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Does Gilbert Arenas need a fresh start somewhere else?

Gilbert Arenas's sullen disposition has been a topic of discussion ever since he showed up at media day sporting a scraggly beard and refusing to smile for photos. When he missed a few practices at training camp and showed up the FanFest wearing a towel over his head while his teammates scrimmaged, Arenas's behavior was again evaluated. Is he a martyr or an actor?


Why won't everybody just let me play? (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images)

But he opened himself up for more psychoanalysis last week, when he was speaking about his emotions about being back on the floor and said, "I lost all feeling a long time ago."

CBSSports' Ken Berger took a crack at explaining Arenas's demeanor, and the need for him to have a fresh start somewhere else in a column on Saturday. Berger spoke with an Arenas confidant who explained how this latest incarnation -- sparked by the fallout from his gun incident last season -- goes against Arenas's natural inclination to smile and joke. The person told Berger that he is "trying to hard to put a blanket over who he is." Berger mentioned that Dallas had internal discussions about dealing for Arenas, while also breaking down trade scenarios in Orlando and possibly Cleveland. He surmises, "the only way for Arenas to truly and completely come back from what happened is to do it in another city."

Mike Wilbon expressed a similar sentiment -- though for slightly different reasons -- when he said he argued that Arenas cannot be a productive player again for the Wizards and needs to get traded.

Last season, Jermaine O'Neal spoke about how difficult it was for Indiana players to recover following the infamous 2004 brawl. The relationship between the fans and the players was never the same and the situation only grew worse the longer they stayed in Indianapolis. "It's very difficult to go through that and it never really stops because you live it over and over and over again," O'Neal said. "It's like Groundhog Day. It takes a lot out of you mentally and physically. All of a sudden you find your career being all about negativity and nothing about basketball. As a player you have to understand that you have to get away so an organization can move on."

The brawl is an extreme example, but both incidents brought shame upon the organizations (the Pacers, of course, had a number of other off-court problems). Moving on worked out well for some of the central characters in the brawl. Ron Artest helped Sacramento make a playoff run, then bounced back fully last season with a title with the Los Angeles Lakers. Stephen Jackson helped the Golden State Warriors win their first playoff series in 16 years, and now is regarded as a team leader in Charlotte.

The problem for Arenas and the Wizards is that moving him is virtually impossible until he can prove that he can make it through a full season without going down because of injury or something else. After this season, Arenas is slated to earn about $62 million over the next three years.

Arenas has obviously had a difficult year, with the gun incident, the time in a halfway house, the new direction of the franchise, the death of his mother, and other situations creating considerable stress for him. I'm not a psychologist, so I won't try to get too deep into how it all has affected him.

Since he hasn't been amenable with reporters, there is a perception out there that Arenas has also been aloof with his teammates. From what I've been able to see in practices and games, Arenas is engaging with his teammates, cracking jokes and being very communicative on the court. He hasn't separated himself from the group, and the players often give him a hard time for the being the "old man" on the team. The camaraderie of the players to this point does not seem to be contrived. The celebration after Lester Hudson's game-winning three-pointer was one example, but they also have this new handshake down during pre-game introductions and after big plays.

Arenas told me last week that he is committed to playing out his contract with the Wizards and helping No. 1 overall pick John Wall become a star. But there remains a question about Arenas's own ability to remain a star, or rather return to his all-star form of the past with the Wizards. Right now, both the Wizards and Arenas need him to play at a high level.

When he was asked last week if he needed to go elsewhere to have a more desirable role, Arenas said, "I'm content on what I'm doing right now."

If you look at Arenas's numbers in the preseason, he has been more efficient than prolific. He is not trying to do more than he has to. He isn't forcing plays or drives. And, he is taking "quality shots" within the flow of the offense. Being flanked by Wall and Kirk Hinrich has really worked to Arenas's advantage because he doesn't have to be burdened as the sole decision-maker. He has just three turnovers and is able to showcase his shooting ability. Arenas is averaging 13.7 points, on 50 percent shooting (16 for 32) from the floor, with 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 26 minutes.

But will that be enough?

By Michael Lee  | October 10, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  Gilbert Arenas  
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Comments

It would be best for the Wizards to continue their rebuilding process if they could trade Gil.

