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The story behind Gilbert Arenas's beard, and the full Media Day rundown


I see you, Gilbert! (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)


Gilbert Arenas attracted most of the attention on Monday afternoon, as he sauntered into the practice court at Verizon Center sporting an unkempt beard, his new No. 9 jersey, and a pair of old Nike Penny Hardaway shoes.

He's been angry before, been silent before. But Arenas appears to have taken on yet another personality -- more distant and uncompromising. His sullen mood and inability to crack a smile -- with the exception for the time John Wall playfully pointed at him and chuckled about all of the attention Arenas was receiving from onlookers -- made for an uncomfortable scene reminiscent of last season. On media day last season, Arenas said he was going to put the entertainer to rest -- until he reacted to his gun investigation with laughter, jokes, Twitter rampages and finger guns.

But this time, having returned from a 50-game suspension and a month in a halfway house (not to mention losing his shoe endorsement deal with adidas), Arenas had a much darker, morose tone. Plus, his interview with reporters was cut to roughly three minutes -- or about 27 minutes fewer than last season.

"The only place I want to smile is on the court," Arenas said. "That's where my job is, that's where my love is. That's the only time I need to smile now."

Several of his teammates were asked about Arenas's demeanor, and his new look. Some said they noticed a more serious, business-like Arenas. Some didn't have a point of reference from which to compare. A few laughed it off, or cracked jokes about the beard. They've been around Arenas the past few weeks, played enough pickup games with him to know that what really matters is that he is starting to look like his old self. He's lighter, lean, and, like the man who suspended him last season, mean.

"He's looking good. Lost weight; looking fast as ever. Just waiting to see if he can carry it over," said Nick Young, Arenas's teammate the past three seasons.


Wait, why am I smiling? I'm not supposed to be smiling. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Young added that he was not a fan of the beard, but is partly responsible for it being so thick and unruly. Young said he bet Arenas that he could grow out his Afro longer than Arenas could grow out his beard. Young expects to win. "I was waiting for him to cut it," Young said. "I was going to do it anyway. But I was pressuring him into it. I don't think he's going to get used to walking around looking like that. [People] might not want to talk to somebody with that beard."

But media day was about more than Arenas, as the Wizards embark on a new campaign, with a new star player and plenty of optimism. I spoke with Coach Flip Saunders and nearly every player on the roster and wanted to give you a rundown of some of the best things they had to say -- that wasn't related to Arenas's state of mind:

HILTON ARMSTRONG
Armstrong said that after joining his fourth team in five seasons, he hopes he will finally start living up to his lottery selection (12th overall) out of Connecticut in 2006. Although he struggled to make Byron Scott's rotation in New Orleans, Armstrong wouldn't point the finger for his shortcomings. "I can't put any blame on anyone but myself. No one is control of me, but myself, as far as how I play. obviously, if I had done something he would've liked, I would've been on the court more. I take complete responsibility for everything. It's something that I needed to do a little bit more, that I didn't know at the time."

Armstrong said he spent this summer working out with trainer Frank Matrisciano and former NBA coach Bob Hill in San Francisco. He added that he isn't ready to concede the starting center position to JaVale McGee. "I definitely think anything is possible. I'm definitely trying to work for that spot. If I don't get it, that's coach's decision. I can't make that decision, but I'm definitely going to try to be the best player that I can to make it possible."

ANDRAY BLATCHE
Blatche scoffed at criticism that he acquired his numbers in the final 32 games because the Wizards had no other offensive options. "For them to say I did have good players on my team, that was hard for me. I was getting double-teamed and triple teamed," Blatche said. "So for this year, for me to have Gil back, and better players around me, it's going to be more helpful for me."

He said that Arenas advised him to negotiated his three-year, $28 million extension without an agent. "Gilbert was one of the main guys that told me to do it that way. I think I'm going to do the rest of my contracts that way," Blatche said, adding that he signed the deal the day after he and President Ernie Grunfeld agreed on the numbers. "He knows I love it here and want to be here. I said, 'Let's sign an extension.' Once he said it was a deal, I said let's sign it."

Blatche said the new deal hasn't raised the expectations on him. "I have no pressure on my shoulders at all," he said. "I'm the type of person, I'm going to take care of business and if something needs to be done, I'm going to do it."

TREVOR BOOKER
Grunfeld said that Booker has the versatility to play either forward position, but Booker said he wasn't sure where he was the best fit. "I'm really not sure right now. I'm just going to go practice and just go hard. Wherever they put me, that's where I'm going to play."

Booker clocked the fastest time in the three-quarter court run at the NBA combine in May and said he doesn't know how he got to be so fast. "I never ran track or anything. I really don't know," Booker said, before adding that no player on the team has challenged him to a race. "I'm surprised John hasn't tried, since I beat him in Chicago."

KIRK HINRICH
Hinrich, the former team captain of the Chicago Bulls, said he was unsure what his role would be with the Wizards. I'm sure you guys heard me say before, I'm excited for the fresh start, but we're gonna find out. Starting camp, getting a feel for each other, maybe a week from now I'll be able to answer that a little better, but right now, I want to play and contribute and help us win games."

Coach Flip Saunders said he plans on playing Hinrich in a three-guard rotation with Arenas and Wall; something Hinrich did in Chicago, where he shared the court with guards Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon. "I don't know who's gonna get to match up with the small forward. I guess that would probably be me. I don't know, I'm sure they have a plan of how they wan to run camp and teach us how to defend and how we want to play offensively, and right now it's just kind of a wait and see."

When the Wizards dealt for Hinrich, they mentioned that his ability to help groom Rose was a key factor. Hinrich said he would take a similar leadership role in Washington, but didn't single out Wall. "I think any veteran on any team, you should have the responsibility of helping young guys if they have questions or doubts or anything like that," Hinrich said. "Somebody was doing it for you, and it's just kind of how you respect the game. You had so many guys come before you and lay the groundwork. When I was in Chicago I had some good veterans who I learned a lot from. So it's not like it's just John; any young guys, if you're a veteran on the team, you should take that on."

JOSH HOWARD
Howard has reached the sixth month of his rehab since tearing his ACL, but while he feels good, he doesn't want to rush back before he should. He was limited to shooting jumpers on his own and riding on a stationary bike during the first day of practice. "It's one of those things," Howard said. "It feels good, but I haven't done any real hard cutting or any contact yet."

