and will be a great owner.

Posted by: ivyleague | June 10, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The resurection begins...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | June 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Also described EG and Flip as "our guys"

Posted by: divi3 | June 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

For all of you Gil-haters who said/wanted him to be traded,HA!

Maybe as much you hate to do it, you will finally now let all of this anti-Gil crap go and welcome him back into the fold. I think he will prove a lot of you wrong and you will be singing his and John Wall's praises next year. The leader has spoken and Gil is staying. I listened to the whole speech and Leonsis is a very smart, charismatic man and will be a great owner.

Posted by: ivyleague

Note that Ted also said that Gil needs to show proper atonement and be in shape and a pillar of the community. If Gil can do that, I think he will have exhibited some of the changes that a lot of us have been waiting for from him anyway.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Pondexter Baaaaaby!!

Posted by: Bullzards80 | June 10, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

ivyleague

The haters will say Leonsis is putting on a front and that is not his true intention. The haters are expert at twisting things the way they want them to appear.

I agree that with Ted except I think it is PAST time to re-embrace Gil.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 10, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Riiiiiight, it's just the Gil haters who twist things.

I think Ted has demonstrated the exactly correct frame of mind for Gil. Gil is a great player and not a horrible person, but someone who has made mistakes. If Gil comes in in the proper frame of mind to be a productive player and person, I think Ted will embrace that wholeheartedly. If Gil slips back into some of the nonsense, I don't think Ted will put up with it. Gil has a huge second chance ahead of him.

All of that being said, given Ted's stated preference for building with young players and having them grow together, if a deal for Gil presents itself that makes financial sense and nets the Wizards young pieces and/or picks (though it's not like Gil is old), Ted will trade Gil, Not out of spite or because of Gil's character, but because it would make business and basketball sense. He did make a point of calling Gil an asset in addition to calling him a great player.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Note that Ted also said that Gil needs to show proper atonement and be in shape and a pillar of the community. If Gil can do that, I think he will have exhibited some of the changes that a lot of us have been waiting for from him anyway."

Except him being in shape and active in the community wouldn't be actual changes of any real kind. He's always been both of those things in the past (a fact that some people seem to have forgotten in their rush to judgment/condemnation).

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"All of that being said, given Ted's stated preference for building with young players and having them grow together, if a deal for Gil presents itself that makes financial sense and nets the Wizards young pieces and/or picks (though it's not like Gil is old), Ted will trade Gil, Not out of spite or because of Gil's character, but because it would make business and basketball sense. He did make a point of calling Gil an asset in addition to calling him a great player."

Taking a rather narrow view of the definition of "asset" aren't you? And given that Arenas only recently turned 28, building the team around young talent that grows together is in no way mutually exclusive to him being part of the team's future for the next few years.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 10, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

ts35

A lot of people want blood for a stupid joke, where nobody was physically harmed.

Gil will always be a joker. As he ages, he will mature, but he will always joke around. Nothing wrong with that. Gil will be Gil. Gil will never be Antawn or Grant Hill, or Tim Duncan.

Atonement, pillar of the community? He has always been publicly and privately involved in the community, so that will not change.

In my opinion, the only place he needs to prove himself is on the court, in a new role. I don't think that the wizards need to give the keys to the team to Wall yet however. He has a lot to prove and he is not LeBron. At some point Wall can get the keys, but probably not for a couple of years.

Wall is compared to Derek Rose and Rose has the keys, but there is nobody on the Bulls comparable to Gil. Gil averaged 23, 7, and 4 last year. Rose 20,6, and 4. What is expected from Wall?

You give the point position to Wall, but Gil is still the man, until proven otherwise, and that is done on the court.

Who should get the ball down the stretch?

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 10, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I know, just putting in all of the things Ted said. Plus, and I know you know this, there's a bit more to being a pillar than just being active.

But I agree, Gil has a lot of things that made him and could again make him a great star for DC. He's engaged in the community, he's a gym rat and down the line. He's just got to put some of the nonsense to the side.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

kalo

We are agreeing on a lot today. Asset, Gil is. He could be traded, but I would would not want a Mitch Richmond for Chris Webber type of trade. (I know Arenas is older than Webber was.) But for that matter, John Wall is an asset as well, and nobody on the team, now or Wall later, is untouchable, if the price is right.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 10, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And think about it, when Gil is asked to be pass-first, he seems unhappy. The same if you make him be a Jamison/Duncan type personality. You will diminish his game.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Taking a rather narrow view of the definition of "asset" aren't you? And given that Arenas only recently turned 28, building the team around young talent that grows together is in no way mutually exclusive to him being part of the team's future for the next few years.

Posted by: kalo_rama

To take a page from your playbook, I don't think I said it was mutually exclusive did I?

The first thing Ted said about Gil was that his contract was the biggest asset of the Wizards. First thing. Not saying that that's the way he views Gil, just saying for a man who is careful with his language, it was the first thing he said. Take it as you will.