I believe Gil if Gil wants to get traded he needs to show other teams he is willing to be a 2 guard who is willing to play some "D" and is okay with not being a team player and not "the man".

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 10, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Kirk At The 3?

What are you guys thoughts on this? I like Kirk and I think it could work but I also think it could be the dumbest move in the history of coaching. 1st off, many people wondered could Wall & Gil work together for a number of reasons. You are taking the ball out of Gil's hands and its a small backcourt defensively. It would probably also hurt our rebounding. Now not only do we have that but Flip is starting another 6'4 guard at the 3. Kirk has always been one of the best perimiter defenders in the league but that was at the 1. He's been good enough to defend the 2 but at the 3? He'll have to guard Lebron, Pierce, and all these guys. I saw Pierce kill him last year.

On top of that, 1st Gil had to worry about Wall but now you are putting 2 guys on the floor to take the ball out of Gil's hands. That makes no sense. The Gil-Wall backcourt can be dynamic so why screw with that by putting a 3rd ball handling PG in the lineup? Gil looks better every game and should have the ball when Wall doesnt have it. The other side is Offense. What did we say about Gil at the 2? We said that he could have a hard time guarding cats but no 2 can guard him. You cant say that about Kirk. NY starts a 7ft Gallo at the 3. Kirk has to guard him but on the flip side he has to guard Kirk, except Kirk cant take advantage of that matchup like an Arenas could. Its like no upside. Kirk isnt going to drop 30.

When it comes to rebounding, Dray & McGee are already suspect and now you are going to surrond them by 3 PG sized guards? Then what about scoring? We all know that you cant count on McGee and right now you pretty much just want him to be a finisher. That means we are counting on a rookie, a guy who hasnt really played in 3 years who you dont know what to expect from, and a big who is rusty from a foot injury, out of shape, and isnt fully finished yet anyways. I still think Flip's system makes it hard for guys like Wall & Gil to finish at the rim off the pick & roll. To me it just makes more sense to have a bigger guy who is also a scoring threat.

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 10, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I dont like Yi to be at the 3 because I want both him & Dray to stay being used to playing inside. You also want that guy off the bench that you know you can count on. I think you have to start a Howard or Thorton. Maybe even an NY over Kirk. Shoot, I may even say that if you want to start another little guy then maybe it should be Hudson. One thing you might could do is start Dray at the 5 & Yi at the 4 but again with Kirk at the 3 so you have enough O but again, I like to have that scoring on the bench that you can count on. However, I wouldnt be totally against that one. Just let Kirk get used to being the 3rd guard and stop making it more harder for Gil to have the ball in his hands. Despite everything I just said, Im not 100% against it yet. I think weve seen evidence that it can work.

The main thing to me is Gil. I think so far he's still our #1 guy to count on and I think you have to do whatever it is to put him in the most comfortable position. I think maybe removing Kirk and letting Gil handle the ball more would be better. No doubt Wall will still be the primary ball handler but when its not him then it should always be Gil. I think that will keep him more aggressive also. The one problem on the flip side is that having Kirk maybe makes Gil more of a scorer. Adding another scorer in the lineup may take shots away from Gil. It's just all so tricky because every guy I talked about can be great for us but youre still not 100% sure that you can count on them alone right now to dominate by themselves at what they do. Thats not even including the problems with size, rebounding, and defense. This team will have to win inspite of Flip. The guy is a bad coach and he doesn't inspire anyone to play hard. Kurt is not a 3 and booker is not a 4

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 10, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

It is sad when a writer does not use words appropriately. The first sentence of this entry "Gilbert Arenas's 'sully' disposition" illustrates this. Perhaps Mr. Lee meant to use the word "sullen" or perhaps he meant to use "sully" as a verb meaning to defile, place under suspicion, taint, mar, stain, or soil, or to use its adjectival form "sullied".

Posted by: benjammin | October 10, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I think he meant surly disposition. As in cranky, morose, sullen, etc.

Arenas needs a big brother, good strong motivational sessions with somebody who can shape his public behavior and internal focus.