When asked why he decided to return to the Wizards, Howard said, Unfinished business. I didn't get a chance to fulfill my plan here in Washington. That's one thing I wanted to do. Basketball wise, I thought it was the best situation for me, too. I was a free agent, just played the market. I showed my loyalty to the D.C. first and foremost, because they gave me the opportunity in the trade."

Howard found it amusing that at age 30, he is the oldest player with a guaranteed contract on the roster. "Ain't that something? I'm like you. All I can do is revert back to my senior year at Wake Forest. We had a bunch of freshmen and I worked miracles with that team. I'm not saying I'm going to do it again, but I'm going to give it a shot."

When asked what he thought when he saw the Wizards opening the preseason in Dallas, Howard said, "You see this smile?"

LESTER HUDSON
Hudson said he likes his chances of making the team because of the versatility he brings to the backcourt. "I play hard on both ends of the floor. A lot of guys score but don't lay defense. A lot of guards play defense, but don't score. I think I'm going to do both, make plays for my teammates and make shots."

CARTIER MARTIN
Martin welcomed his son, Cartier II, into the world a few weeks before training camp. "My first child. It's exciting," he said. "Getting a chance to see that was a great experience for my life. it definitely gives me motivation and inspiration to continue to do what I'm doing and get better."

He said he is confident that he will be on the opening night roster. "I know they have a lot of their main pieces. I'm going to come in and play my role," he said. "I've been putting in a lot of work to be here."

JAVALE MCGEE
McGee was asked about 35 different questions about participating in Team USA and offered the same drab response each time. He even started smiling as each reporter walked up to his table, thinking they were the first person to ask. The only time he started to open up was when he was asked about getting bigger and his fight with asthma.

He said he put on about 10 pounds this offseason and now weighs about 260 pounds. He doesn't want to get much bigger than 265. McGee said he can already feel the difference with his added bulk. "I feel it when I jump," McGee said. "Usually when I jump and somebody bump me, it's over. But now I feel like if somebody bump me, I can take the hit, catch the ball dunk it and get the rebound."

McGee also said that he anticipates being the starter at center this center.

ADAM MORRISON
Morrison said that the reason he decided to attempt to resume his career in Washington was because of the way Coach Flip Saunders and Grunfeld stayed in contact with him throughout the summer. The former third overall pick in 2006 has two NBA championships with the Lakers, but said there is an emptiness that comes from those titles. "Oh yeah, obviously. I didn't get on the court at all. I always tell people I was a fan with an all-access pass and I got a check every week. Being the draft pick that I was, I got a lot of flak for not playing. people don't understand, it was a very good team. wasn't like I was playing somewhere it wasn't good. I'm excited for right now, to come out and try to make this team."

HAMADY NDIAYE
Ndiaye is sort of a surprise participant in training camp, since the Wizards would prefer for him to play overseas, but he said that going to Europe is not his focus anymore. "That's my agent's job and everybody else that's talking about it. My job is whatever court I'm in, I got to do what I go to do. stay focused in whatever I have to do, because I don't want to be distracted. Wherever I'm at, I give it my best. That's how I look at it."

Ndiaye received a non-guaranteed tender simply to retain his rights, but he added that he's excited about how everything has worked out. "I love the fact that I'm here and I have an opportunity to go into training camp and get a chance to even be on the team and everything. I'm looking at how the team is looking and the steps that we are trying to take, I'm looking forward to great times. It's a pretty young team, but at the same time, we have the same vision and same drive and we all want to grow together."

KEVIN SERAPHIN
The kid takes up space. That's the first thing you notice about Seraphin, the seemingly rare physical French player. His English isn't very good, but said through a translator that "He's excited to be here, excited to show Coach Saunders that he's willing to do whatever needs to be done. Rebounding, being physical. Everything else will fall into place after that."

AL THORNTON
Thorton was noticeably slimmer than he was last season, claiming that he dropped about 20 pounds this summer by changing his diet -- he cut out poulty, beef and pork -- and mixing up his workouts to include swimming, boxing and biking. "That's been my main focus this whole summer," Thornton said. Coach Saunders "said that was the glaring issue."

With the small forward spot seemingly his to lose, Thornton said he is reading to claim it as his. "It's a great opportunity to come in and have a chance to be a starting small forward. That's what I want. I want to come out and re-prove myself and show people that I'm able to play at a real high level."

JOHN WALL
Wall entered the practice court around the time that Arenas was leaving, and he was the last player to meet with reporters. Wall said he understands the pressure that comes with being the top overall pick, but doesn't want to receive any special treatment this season. "I been under pressure like this my whole life, so it's not too big. But I want people to know, it's not just me. It's a team. I don't want to be treated no different. I might get extra media attention and photo shoots and all that, but I want to be trated like the other teammates. This is a team and we're trying to get our chemistry down to prepare for the season."

Wall compared this situation to his only college season. "It's a little bit like Kentucky. Everybody said I was the savior of my team, but I didn't have the coaching staff and I didn't have the five or six guys in my recruiting class and the returning guys, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did. Same thing here. if we didn't have Gilbert, the other guys, the coaching staff, we wouldn't be in position to have a good season."

Wall said he would try to get ready for anything this upcoming season. "This is a different level, so you've got to prepare yourself. You might have a 10-game losing streak or a 10-game winning streak, so you've got to prepare yourself mentally and physically."

NICK YOUNG
Young was in a great mood on Monday, as he spent a good amount of time flexing his new muscles and flaunting the 10 pounds that he gained this offseason. Young got his first tattoo this summer, which reads "Faith" near the collar. But added a few more tattoos across his chest. "A little extra ink, I'm a bad boy now," Young said with a laugh.

Although the Wizards have added John Wall, Kirk Hinrich and Arenas is returning, Young said he isn't worried about finding a spot in the backcourt rotation. "I'm always going to find a role. I always find a way to break through. For me, it's about winning. I want to make the playoffs this year," he said.

YI JIANLIAN
Yi said that his left Achilles has healed after taking the past three weeks off to rest following the world championships. Yi missed one game and experience a flareup in his final game in Istanbul. He added that he gained a lot from his experience as the face of China. "With Yao [Ming] gone. I was the only guy from China to play in the NBA. I had to do more to prepare myself. I had to do more on the court, off the court. I was very excited to play in the world championships. It was a chance for us to compete against some strong teams."