But my point was mainly directed at those who are over-emphasizing Ted 'embracing' Gil. Ted has done that. But he's not Abe. If a deal comes about for Gil that furthers the team's goals, they'll make it. Dispassionately. They won't trade him because of the gun goofiness, and they won't pass on the trade because they think he's a swell guy.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"To take a page from your playbook, I don't think I said it was mutually exclusive did I?"

Said? No. Quite clearly implied? Yeah.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 10, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people want blood for a stupid joke, where nobody was physically harmed.

No doubt, some people are over-the-top with the gun thing. For other people, myself included, it's that Gil has shown repeatedly that he doesn't quite get it. And it's frustrating to see from a player with so much talent, who's obviously intelligent, who seems to have a good heart, who pays lip service to doing the right things, and then does something really, really dumb (aside from the whole not-playing-defense thing).

Gil will always be a joker. As he ages, he will mature, but he will always joke around. Nothing wrong with that. Gil will be Gil. Gil will never be Antawn or Grant Hill, or Tim Duncan.

No one was harmed, but maybe, in addition to his other lessons learned, Gil needs to internalize that not all of his jokes are funny. Crit obviously didn't find it particularly funny. Guns aren't for joking.

You give the point position to Wall, but Gil is still the man, until proven otherwise, and that is done on the court.

Who should get the ball down the stretch?

While there is no doubting Gilbert's talent, for me, Gil has to earn back the right to be 'the man' on the court. Being 'the man' is about more than just being willing to take that last big shot. We could pull Robert Horry out of retirement for that. All of the other guys who truly are 'the man' do more than just that.

Posted by: G-Man11

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Great interview with Ted on the John Thompson show by the way. Love what I'm hearing, from all sides.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"To take a page from your playbook, I don't think I said it was mutually exclusive did I?"

Said? No. Quite clearly implied? Yeah.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Did I imply or did you infer? I even said that Gil isn't old.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

ivyleague:

I think you should note that at no point did Ted say Gil would never be traded. I'm no hater, but I think he's gone when the right opportunity for the Wiz comes along.

Posted by: harrybalz | June 10, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You said Leonsis had "a stated preference for building with young players and having them grow together" and that, based on said preference, trading Arenas would make business and basketball sense. The clear implication being that you don't think Arenas fits into a plan to rebuild with young talent. Don't need a KGB cryptographer to decipher it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 10, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. If that's your opinion, fine. I just happen to disagree. If that's not your opinion, then your original post was simply poorly worded. Hey, it happens. Nothing to get riled up over.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 10, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

You said Leonsis had "a stated preference for building with young players and having them grow together" and that, based on said preference, trading Arenas would make business and basketball sense. The clear implication being that you don't think Arenas fits into a plan to rebuild with young talent. Don't need a KGB cryptographer to decipher it.

Posted by: kalo_rama

I think what I actually said was that Gil, among other things, was an asset, and that if Ted has the opportunity to trade that asset for a package of younger players and picks that makes sense for the team, he will. Which really doesn't say anything about whether they can build with Arenas or not. Nothing particularly revelatory about it. If they can trade Gil for something they like better, they will. If they can't, they'll build with him.

You jumped ahead to the "would make sense" part. That part referred to the difference between trading Gil because of his issues as opposed to trading Gil because they get a deal that makes sense. It may or may not have been poorly worded, and you may or may not have been processing it through your own filters. I suggest you keep a cryptographer on retainer just in case. But at least buy American.

The gist of it was more pointed at (as I think I said a few posts ago) that while Ted has embraced Gil, he would trade him (or anyone else) if it makes sense for their long term goals. He has done an admirable job of straddling the line between the Wizards being a family but also a business.


Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

" . . . while Ted has embraced Gil, he would trade him (or anyone else) if it makes sense for their long term goals. He has done an admirable job of straddling the line between the Wizards being a family but also a business."

Yes, but in my opinion he leans to the Wizards being a business. (As a business owner myself, I can't fault that.)

Posted by: nmik | June 10, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but in my opinion he leans to the Wizards being a business. (As a business owner myself, I can't fault that.)

Posted by: nmik

I don't either, but I think the good part is that even though he makes sure every one understands that it is a business, he creates a family atmosphere, treats his employees well, and gives them the sense that they're all contributing to a greater whole. I think that's the way it should be done. Not that much different from Abe actually, I just think Ted is sharper with the business side than Abe was in the recent past.

Posted by: ts35 | June 10, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

You all can twist and turn Ted's words all you want but Gilbert will be a Wizard next year and all of you summarizing is for naught.The one thing I learned about this new owner is he shoots from the hip and says what he means. Why is it so hard to believe that he wants Gil as a part of "his" organizaion. Unlike most on this supposedly Wizard blog, Ted believes in forgiveness. Wow, what a novel concept. But, I guess you all will continue with your dream trades of Gilbert until Gil actually appears on court in a uni. Maybe then you will get it. If Ted did not believe Gibert was going to be part of this team, he would not have answered. He has answered this question time and time again in favor of Gil, but you all refuse to believe it.

Posted by: ivyleague | June 11, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

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