Arenas is a self-focused person no doubt about it. Everything specially in interviews becomes about him.
He needs to learn:
1. how to say the right things "I think I'm getting to where I want to be physically, I'm prepared, been preparing the whole summer" "the team's really talented, quick, bla bla bla" "we're going to win as a team, together, bla bla bla".
2. Start thinking what HE can do for the team, not what the team can do for him. Face it, he's no longer that fast, can no longer jump as high, is heavier than he used to be. He now needs to think not how he can shine, not what he wants to say to the public, but what he needs to do to make Blatche shine, Yi produce, etc.

In other words, no more of the crap coming out of his mouth. He's still got a big ego, but he'll need to be not such a big jerk.

Posted by: rickgonz | October 10, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

It's endemic ( yeah, like a contagious fever) of the laziness of the wash po writing / editing philosophy these days.
Need to fill up some column inches ? ... just comp somebody else's work, regardless of how plowed the ground already is.
No need to feel like you need fresh or balanced perspective, you are just passing on somebody else's hate mail.
It's almost like the sports staff at the wp is trying to push/drive Gil out the door. Hang tuff Gil.
The haters can't spell, use word's correctly, edit or think for themselves. They are not to be taken seriously.
Your talent cannot be denied. Prove them the idiots they are.

Posted by: plotintelli | October 10, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

^^^
Thanks.

Posted by: benjammin | October 10, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Stop with the hand-wringing & speculation, it is quite clear now that short of trading Gilbert and John Wall together, no team is going to take Gilbert's horrible contract.

Posted by: closg | October 10, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"The haters can't spell, use word's correctly..."

Or apostrophes. Also, go back and read the entry. Michael Lee's not being a hater, just reporting on what people are talking about. If anything, his point is that Gilbert seems to be doing fine as both player and a teammate. I didn't see a shred of hate in any of that. I do, however, see real bitterness in excoriating people over a tiny typo.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing about it is that Mike Lee could do more to aide in helping Gil re-embrace with the fans as Ted encouraged Wizard fans and the people in this area to do. Gil has done much more the just be a basketball player in this area. When he was donating $ per point scored to schools and teachers, reaching out to youths and playing at Barry Farms where I can't remember when the last player from that team if ever (that wasn't from the area) has ever been there. Mike Lee seems to have a negative spin on the stories when they pertain to Gil but that's the same throughout DC media and sports talk and it spills over to this blog. Rebuild without Gil! What did we have before he got here? What was exciting enough to even wanna go to the Verizon Center and listen to fans boo Jawan Howard? I hope he comes around and I know EG won't basically GIVE him away!

Posted by: zack5 | October 10, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"The sad thing about it is that Mike Lee could do more to aide in helping Gil re-embrace with the fans as Ted encouraged Wizard fans and the people in this area to do."

That is in no way, shape, or form Mike Lee's job. He doesn't work for the Wizards or Ted Leonsis.

As for Arenas needing a fresh start elsewhere . . . the simple and obvious answer is yes. It was the answer months ago before he came back and it's still the answer. But in order for that to happen, he has to do enough on the floor to convince a team that's desperate to win now that he's worth the risk. It'll take more than some meaningless preseason numbers to do that. Expect to see him in a Wizards uni until at least the trade deadline.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 10, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok I am getting really mad about the whole hinrich @ sf thing. THORNTON needs to start at sf!!!

I also think I'm prefering Yi starting @ center... Yi, Blatche, Thornton should probably be the starting frontcourt.

To be honest I am still mad over the eddie jordan firing, I have given flip the benefit of the doubt but if he continues w/ this hinrich @ sf bs I am done w/ flip.

Also IMO Gil would be back full stream if EJ was still coach, he knew how to get the most out of Gil & he would of handled the whole situation with class unlike the present regime. Also being a former G and coach who got the most from Kidd in NJ he'd be ideal w/ Wall.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 10, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I think most fans have embraced Gil; the media keeps discussing the topic as if something has changed. Gil can do just fine in the D.of the C. Gill and wall even better; with Heinrich,Yi, Armstrong, and take your pick off the bench. If the Wiz win only positives will be mentioned with Gil is discussed.

I'm sure he'll take over the game when he needs too but why showcase in the preseason. Gotta let the rookie get comfortable in the offense, adjust to the next level.

Gil will carry the load on most back to backs when Wall is exhausted, Flip knows when to set Gil free. Keep GIL and strop talking about it.