FLIP SAUNDERS
Saunders has declared the theme for this season to be "Back to Basics," which is a little less flashy than last season, when the theme was "Our Time." With a team with so many young players, Saunders said he cannot expect too much of them, but believes this team has a much better basketball IQ.

"You've got to know where, as a team, where you're at," he said. "If we have a lot of youth, we understand there's potential. We understand the biggest thing for them is their development as players and that we know that this is not going to be their best year. They are going to be better [on Tuesday] at 2 than they are at midnight. As young players, the more that they absorb, the more they are going to get better and better. We understand the development of those guys is important."

Saunders has coach veteran teams for much of his professional career, but he said his range of experience as a coach will help him with this group. "Maybe from standpoint, the thing that has helped me is being a junior college coach, where you took players and had to mold them real quick. Then having been in the CBA, where you have young players and an ever-changing roster of players, to teach them and get them to understand things and facilitate their progression, I think those things will help with a group like this, because you mold them how you want to mold them."

By Michael Lee  | September 28, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, Hamady Ndiaye, Hilton Armstrong, JaVale McGee, John Wall, Josh Howard, Kevin Seraphin, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young, Trevor Booker, Yi Jianlian  
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Comments

Thorton lost 20 lbs? Damn. He didn't look like he had that much to lose.

The blessing and possible curse for this roster is that there are a bunch of guys who are in the remaining year of their contract.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | September 28, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Gilbeard Arenas

Posted by: jefferu | September 28, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Flip needs to roll 10 deep until at least Thanksgiving. There's no need to wear ANY player out with 35+ minutes a night until December or so.

Hinrich
Young
Martin/Howard
Yi
Armstrong

That's a good core of 5/6 players off the bench who can help on a nightly basis.

Posted by: elfreako | September 28, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The ship has sailed for Nick and Blatche. Keep giving extensions based on 'potential' and that's all you'll ever get is 'potential'.

Package those 2 clowns and get another Booker type with height, a banger/rebounder who can give you 10 pts/nite. They gotta get tough in the paint or else it's more of the same ol' same. They gotta get serious about winning and drop these dudes who'd rather clown around in the locker room and in the clubs.

Tired of that bs

Posted by: kahlua87 | September 28, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I recall being shocked by how beefy Thornton looked when he arrived in Washington last season. And how easily he was winded. You never know what happens to otherwise good players when they play for the Clips, but he was really different from the energetic, talented scorer he had been his first couple seasons. This is a guy who can start or come off the bench and give the offense a lift.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert's glum, Gilbert's smiling, what difference does it make? IMO, what happened to Gilbert last season was of his own making. If he'd simply acknowledged his mistake instead of acting defiant, the NBA would have been less harsh on him. But that's the great thing about free speech: it protects the right to be an idiot, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I think Gil's silence allows for John Wall to more easily transition into the face of the franchise. If he was talkative (and people would rip him for that too), there's more chance of a bad dynamic where he overshadows Wall too much.

Personally I like silent, bearded Gil. Now he looks the part of "assassin" that he tried to push during his loquacious days. All that actually matters is how he plays, and since it's obvious he's normal-as-ever with his teamates...the rest is a non-issue

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The ship has sailed for Nick and Blatche. Keep giving extensions based on 'potential' and that's all you'll ever get is 'potential'.

Posted by: kahlua87

Agree with NY assessment. Totally disagree with lumping Blatche in with him. Andray proved last season that when he keeps his head out of his rear end, he can be a major asset. I'd still trade NY for a box of doughnuts.

Posted by: creativefunk | September 28, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

oh and I think "Yi Jianlin" is chinese for "javale mcgee"

dude is every bit of 7'2" and absurdly athletic...gotta be some kind of use for him

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

anybody care to talk about how Gil looked...ON THE COURT. My God! he was explosive in and out of sharp cuts. he had great COD, great range on the jumper, and he even showed some of ole Gil's ability to get to the rack and finish. Of course it was just a hyped up scrimmage, but i was impressed by Gil's physical conditioning and overall play last night.
BTW regardless of whatever's reported, doesn't AB look a lil puffy? I mean everybody's saying it was his best summer, even with the broke foot, but he always looks kinda bloated to me. Maybe it's the boozin'.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"He said that Arenas advised him to negotiated his three-year, $28 million extension without an agent. "Gilbert was one of the main guys that told me to do it that way. I think I'm going to do the rest of my contracts that way," Blatche said"

Gil's already helping out...

Posted by: audiohysteria | September 28, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

latest reports out of Charlotte have Shaun Livingston sitting out Bobcats'practices because of fluid on the knee.

Shouts Out to LarryInClintonMd

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Loved Hinrich's defense on Wall though...anyone else see that?

And I know I had a not again moment on JaVale...when he leaped out of the gym at Sean Marks on a pump...at the 3 point line.

I know it was VERY informal...but just observations.

And for you Larry:

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/shaun-livingston-already-dealing-with-fluid-on-the-knee.php

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 28, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

LOL damn Hollywood...beat me to it. LOL

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 28, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 28, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

*slowly tips cap*

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

probably the boozin, dude had 12 birthday parties. AB likes DC a little bit too much actually

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

gotta love how hinrich plays D, but i really dont like the idea of forcing him into the 3spot and it doesnt seem like he wants to do it either.

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

probably the boozin, dude had 12 birthday parties. AB likes DC a little bit too much actually

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

just about as much as any other 25 yr old round these parts. He's just gotta get into full speed practices and full contact workouts then he should sweat some of that out of him. I'm just messin with AB, cuz in his interview all he was saying was that he worked hard on his conditioning and explosiveness and it was paying off; but all i could see was his puffy face. i dunno what it is Antoine Walker Syndrome?????????

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

trying to put on muscle will definitely puff out your face, especially if you use creatine which i'm sure all these guys do.

as long as that foot is 100% healed up, he'll be good to go

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Gilbert's glum, Gilbert's smiling, what difference does it make? IMO, what happened to Gilbert last season was of his own making. If he'd simply acknowledged his mistake instead of acting defiant, the NBA would have been less harsh on him. But that's the great thing about free speech: it protects the right to be an idiot, too."

Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 1:58 PM

Acknowledging his mistake may have helped him with Stern but it would have made for a bad legal strategy. What he really should have done is just kept his mouth shut. It may well be that his current demeanor is an indication that he learned his lesson (albeit a bit late).

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone find it ironic that Gilbert is getting so much attention for what he's doing in the wake of a bet made with a teammate? Better to bet on a beard with Nick Young than on guns w/ Crittenton, but wow... instead of "My swag was phenomenal", maybe Gil will start saying "My irony is phenomenal".

Posted by: JEp1 | September 28, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"latest reports out of Charlotte have Shaun Livingston sitting out Bobcats'practices because of fluid on the knee."

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 2:17 PM

And this is on top of Kwame injuring his ankle and being out for a few weeks.

That's what they get for furnishing their house with stuff they picked up off the curb.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"it wont be good enough until he's able to prove that he's fully back from the injury (the real reason people turned against him in the 1st place).Posted by: zxhoya"

"An odd comment given what actually happened. People wanted Gil to succeed in his comeback. Some were reserving money for playoff tickets. From an individual standpoint, his combeback was a considerable success, as he met career averages in most important measures. That's pretty remarkable after a two season layoff. The team wasn't any good, of course, but three other players were shipped off in the purge. Now that team's gone, and Gil remains.

No, Gilbert's main problem remains what happened in the locker room and afterwards. He's paid a price for it, but the fans (being fans) will forgive him if he wins.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 27, 2010 6:16 PM"

Why is it an odd comment especially since you're saying the same thing I'm saying. (basically)

If Gilbert would have been the beast he was in the past when the gun incident happened, there would have been a different reaction (by most) including the organization and more quickly to forgive and sweep under the rug all his issues. Because he has struggled since the injury it seems that many where quick to want him outta' here. You say his come back was a success because he averaged decent numbers but you know that's not the case, he was not the player he was before the injury.

The former face of the franchise and the most exiting player in DC in a long time, was no longer that, "What Have You Done For Me Lately". When players perform and produce fans look the other way, when they don't, get rid of him anyway you can even if it means sending him to jail so we can get out from under the contract.

Yes, he has nobody to blame but himself but the injury and his inability to come back from it is the biggest reason that Gil's popularity has dwindled over the past couple of years.

Posted by: zxhoya | September 28, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he has nobody to blame but himself but the injury and his inability to come back from it is the biggest reason that Gil's popularity has dwindled over the past couple of years.

Posted by: zxhoya | September 28, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I agree, with a minor tweak. i think it was the injury, followed by a max contract, followed by his inability to return from said injury that turned frustration into hatin. Then when he looks like he's rounding into shape there's the gun incident. If you're someone who just wanted to see Gil play ball and watch your hometeam win, you had to have been frustrated with the past coupla seasons. That frustration then turns into outright hate, and a stigma of him being a gun-toting gimp, who held the franchise hostage with a bloated contract. We just gotta win though....let's not forget that Ron Artest was the "Hero" of that Lakers gm 7 victory.......Say Queensbridge Son...SAY QUEENSBRIDGE

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm much more interested with what this team does on the defensive end of the court.

Kirk Hinrich was a GREAT pickup. He defends the perimeter really well.

I agree,Gil,Nick,Blatche can all score the ball..But will they attempt to defend. That has been the problem with this team for forever. Yeah you have to outscore the opponet but apart of that is defending.

So that will be the key. Will Bltache, Nick, and Gil FINALLY attempt to play defense?????? Because none has ever ever ever done so..

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

So that will be the key. Will Bltache, Nick, and Gil FINALLY attempt to play defense?????? Because none has ever ever ever done so..

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

No defense involved in AB blanking KG? How bout NY putting the starps to Chauncey Billups and DWade? We get it. We got it last week. In fact we got it last year when you were leading the BTH rallying cry; you dig defense. No one has put up a morsel of opposition to your point that The Wizards as a team nedd to get better defensively, but to continuously say that people never try or tried to play defense takes credibility away from your larger point. it would be great if we had 5 stellar defenders on the court at all times, but the reality is that that's not close to happening. Lets focus on the strengths of this team; which seems to be leaning towards offense, and make an effort as a team to get better defensively.

Singling out NY or Ab or Gil (who's played 47 games in 3 seasons BTW) doesn't really speak to the fact that for years we also carried a PF and SF who weren't very interested in defense either. In fact (i know this is what you really wanted anyway) Brenda was one of our only true defensive stoppers. So once again with Brenda,AJ, and CB gone THE WHOLE TEAM needs to focus on getting better defensively, because this will be the first time this group has ever played together.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Queensbridge Son...SAY QUEENSBRIDGE

Posted by: lilhollywood10

Well said lilhollywood10, that's absolutely the truth.

Posted by: zxhoya | September 28, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I feel what you're sayin hollywood...but you can't throw one example or two against 4 or 5 years. I mean Yi gave AB like 20 and 20 or something didn't he? Agreed it's a whole team thing. But you can't use the one or two games as evidence thing. I mean even a blind squirrel finds a nut in the forest every once in a while right?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

With the 110 million dollars Abe paid Gill you would think he could manage to buy a good brush , comb , and hire a good barber! BTW... i just found my wallet in Gill's beard... Love the Bill Cartright look Gill!

Posted by: rlomax67 | September 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I feel what you're sayin hollywood...but you can't throw one example or two against 4 or 5 years. I mean Yi gave AB like 20 and 20 or something didn't he? Agreed it's a whole team thing. But you can't use the one or two games as evidence thing. I mean even a blind squirrel finds a nut in the forest every once in a while right?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

That's why i'm not a journalist, holmes. I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too lazy to look up the splits for the last 32 games last year to see how much he put up vs. the opposing team's PF's #s. But i'm sure it goes both ways. I'd just like all of us to kinda get away from the super-exaggerations and sensationalizing. A poster said that a coupla guys have never played D for us and in fact never even try to play any D. Alls I'm saying is there are clearly instances when these individuals do play D and give effort. If you're gonna harp on the wizards about defense look up and down the roster and show me the shut down defenders. If you're gonna call out NY,AB and Gil; two guys that have been role players most of their careers and one guy who's played a total of half a season in 3 years, then you need to try to be balanced and acknowledge that the entire team needs to come in with a defensive mindset. i mean what good will all that d from AB,NY,and Gil be if no one else on the team is to be concerned about strapping up?