Posted by: Gooddad | October 10, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes ,Nick young as a starter will give us 10 rebounds a game.
Flipo will take us to shampionship.
I hope the new owner will act the right way.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 10, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

No one is going to take that unbelievably obscene contract for the next two seasons. After that GIl can void out the contract (player option), and go elsewhere of his own volition. My hope is that he doesn't poison the well before he leaves.

NY already wants to revert after some marked improvement in his play and court time last season. Whether that regression is GA's influence or not, only NICK knows for sure, but it's not a good sign.

He should be gone for some cash soon. We only wanted to carry fourteen players at this point anyway right?

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 10, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Arenas paid his dues.
Just welcome and accept him playing for the Wizards. He will have incredible year playing for the wizards.

Posted by: rodkeister | October 10, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Arenas paid his dues.
Just welcome and accept him playing for the Wizards. He will have incredible year playing for the wizards.

Posted by: rodkeister | October 10, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

GOD, I hope so. He owes this org. one.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 10, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"It's endemic ( yeah, like a contagious fever) of the laziness of the wash po writing / editing philosophy these days."
Posted by: plotintelli

OK, I'm not following this. Endemic means native to the population or environment. A contagious fever, on the other hand, implies something from without. 'These days' infers something recent (in other words, not endemic).

But since the post deteriorates into yet more whining about Gil's treatment at the hands of the press, I'd say we're experiencing an epidemic of that.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

As far as Arenas as a 2 guard, everybody seems to agree on his strengths (scoring) and his weakness (defense). At one point, Gil was such an adept scorer that you didn't worry too much about anything else -- he could be counted on to put up more points than his opponent. Those days may well be over. If they are, then the coach has to do something to compensate for his defensive weaknesses when Gil is on the court. Play him next to Wall or Hinrich, for instance. But if Wall is handling the ball almost all the time, it's a lot to expect him to cover the other team's best scorer as well. So you might consider playing another primary wing defender in the backcourt as well, counting on Gil and Wall to pick up the scoring slack.

Certainly Nick Young is more athletic than Hinrich, but the coaches seem to regard him as an inferior (or at least very inconsistent) defender. Josh Howard would fill that role if he was healthy, of course, but he isn't. Thornton occasionally plays shutdown defense, but also not consistently.

It's preseason. I imagine Flip regards Hinrich as one of the team's three best players, and is simply thinking it would be a good idea to have all three on the court at the same time. That sort of plan usually doesn't survive in the regular season. Somebody winds up coming off the bench.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

ALL OF YOU SPORTS WRITERS AND SPORTSCASTERS NEED TO GIVE THE MAN A BREAK! He has paid a heavy price for his mistake. I'm sure he knows that their is no room for error on his part, but you guys including Michael Wilbon are beating a dead horse (the issue is what I'm speaking of). We have him, he's in shape, he's playing is butt off, he's on good behavior. The commissioner told him not to talk about the gun issue, and certainly he was wrong but that's behind us. Find another story to WRITE ABOUT. The coach is trying to find out what he has AS A TEAM, but he has a good player in Arenas, and a good starting five in McGee, Blatche, Wall, Arena and if he continues to start Heinrich (Sp?-no disrespect), although I hope he's not going to start three guards. Let's have some optimism and find something else to write about. I'm encouraged by what I've seen so far, are you?

Posted by: zbopjazz | October 10, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Check out the poll, most people on this blog want Gilbert Arenas to have a fair shot and he doesn't need to go anywhere else. I think we have a very good backcourt. Let's encourage him and support him and I know that's saying a lot! I think he's grown up, but he can't seem to win in terms of how he handles the press, all the positive attention is on Wall, and all the doubt on Arenas. I'd like the team (the players) step for him as he's proven himself to them over time. Peace!

Posted by: zbopjazz | October 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for the season to start!! I'm with you Gil 110%. You paid your dues, if anything we OWE you the respect for what you HAVE done for this Organization and City. I personally THANK YOU for making it fun to watch hoops in this town again. And pray I can be as perfect as all the unwilling to forgive people in this city.

Posted by: wizravterp | October 10, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Gil is quietly shooting 50%, that is EXACTLY what I was hoping to see...portend of good things for the reg season. Here's a guy that was scoring 28/night with entire defenses keyed against him. Now he's getting wide open looks- child's play for Arenas. There's a matchup advantage our way that Flip should exploit as much as possible.

Posted by: divi3 | October 10, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

also, imho the whole 3 guard lineup talk that Flip drools about is probably more of a motivator for Thornton and NY than it is a realistic lineup that Flip goes to with regularity in the reg season. Of course there are situations and minutes that it works, but when you get down to brass tacks NO ONE runs a 3guard for a reason. This aint the ncaa's so I wouldnt expect to see it that much

Posted by: divi3 | October 10, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Even if Gil scores 100 ppg, he needs a fresh start in another city, but i doubt it will be Dallas because I don't think Caron thought his antics were too funny...

Again, why do we have to eat the whole cow to know we are eating beef??

I agree Gilbert has paid his dues. Gilbert is in no way a villan. I actual like Gilbert but he needs to go!

It's real simple here. We don't need this sideshow any longer. If there is anyway possible trade him.

With or without Gilbert we are a lottery team, so let's get to the rebuild..

Gilbert will be much happier in another uniform...(And so will I...hahaha)

Posted by: kevenjones | October 10, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

So just because I have the opinion that it is better for Gil to play else where, I don't forgive him?

I don't think he did anything that requires any of us to forgive him.

I'm just looking at this as we are rebuilding so let's rebuild. Let's really start over.

But I'm sure he will be moved as soon as it is possible. Teams probably want to make sure he is healthy and by the trade deadline, we will be talking about how fun it was to watch Agent Zero..

Posted by: kevenjones | October 10, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"Even if Gil scores 100 ppg, he needs a fresh start in another city, but i doubt it will be Dallas because I don't think Caron thought his antics were too funny..."

Butler isn't the owner, the GM, or the coach (or, for that matter, the star player). If all or most of the above think acquiring Arenas will help them win a title, Butler's feelings on the issue won't count for much (putting aside the issue of whether we actually even know what those are).

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 10, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

he doesnt need a fresh start with the fans. we all still love him and understand why he might appear a bit subdued and down. the only people around here he needs a fresh start with are the media.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | October 10, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

This town is all about second chances. Marion Berry. If Gil was acting all upbeat, the media would discuss his lack of remorse about the gun situation. The guy can't win with the national media.

Who the hell wants Vince Carter anyways??? If we are looking towards the future, we need draft picks and potential starters, not a 32 year old overrated shooting guard. Plus, it would help a team in our division. Don't make trades in your division (D. McNabb).

For Dallas to trade for Gil, would that mean that Caron would be sent somewhere else since they couldn't co-exist here? The only piece they have that we would want is Boubois (something like that), but that was before we got Johnny Wall.

Gil will shine. Hopefully we will win games because if we don't the media will be bringing up this kind of stuff all year long. Thankfully, intelligent individuals are running our organization and they do not make rash decisions. The media lives for this sh*t.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | October 10, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

This town is all about second chances. Marion Berry. If Gil was acting all upbeat, the media would discuss his lack of remorse about the gun situation. The guy can't win with the national media.

Who the hell wants Vince Carter anyways??? If we are looking towards the future, we need draft picks and potential starters, not a 32 year old overrated shooting guard. Plus, it would help a team in our division. Don't make trades in your division (D. McNabb).

For Dallas to trade for Gil, would that mean that Caron would be sent somewhere else since they couldn't co-exist here? The only piece they have that we would want is Boubois (something like that), but that was before we got Johnny Wall.

Gil will shine. Hopefully we will win games because if we don't the media will be bringing up this kind of stuff all year long. Thankfully, intelligent individuals are running our organization and they do not make rash decisions. The media lives for this sh*t.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | October 10, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I was as angry as anyone about Gilbert bringing guns into the locker room. It was an embarassment to the team and the city, and it was one thing for the media to jump all over him for that.

But I am sick of people in the media trying to psychoanalyze him and get inside his head. Yeah, Gilbert has some very serious emotional and mental issues. If your mother had abandoned you at a crack house when you were barely 4 years old, you would too.

Gilbert, even with a bum knee, is better than 80% of players in the league. He's stuck in DC, and I hope he and the team make the most of it.