And BTW it was just one game but AB sure was in THa Ticket's head. KG had nothing and he's a hall of famer. AI still gets credit for crossin up mike and that was one move in a game they lost to a team that went on to win a title.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"If Gilbert would have been the beast he was in the past when the gun incident happened, there would have been a different reaction (by most) including the organization and more quickly to forgive and sweep under the rug all his issues. Because he has struggled since the injury it seems that many where quick to want him outta' here. You say his come back was a success because he averaged decent numbers but you know that's not the case, he was not the player he was before the injury."posted by zxhoya

To me, it was the so-called 'gun incident' and (more importantly) Gil's reluctance to show some degree of contrition that led directly to his problems. Here you had a player who had always enjoyed a privileged relationship with the team and the team's fan base, turning around and treating the club, the league, and the fans like a bunch of chumps.

So to me, Gil Arenas' expensive suspension was entirely his fault. If he plays well this year, and especially if the team somehow manages to win because of it, then all will be forgiven. But if you're looking for who to blame, Gil, for the troubles that have befallen you, flip down the visor on that Escalade and check out the reflection of an idiot staring back at you.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

If you're someone who just wanted to see Gil play ball and watch your hometeam win, you had to have been frustrated with the past coupla seasons. That frustration then turns into outright hate, and a stigma of him being a gun-toting gimp, who held the franchise hostage with a bloated contract.
Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 3:20 PM

thats a pretty good analasys, and one I happen to think is probably true for many. The only thing is that too many of these people are supposedly adults and should be past the needing a hero stage. Anyone that emotionally effected by these atheletes should probably hold off on calling anyone immature.

Posted by: gmac78 | September 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too lazy to look up the splits for the last 32 games last year to see how much he put up vs. the opposing team's PF's #s."

In the game Yi went for 19pts/20rebs....AB went for 36/15 and the Wiz won. In the 4pt win Blatche was a +13, Yi was -3

Not sure I see a problem, Yi gets paid too as they say

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Because he has struggled since the injury it seems that many where quick to want him outta' here. You say his come back was a success because he averaged decent numbers but you know that's not the case, he was not the player he was before the injury."posted by zxhoya"

By the way, you haven't proved any of the above. I said that in IMO his comeback was a success because he achieved career average numbers -- not a lot of scorers can do that. And that's true. I've also said numerous times in the past that IMO he wasn't the player he once was. But don't tell me what I know and what I don't.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Here you had a player who had always enjoyed a privileged relationship with the team and the team's fan base, turning around and treating the club, the league, and the fans like a bunch of chumps.
Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 4:12 PM |

Samson151, why do you say he treated the fans like a bunch of chumps?

As far as the suspension beeing his own fault, I thought even the Gil supporters admitted he brought this on himself.

Posted by: gmac78 | September 28, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"And BTW it was just one game but AB sure was in THa Ticket's head. KG had nothing and he's a hall of famer."

Only time in past 10 years KG was held without a FG.

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Howard, Thornton, Young, Hinrich, Yi, Booker. So far the Wizards have 6 players that could play at least some SF, and they're looking out a 7th. I don't know what to make of that. But judging from the fan reactions last night, I'd say Morrison has the edge on Martin. He's probably a better fit into Ted's marketing strategy, too.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Arenas looks like he's a little depressed to me. I hope that I'm wrong but, I think they should keep an eye on him anyway.

Posted by: carterm1 | September 28, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Here you had a player who had always enjoyed a privileged relationship with the team and the team's fan base, turning around and treating the club, the league, and the fans like a bunch of chumps.
Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 4:12 PM |

this is what i'm talking about. I think gmac was saying it earlier. What did Gil do to YOU? How did he make YOU feel like a chump?My God Samson, you're my man, but for the life of me i cannot figure out why people are still making this more than it was. It was a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad joke, that resulted in him being locked out of the building, him losing his endorsements, him having to pay tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay out of jail,him having to spend a month in a halfway house all so he can work his a$$ off to get back into great shape to entertain YOU this season, and support his family. What a sucker he made outta you.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Only time in past 10 years KG was held without a FG."

"And BTW it was just one game . . . "

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

But judging from the fan reactions last night, I'd say Morrison has the edge on Martin. He's probably a better fit into Ted's marketing strategy, too.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 4:20 PM

Are you suggesting their play wont determine who makes the team and who doesnt?

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse


But judging from the fan reactions last night, I'd say Morrison has the edge on Martin. He's probably a better fit into Ted's marketing strategy, too.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 4:20 PM

Ouch. He helps in the requisite "white male" demographic?

Posted by: roscoepcalhounbrownjriii | September 28, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Morrison has the edge on is name recognition.

And I think lilhollywood10 has a bit of a point. Yes, what Arenas did was stupid. Yes, Arenas should have known better. Yes, he deserved to be punished (and was). But I can't fathom the notion that it was somehow a personal (let alone intentional) affront to the fans.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"And BTW it was just one game . . . "

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 4:26 PM

Last 4x they've matched up, averages are:

AB
33mins/20pts/7rebs

KG
29mins/13pts/6

Of course I'm sure there's some reason this should be ignored as well...

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

My post had nothing to do with BTH...

And if you think for a second Gil,NY,or Blatche has ever even attempted to play D you have to be blind.

Yeah Blatche did lockdown KG, but go back and watch the tapes last year and see how many times Blatche didnt' rotate or step into the lane with a player going straight to the basket.He standing there looking at the play just like I was.

And NY....Are you kidding me?? Please stop it.

Gil..HAS NEVER PLAYED DEFENSE. NEVER

So I'm saying it's not enough for these guys to score 25pts but then not to defend when it counts.

I said Kirk will help out alot in this area, but what will these 3 do??

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

No need to ignore anything. It would be nice, though, if you at least made a token attempt at providing some actual evidence how that proves Blatche's defensive prowess. Esp. In light of the fact that Garnett's season numbers last year were 14 and 7. So bravo to Blatche for holding KG a whole pt and reb. below his average. Woohoo!

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Are you suggesting their play wont determine who makes the team and who doesnt?