Posted by: NWDC3 | October 10, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

From a basketball standpoint, Gilbert Arenas is the least of my concerns. Me and the majority of my friends remain big Gilbert Arenas fans. Gilbert has been the most consistent player in the preseason and will be counted on more heavily when the real season starts. Don't get it twisted he is the best basketball player on this team right now. Clearly Wall is mre talented but will need time to mature and develop as a more complete offensive player. While every team in the league is trying to design a rosrter with a core of 2-3 ALL Star caliber players, the sportswriters in this town seem to advocate dumping Arenas.

My biggest issue with th Wizards is the lunacy of sarting Heinrich at small forward and the coaching philospphy of Flip Saunders who has milked his good old boy status to death.

Posted by: NewManagement | October 10, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious that 70% of the people on this blog have never had to project a budget for the next few fiscal years.

The main reason to get rid of Arenas--if anyone else will take him, which is unlikely--is to escape his franchise-killing contract. Period.

Posted by: KTV1 | October 10, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

As others have said, whether to deal Gilbert is a moot point because no one will take Gilbert at the present time anyway.

The back court is hardly the team's biggest problem area. Right now I'm much more concerned about the competitiveness of the front line. Let's not forget that whatever one thinks of the merits of last year's deals, they resulted in the loss of the team's three best front-court players. I'm not convinced JMac even belongs in the rotation, let alone as a starter, and other than AB and maybe Yi, the front line is one big question mark. Rebounding is going to be a major problem.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | October 10, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

@kalo

"Butler's feelings on the issue won't count for much (putting aside the issue of whether we actually even know what those are)."

Kalo, go look at the pow-pow-pow photo and see who is the only player missing from it. Not only that but it's widely known that Caron and Gil didn't exactly get along.

I think Mark Cuban would def. consult with Caron before acquiring Gil. Not saying Caron wouldn't endorse it but I said I don't think he's interested in playing with Gil..

Posted by: kevenjones | October 11, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Yes ,Nick young as a starter will give us 10 rebounds a game.
Flipo will take us to shampionship.
I hope the new owner will act the right way.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 10, 2010 8:18 PM |**********************************************************What? The only way Nick Young gets 10 rebounds is if he followed his shot!! He to busy fading AWAY from the basket to get his own rebound so....there goes that theory.

Posted by: Mikereese23 | October 11, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"Kalo, go look at the pow-pow-pow photo and see who is the only player missing from it. Not only that but it's widely known that Caron and Gil didn't exactly get along.

I think Mark Cuban would def. consult with Caron before acquiring Gil. Not saying Caron wouldn't endorse it but I said I don't think he's interested in playing with Gil."

Posted by: kevenjones | October 11, 2010 12:04 AM

So they hate each other because Caron didn't join in Gil's little career suicide circle? Please. That proves nothing except that Butler apparently has more common sense than the rest of last year's Wiz roster. As for them not getting along . . . even if that's true, so what? The idea that players need to be best friends in order to play together is pure fannish nonsense. Did Arenas and Butler have their issues last season? Probably. But, given the strength of their personalities, they probably had issues before that. But when the team was winning, we just never heard about them because they weren't a factor. Most players would happily suit up next to Josef Stalin if they thought it would help them win.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 11, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I often agree with you Kalo, but everyone knows that Stalin could not go to his right.

Posted by: khrabb | October 11, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

In the long run Heinrich at the 3 in October makes a lot of sense. But if it is till happening in November, I will be quite upset:

1- It gets 2 good shooters on floor with J Wall. Will be a good small ball option down stretch against some teams I the match-up works defensively. 2 of the 3 are new to the team and need to develop chemistry with Gil.
2- Josh Howard is hurt, good time to experiment anyway.
3 - It is better than adding the 3 spot to Thornton, Booker or young who have not earned playing time yet. Training camp. October is all about competition, conditioning and chemistry. Let's see which of these fellows earns minutes rather than handing them PT.


I am much, much more concerned about the 4 and 5 spots. Relying on McGee and Blatche to be foundation pieces could blow up. I'll be thrilled if they step up and become consistent players. I think Blatche will but I am especially concerned about McGee.

It is 3 games into preseason fokks. Everybody just relax. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Flip is seeking to build something that can be sustained. It is expermintation time. Don't analyze every single move like this.

Smallball has its place in spurts, but if he starts them in the opener I will be as upset as anybody.
BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | October 11, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

...starting a skinny 6'4" guard as a small forward in the NBA may get you fired. Which is probably innevitable for Flip and his crew anyway. So why not, it will get Flip out of town and to a contender next year...Flip did not come to DC to rebuild. Ted knows he is not what the Wiz need next season. And with Ted's belief in building through the draft, Ernie is probably gone after this year too...as picking quality first round talent has clearly not been his strength. As for GA, in Dallas Caron doesnt hold any trump cards. Cuban's going to bring in whoever he wants as long as his GM and coach agree. I personally like the idea of GA going to Cleveland. Wiz could perhaps get Clev's stud PF and AJ back (for salary match only), and or a lottery pick perhaps. And the Wiz fans would have a reason once again to hate Cleveland...if Ted couldnt then move AJ next summer, he could be a nice 6-7th man off the bench for 2 years. I think he has one less year than GA remaining?

Posted by: oddjob1 | October 11, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Not spending any money on the WIZ this year. Used to take my two grandsons to training camp here in RICHMOND. Lots of tees and other stuff. Not gonna' drive to The PATRIOT center - ever. TIX - not this year. Maybe next.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 11, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards should trade Arenas when it makes sense for the TEAM to do so, not to try and have a fire sale at the wrong time and give him away.

Let him show he can play a full season and be a contributor and scorer and there will be a market for him.

Right now he has little value.

All you would be doing is getting rid of 15-16 points per game that Arenas is likely to contribute and replacing it with nothing.

Maybe next year with a good 2010 season you get a piece back, either a small forward or power forward with some experience.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | October 11, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Gil is Gil.
He's going to be just fine.

However Mr Lee and Mr Wilbon, if they continue this assumptive and petty soap opera coverage of Gil, will push me even farther away from the post sports page.

Trade Wilbon.

Posted by: dcperspective | October 11, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if the combo of EG and Flip are ideal for Gil, but aside from that, he's got an owner who has already 're-embraced' him, a whole new cast of teammates, and the ones who are left like him. He's got a flashy new rook to take some of the spotlight off of him, and he's on a team where he's not burdened with expectations of a playoff run. All things considered, it's about as fresh a start and good of a situation as he could expect. Will he get grief from the fans? Of course, probably more here than most places. But if the team does well and he's part of that, most DC fans will put that grief in the rear view mirror.

If Gil got traded to another team, he would probably get less grief for the gun incident but as much or more grief for his contract, and for whatever assets they had to give up to get him, unless the Wiz traded him for useless junk (see Curry, Eddy), which they have shown no inclination to do.

Posted by: ts35 | October 11, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

As for the 3 guard thing, I usually give Flip more leash than most, but it's (past) time to look at other options in the starting lineup. I understand the rationale of it, but there are just certain matchups (as Flip began to allude to) where it makes no sense. Hinirch can hang in against certain types of SFs, but asking him to match up with big, strong, athletic guys like Deng is asking a bit much. And though he's a solid player, he doesn't present enough of a match up problem on the other end to make it worthwhile.

I'm assuming for the moment that Flip is just trying stuff out, but like everyone else, I'd like to see him try something else. My biggest complaint with Flip from last season was that he seemed slow / reluctant to change when something wasn't working. Hoping that's not the case here. Not that the 3 guard lineup won't work some times, I just hope he doesn't get locked into it. Plus, I feel like since Hinrich's a vet, we sort of know what he brings to the table, and now would be the time to find out a bit more about the rest of the guys.

Posted by: ts35 | October 11, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

IT'S PRESEASON Mike,I don't know if you noticed this about the NBA but most Vets take it easy in the preseason.Come back with your phyc 101 and your scoring stats when the season starts.

Posted by: kts38 | October 11, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

ok off topic but this is the difference between the Kevin Durant's of the world and some of the Players we have here:

The latest example: LeBron James was having a party in Kansas City at The Midland, a theater downtown. Durant was invited but politely declined the offer. "I don't go out to parties the day before a game," Durant told The Oklahoman. "I really don't go out too much during the season."

I'm so proud of KD. He represents the DC area so well.