Play isn't the only factor for guys that far down on the bench.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Play isn't the only factor for guys that far down on the bench."
Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 4:45 PM

True. But there's a pretty good chance that whichever of Cartier or Morrison makes the team might not be that far down the bench, given their less than stellar SF options.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Is there a reason that Blatche isn't compared to players under the age of 34? Bosh,
Aldrige, Jefferson, and Villanueva are all around his age.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

KG plays has a ring, and plays for the Eastern Conference Champions.

KG is 15 years in. A certain Hall of Famer.
KG has 20 & 10 as career stats.
KG is an 11 time All star
KG has been defensive player of the year
etc...

BTW..I HATE KG AND THE CELTICS BUT..
I'm confused as to what we are comparing here.

Liljoker, are you in someway saying Blatche is in some shape or form, comparable to KG even at this stage of his career.

You are seriously silly..seriously..

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

No need to ignore anything. It would be nice, though, if you at least made a token attempt at providing some actual evidence how that proves Blatche's defensive prowess. Esp. In light of the fact that Garnett's season numbers last year were 14 and 7. So bravo to Blatche for holding KG a whole pt and reb. below his average. Woohoo!

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 4:44 PM

Could you quote where I said anything about Blatche's defensive prowess? All I did was post the numbers as they are for the games in question (vs Yi, vs KG). Lo and behold, in both instances they are favorable to our guy. The same guy who has definitively outplayed KG 4x in a row now....yet still cant catch a break from some fans.

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody watch Morrison last night? He's pretty terrible.

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

And if you think for a second Gil,NY,or Blatche has ever even attempted to play D you have to be blind.

Did you really follow that up with this in the next sentence?

Yeah Blatche did lockdown KG....

OK just making sure i'm not blind AND illiterate.

And NY....Are you kidding me?? Please stop it

Nope not kidding. I never said NY was bruce bowen or ron artest, but he did put the straps to DWade, played tough D on Chauncey, and played his way into some minutes down the stretch off the strength of his defense.

Gil..HAS NEVER PLAYED DEFENSE. NEVER

When gil was in Golden state he was brought in off the bench to be a defensive stopper. He and Larry Hughes led the league in steals (a defensive stat, refering to the act of taking the ball away from an offensive player, usually while playing defense)

and now you see how silly you look. Why not play it straight? I gave you the Billy Martin. But you wanna be stubborn. You wanna make facts out of your opinion and speculation. Most of us have seen the games i referenced. We have also seen where those guys played poor defense, but to continue to say these professional basketball players who are compensated in the millions do not even attempt to defend is reall silly. come on holmes just be fair.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW..I HATE KG AND THE CELTICS BUT..
I'm confused as to what we are comparing here.

Liljoker, are you in someway saying Blatche is in some shape or form, comparable to KG even at this stage of his career.

You are seriously silly..seriously..

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Then you must be the silliest. Lay off the strawman Brenda. I never said AB was close to KG's level. I was told that AB never played any defense, so i referenced one instance against the illustrious KG (whose career you so kindly dug up) where AB played pretty good defense on KG to the point where KG was all in AB's ear tryin to psyche him out.

I'm not interested in comparing my wiz players to any other players right now. I'm just saying a player you claimed NEVER plays defense put the clamps on a future HOF'er. It was one night as i mentioned before and Kal reinforced. it doesn't mean the he does it all the time or can do it everytime. But it does show you that he has done it (Play good defense) and is capable of doing it against good players.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Could you quote where I said anything about Blatche's defensive prowess?"

Sure.

Only time in past 10 years KG was held without a FG.

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:19 PM

Quite obviously, when you tout a player holding another player w/o a FG you're praising his defensive effort. Add to that the fact that you were responding to/quoting a post in which lilhollywood was specifically defending Blatche's defense, and the message is pretty clear.

None of which, we all know, will do anything to dissuade you from attempting to tap dance your way out of the shadow of your own words.

Have at it, then.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Nope not kidding. I never said NY was bruce bowen or ron artest, but he did put the straps to DWade, played tough D on Chauncey, and played his way into some minutes down the stretch off the strength of his defense."

This is simply not true. In fact Nick was pulled from most of the games and didn't even play because of his lack of effort on the defensive end...

"When gil was in Golden state he was brought in off the bench to be a defensive stopper. He and Larry Hughes led the league in steals (a defensive stat, refering to the act of taking the ball away from an offensive player, usually while playing defense)"

Ok idiot. First off Gil started all but 17 games in GS. So he wasn't coming off the bench to do anything. And he averaged 1.5 steals per game .2 more steals per game than he has averaged last year and you think that means Gil plays or attmepts to play defense. Dude Gil has never been accused of this by anyone other than you.

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

But there's a pretty good chance that whichever of Cartier or Morrison makes the team might not be that far down the bench, given their less than stellar SF options.

Posted by: kalo_rama

I don't know if the Wizards see it that way. Why invite a guy that couldn't take minutes from Luke Walton, if your worried about depth.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody watch Morrison last night? He's pretty terrible.

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

did you go out there or watch on TV cuz other than the crossover and jenna Jamison splash in his face from wall, i didn't see him do much. But I have a soft spot for funky white dudes on the court i want DJ AM (Deep Jumper Adam Morrison) to make the team, not at the expense of Cartier though(i think CM has the defensive edge). I remember how Am used to tear it up at Gonzaga, his path has been similar to JJ's (minus the injuries) in that neither one of those guys were able to transfer college superstardom into the L. hopefully he can catch on somewhere cuz he used to fill it up.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Here you go.

In 02-03 Allen Iverson had 225 steals. Gilbert 124 and there where a bunch of guys between them..wtf

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh and just to save you the trouble:

No, you didn't say anything about defense in the exact post where you cited the stats. But since that post was a direct response to one in which I dismissed Blatche holding KG without a FG in one game as not having any real relevance, it's quite obvious that you posted the stats in defense of your position that it was relevant. And since holding a player w/o a FG is only relevant with regard to defense the only purpose served by posting the stats would be to try and bolster that defensive argument.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

i dont want anyone making the team because they are white (or black, or hispanic, or whatever)....i'd rather everyone is there because they earned it and will therefore perform best when called upon. But I did notice what djinou said, the moment Morrison touches the ball cheers erupt from the fans. So he may have a leg up on Cartier even if he cant shoot or defend

Posted by: divi3 | September 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"Nope not kidding. I never said NY was bruce bowen or ron artest, but he did put the straps to DWade, played tough D on Chauncey, and played his way into some minutes down the stretch off the strength of his defense."