I hope to one day see him in a Bullet's uniform. That would be awsome.

KD and JW, now we talking a serious contender..

How do you get him out of OKC though? Maybe Gil can go for 26 and 10, and AB can go for 20 and 15 and KD want to come home and wa-lah!!!!

Wishful thinking but KD is what AB should've been more "like". KD get's it and you don't here anyone talking about oh well he's only 22..And you know what he's gonna bring EVERY NIGHT...

Posted by: kevenjones | October 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

If Gilbert keeps his nose clean off the court and plays well on the court as the season progresses, (two significant ifs), his brush with unwelcome notoriety will quickly fade, particularly if the Wiz solidify as a team and experience some success.

This is Washington DC not Indianapolis; politics is a blood sport here, hatchets are as commonly buried in an enemy as the ground, sometimes in that sequence.

Harder to forget is that albatross of a contract but even that won't seem so onerous if Arenas and Wall prove to be an entertaining and successful backourt.

Posted by: midlevex_ | October 11, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

What do Dallas have for trade? No thanks, I rather keep Gil.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 11, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, trade our only proven superstar while other teams are stockpiling superstars (see Miami, Celtics). That does not make much sense. Whatever Gil's mental state is at this time - it is up to the coach to find a way to motivate him and others to perform their best on the court. If the coach fails to do so - then get rid of the coach, it will be a lot easier.

Posted by: SPUD2 | October 11, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The sports media should be asking this question: Is Flip Saunders the right coach for this year's Wizard Team?. WAPO will get a lot more hits on this topic than on whether it is time for Gil to go.

Posted by: SPUD2 | October 11, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert is here to stay!

Since Wilbon is on the "Miami Heat's" jock,

Maybe he should go to Miami or New York;
those are good markets for a writer of his umm, ability?

The results were 70% Gil stays, 29% Gil goes when I voted. We have reimbraced Arenas as a city.

Peace, Chef John

Posted by: upscalechef | October 11, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The guys that "suited up" with Stalin(A)ended up dead, or(B)ended up killing Stalin before he had them join the ranks of his "A" team. Not exactly a healthy formula for a rebuilding organization to follow...

There's an old Jail House proverb,"If you can't do the time, don't do the crime..."

I would say that Gil has definitely paid a very heavy price for what was a very stupid practical joke.

Question is when do we say he's paid enough?

Gil has a contract which it seems that both he and the Wizards intend to honor. But there seems to be a steady stream of sports writers in DC that have a problem with that. Gil made a mistake and paid a hefty price, a league suspension with lost pay, got convicted,went to a halfway house,and is doing community service, but now he's supposed to be driven out of the city in which he makes his home?

The only misstep I've seen Gil make so far is with the fans on fan appreciation day. Sitting with a towel on his head was a boneheaded move, but it's not one that should force a trade.

Are we talking about America, or Stalin's USSR here. Maybe we could trade the dirty lowdown traitor scum to Siberia and he could put in a few years on the Gulag 13 team. That would teach him...

Out here in the country, I tease my NRA card carrying friends about why the NRA has not made Gil their poster child. In their view the man has been unfairly imprisoned, his income taken away, and his image ruined, aa because he violated DC's gun law, which was recently ruled unconstitutional.

Out here in the land outside the beltway where millions adhere to, and beleive in their 2nd ammendment rights like a religion. And most beleive the Gov't is out to take away their gun rights, Gil is the one example of a man persucuted for violating the one gun law that they most wanted struck down.

But why hasn't the NRA come to Gil's defense?

When they drive away from my store with their Confederate Flags on their pickup, I know why. The NRA taking up Gil's cause would kill the NRA just about as fast as a black driver winning a NASCAR event would doom NASCAR...

It's a funny world we live in, in the city where people say they love Gil the most, they're ready to run Gil out of town. Out here in the country where people think what Gil did is no big deal, some would cross to the other side of the street to avoid him because he has the same skin color as our President.

Only in America...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 11, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This is such a simplistic blog topic. If it was that easy to just trade Gilby, then it'd be worthy of a discussion. It's not, so let's just let it be.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 12, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Would another team want to play Gil at the point or at the 2? We playing him at the 2. To me, if we were showcasing him, he would be playing the point.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 12, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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