This is simply not true. In fact Nick was pulled from most of the games and didn't even play because of his lack of effort on the defensive end...

"When gil was in Golden state he was brought in off the bench to be a defensive stopper. He and Larry Hughes led the league in steals (a defensive stat, refering to the act of taking the ball away from an offensive player, usually while playing defense)"

Ok idiot. First off Gil started all but 17 games in GS. So he wasn't coming off the bench to do anything. And he averaged 1.5 steals per game .2 more steals per game than he has averaged last year and you think that means Gil plays or attmepts to play defense. Dude Gil has never been accused of this by anyone other than you.


Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

You can argue your point as much as you want but it doesn't matter. To say these players NEVER did something, you have to be correct 100% of the time. For me to say they HAVE DONE something, i only have to be correct once, or the one time that they did it. If you are not directly referencing the Miami games from last year where NY was specifically put in the game to guard DWADE then shut up about the times he was pulled against anybody else. Once again you said he NEVER played D. I said he played good D in a coupla games.

You call me and idiot, and then rattle off Gil's numbers for steals (once again, a DEFENSIVE statistic)


If it makes you feel good, i'll tell you "you got it". I don't really care to continue this fruitless argument with you.

BTW i guess cuz you just got your a$$ handed to you a coupla posts ago,AB has been dropped from the list of players who don't play D.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10 ,

AB,NY,or GIL 99% of the time play on one side of the floor. The offensive end. And each have done so throughout their respective career's.

In order for this team to climb out of the basement, each will have to commit to at least giving an effort on the defensive end. Obviously they are athletic enough to do so, but that is where my frustration lies.

So one,or two,or three,or four,or five,or six games out of 82 DONT CUT IT...

Better?

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Here you go.

In 02-03 Allen Iverson had 225 steals. Gilbert 124 and there where a bunch of guys between them..wtf

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

comical to say the least you d-bag arenas wasn't even with the wiz in 02-03. what's super funny is that he has had his best spg totals since joining the Wiz, one of thoses seasons 05-06 AFter LH left he avg'd 2 spg a career high. but like i said you got it.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Ab is a loser, Gil is a time bomb and
In Grunfeld We Trust... NOT.

Posted by: jiji1 | September 28, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know if the Wizards see it that way. Why invite a guy that couldn't take minutes from Luke Walton, if your worried about depth."

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 5:09 PM

That's a bit of a straw man. He really wasn't in competition with Walton for minutes because Walton barely played last season; he was out of the rotation for the majority of the season (partly due to injuries). The vast majority of the SF minutes were played by Artest. Not really a shock Morrison couldn't beat him out. The rest were divvied up between Odom, Kobe (and occasionally, Vujacic) in spot duty. But really, none of that matters. The Lakers were two-time world champions. To suggest that because a guy couldn't get run there means he can't help a team like the Wizards is a bit of a stretch (to put it mildly).

The history of the NBA is filled with guys who had no impact early in their careers then caught on in the right situation and became contributors. Will Morrison be that guy? Who knows? If he's not, it wouldn't exactly be a surprise. But the fact is that it happens all the time. So to suggest that there's some kind of ulterior motive behind inviting him to camp based on the fact that he couldn't crack the Lakers' rotation is conspiracy theory type stuff.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 28, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

did you go out there or watch on TV cuz other than the crossover and jenna Jamison splash in his face from wall, i didn't see him do much. Posted by: lilhollywood10


Wall's going to do that to a lot of people. Morrison did make some nice shots. The problem is that he moves like a 6'8 Dirk. He'll get destroyed on D.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

Ah you were the one who dropped Arenas's stats when he was with GSW. You remember right? The same post where you said Gil came off the bench when he was in GS??

I'm just trying to educate you so you can half way know what the hell you are talking about because you are confused bro...4 real

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10 ,

AB,NY,or GIL 99% of the time play on one side of the floor. The offensive end. And each have done so throughout their respective career's.

In order for this team to climb out of the basement, each will have to commit to at least giving an effort on the defensive end. Obviously they are athletic enough to do so, but that is where my frustration lies.

So one,or two,or three,or four,or five,or six games out of 82 DONT CUT IT...

Better?

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

much better actually. like i said before folks need to stop sensationalizing and just call it how they see it. I got your earlier point, that defense has to be the focus. But to act like a guy who hasn't played in 3 yrs, another guy who just notched his first real starting role (32gms and counting) and the 7th man off the bench , are the reason the wiz can't play d is still kinda silly. Why not talk about our completely unproven quantities Booker,Seraphin,Ndaiye, Armstrong etc. it's team defense that's gonna get this team through. We only had one real defender on the squad last year (your man) BTH. Now that he's gone EACH PLAYER on theis team is gonna have to work harder defensively. Before everyone could play suspect defense and expect Haywood to guard the rim; but if you want EPICvale to last more than a half each game that ole defense to the middle has to go.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

Ah you were the one who dropped Arenas's stats when he was with GSW. You remember right? The same post where you said Gil came off the bench when he was in GS??

I'm just trying to educate you so you can half way know what the hell you are talking about because you are confused bro...4 real

Posted by: kevenjones | September 28, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

is that a stat, to say he came off the bench. either way you reinforced that by saying the following: Gil started all but 17 games in GS. So he wasn't coming off the bench to do anything

...anything but play in 17 games.


either way i was saying he was a defensive stopper earlier in his career, and put up some of the best steals numbers of his career playing here with larry Hughes.Look it up.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

last sentence 2 posts up i meant Olaaaaaaaaaay defense just can't do the accent button. apologies.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 28, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"The ship has sailed for Nick and Blatche. Keep giving extensions based on 'potential' and that's all you'll ever get is 'potential'. Package those 2 clowns and get another Booker type with height, a banger/rebounder who can give you 10 pts/nite."

Posted by: kahlua87 | September 28, 2010 1:39 PM

So I take it from this that you're assuming that Blatche's all-star level production over the last quarter or so of last season was a mirage that he will not be able to duplicate. Well, maybe so, but it doesn't make any sense to trade him before we find out. It's not like the Wizards are flush with front-court talent, and it's undeniable that 'Dray has plenty, just as it's undeniable that he has largely squandered it to this point. After the years that the team has invested in the guy's development, it would be a crime to trade him and then have him blow up on another team.

Posted by: rufus_t_firefly | September 28, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Oy, can we drop the AB, NY and Gil defensive arguments already please?

We can all go through the game logs and find games for all of them where they 'locked' down opposing players. You can also go through and find games where they were abused by other players. It's harder to find those for Nick, because if Flip sensed it was going that way, Nick would be on the pine.

With AB and Nick the problem with their D over the past few seasons has not been what they do on any particular night, but what they bring every night. Both have been inconsistent to say the least. Not that they have been alone on the Wizards by any stretch. Defense is a team thing. Effort and attention to detail is required from everyone. Leadership in this area from the team's 'best' (most noteworthy, highest profile, considered most talented) players, Gil and Wall, will go a long way. Bringing in more guys with a defensive mentality hopefully will also help.

AB and Nick seem determined this year to prove themselves on the court, though granted we have heard those words from both before. They seem to have put in some work over the summer. Let's see this year if it pays off on the court on both ends, or if both players are just more determined to put up offensive stats.

Posted by: ts35 | September 28, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

By the way, you haven't proved any of the above. I said that in IMO his comeback was a success because he achieved career average numbers -- not a lot of scorers can do that. And that's true. I've also said numerous times in the past that IMO he wasn't the player he once was. But don't tell me what I know and what I don't.

Posted by: Samson151

Look dude, take the tampon out. I'm not trying to tell you what you know and don't know.(my apologies if you took Internet banter that way)

It's all opinion by by everyone on here and I BELIEVE that although Gil averaged in the low 20's, he was not the same dynamic player he had been before the injury. The team struggled and he shot a poor %, but he did stay healthy for the 1st time in 2 years so I guess that could be called a success. (IN MY OPINION)

Posted by: zxhoya | September 28, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"How did he make YOU feel like a chump?My God Samson, you're my man, but for the life of me i cannot figure out why people are still making this more than it was. It was a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad joke, that resulted in him being locked out of the building, him losing his endorsements, him having to pay tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay out of jail,him having to spend a month in a halfway house all so he can work his a$$ off to get back into great shape to entertain YOU this season, and support his family. What a sucker he made outta you.
Posted by: lilhollywood10"

Notice I didn't say he made a chump of me personally. The fans, collectively.

For which the fans are ultimately reponsible, IMO. Chump me once, shame on you. If you're lining up to get chumped again, don't say you weren't warned.

Here's the way I look at it. Gilbert Arenas owes me, personally, nothing. He owes his employer, the Washington Wizards, all the things that are described in his contract, and in the agreement with the player's association. That includes meeting a standard of conduct that Gilbert clearly didn't meet. We know he didn't meet it because he got himself suspended by the Commissioner for 50 games.

Of course, that cost him beaucoup bucks. Not that he needed it to feed his family, the Contract had already taken care of that. But it also cost the Wizards, who were paying him all this money, his services for the bulk of a season. Not because of any action on the club's part, but because Gilbert messed up.

You and I know that the team wasn't any good and the loss of its most popular player didn't cost them many wins. Point is, the people who wanted to watch Gilbert play basketball, didn't get to do it. That includes season ticket holders, guys who bought into those promotional plans, kids who got freebies, people that like to catch the game from their Barcalounger on the regional network -- they didn't get to see their team's best player, and only real star.

So who's fault is that? Gilbert's, of course. And who did it affect? The fans, of course. The club at least didn't have to pay the guy. But he missed more than half the season, and not because of an injury, either.

Let's hope that Gilbert's attitude has been thoroughly adjusted. It needs it.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Excellent blog Michael - thank you

Posted by: junkmail0153 | September 28, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

So to suggest that there's some kind of ulterior motive behind inviting him to camp based on the fact that he couldn't crack the Lakers' rotation is conspiracy theory type stuff.Posted by: kalo_rama

How can you live in DC and not like conspiracy theories?

All I'm saying is that if Morrison makes the team it will be more of a marketing decision than a basketball one. I consider the decision to bring back AI to Philly a marketing one, too. Not the best example, but the only one that's coming to mind right now.

The notion only occurred to me because in that interview with David Aldridge last night Ted said, "We have all these X-factors. How's Gilbert going to play, can a Morrison make the team, what kind of player is Seraphin going to be." I thought it odd that Morrison's name came up there.

Now here's part of an interview with Cartier Martin from Truth About It.

Mobley: And whether it was at the end of last season or at the end of summer league, did Flip Saunders give you any specific instructions as to what part of your game you needed to work on or improve?

Martin: Yes, one of the main things he wanted me to work on was being much more of an energy guy. One thing I worked on this summer was getting my weight, being able to make the transition from the “2″ to the “3″ or from the “3″ to the “2″, and being more agile and being able to guard any position on the floor. So I took heed to that this summer and worked on a little different things, as far as being a 2-guard, like ball-handling, and being able to guard bigger guys and smaller guys. Hopefully it pays off, and I get a chance to be here with the Wizards this year and contribute to this team.

Are these guys even competing for the same roster spot?

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Lilhollywood10 and SDMDT, LOL, Sorry to hear about Livingston's swollen knee down in Charlotte. Looks like anyway you look at it he is coming up 3rd fiddle anyway.

I wonder if our medical staff finally got something right?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 28, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, one of the main things he wanted me to work on was being much more of an energy guy. One thing I worked on this summer was getting my weight, being able to make the transition from the “2″ to the “3″ or from the “3″ to the “2″, and being more agile and being able to guard any position on the floor. So I took heed to that this summer and worked on a little different things, as far as being a 2-guard, like ball-handling, and being able to guard bigger guys and smaller guys. Hopefully it pays off, and I get a chance to be here with the Wizards this year and contribute to this team.

Are these guys even competing for the same roster spot?

Posted by: djnnnou | September 28, 2010 8:35 PM

If Morrison makes the team rather than Martin, should we assume it means he can do all those things? Because their shooting %'s are almost identical, so unless one of them lights it up during pre-season you'd think the difference will be in everything else each guy brings to the table.

Posted by: divi3 | September 29, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This is among the most poorly edited columns I have ever seen in the washingtonpost.com

I hope someone is reviewing these comments.

Posted by: girish_joshi | September 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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