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Flip Saunders noncommittal on playing Gilbert Arenas

A day after Gilbert Arenas apologized for faking an injury so teammate Nick Young could play, Washington Wizards Coach Flip Saunders this morning declined to reveal whether the the three-time all-star guard would be in the lineup for tonight's final home preseason game against Milwaukee.

"We'll see," said Saunders, who fined Arenas an undisclosed amount for alleging a sore left knee before a 107-92 victory over Atlanta in which Young scored a team-high 24 points. "I'm going to decide at game time."

Arenas spoke to reporters following the game, saying he knew Young was frustrated about not getting a chance to break into the three-guard rotation. That unit is composed of No. 1 overall pick John Wall, newcomer Kirk Hinrich and Arenas, who is back after missing the final 50 games last season because of a league-mandated suspension stemming from bringing guns into the locker room at Verizon Center.

Against Atlanta, Young made 10 of 14 shots, including 4 of 7 three-pointers, and added two steals in close to 31 minutes. Arenas, meantime, sat on the bench and watched the Wizards grow a comfortable lead in the second quarter and then pull away in the second half, thanks in part to some memorable moments from Wall, including a steal at half-court that led to a one-handed dunk.

Wall finished with 19 points and seven assists in 35 minutes, although he also had five turnovers. Now the stage is possibly set for Wall finally to play a somewhat meaningful game with Arenas in front of a partisan audience.

"Everybody knows what Gil can do when he's out there," said Hinrich, adding he was unsure whether Arenas would play tonight but that it perhaps would be sorted out at this morning's shoot-around. "We got a lot of guys who can put the ball in the hole. I don't see any problems adjusting to the rotation or anything like that."

By Gene Wang  | October 14, 2010; 11:18 AM ET
Categories:  Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, Kirk Hinrich, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young  
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Comments

Arenas is an idiot and needs to be moved, but, he keeps self destructing and can't be. How much money are the Wizards paying this idiot? Dear God, I wish I had one tenth his talent at anything. What a waste!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | October 14, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Zero coming off the bench would be a great idea-- not for any punishment reasons but because can you imagine how Arenas would school the 2nd string guys on opposing teams. It would make for a great lineup and sub pattern. Would really strengthen the Wiz.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | October 14, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse


Arenas is an idiot and needs to be moved, but, he keeps self destructing and can't be. How much money are the Wizards paying this idiot? Dear God, I wish I had one tenth his talent at anything. What a waste!

he just not that good anymore

Posted by: hessone | October 14, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!! GILBERT ARENAS JUST FARTED ON A CHAIR THAT WASN'T HIS!!
Yes folks it's ture. The once beloved player has dropped to an all time low, FLATULENCE. The fans are calling for his immediate removal. No one can believe it has come to this with Gil. " I can't believe he farts with no conscious" said one fan. Still waiting for the league to take action, The Wizards have traded him for a bag of balls and a med kit.........
Seriously, this is what the fans have become. I'm sorry Gilbert has to put up with this type of nit pickin. I just hope the fans don't mess up his game with all this B.S. Keep messing with him and he won't be able to play because he will be afraid to fart.

Posted by: wizravterp | October 14, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

yall are wildin. Gil's healthy and motivated. No need to bench him or move him. Maybe he doesn't start and misses the 1st quarter for disciplinary actions, but foreal guys, working yourselves up over this trivial stuff isn't gonna get him moved any faster. In fact it just makes some of you look hypocritical and flat out silly. I don't know how far Gil is from being the player he was, but he's getting it back.
I think the bigger question has to be why would a guy in his situation, do something like this, knowing there's a bullseye on his back? Does he know some things we don't about the battle for the 3 spot. If we can't go with the 3 guard lineup every game, then NY or others will have to step in and run that spot wit the starting unit. I dunno how many of yall see value in getting that type of thing worked in the preseason, but I think it's better than plugging guys in on the fly. The 3 guard, you can do anytime. You know all 3 of those guys can play a guard position on offense with one guy being SOL on defene. While NY playing the 3 is still technically a 3 guard look, he's got more of a natural 3 man's size vs KH, where you're not giving up that much (physically) on defense.
Gil trying to play coach isn't the best thing for the team by any means, but i think this goes back to Flip, his rotations and how out of touch he can be with regard to HIS team.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"he just not that good anymore" that might be the dumbest thing I've ever read on here. If you hate how he has handled himself off the court - fine, but on the court he's one of the best guards playing today. Maybe you should watch the video of him shooting one handed 3 pointers as a reminder of what he can do.

Posted by: EpicMike | October 14, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"he just not that good anymore"
Only 2 people in the NBA last year Avg 20pts and 7asst. Lecrybaby and Gil.

Posted by: wizravterp | October 14, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

why does mike lee keep telling me about these random Penny Hardaway shoes that Gil has, when every night he takes the court wearing Lowtop Jordan 11 retros? I dunno if he's trying to get with Brand Jordan the way Rip did, just constantly wearing Js until Mike gave him a deal, but he's definitely wearing some exclusive kicks that deserve their respect. Air Jordan 11 lowtops/white Mike Lee you can book it.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"he just not that good anymore" that might be the dumbest thing I've ever read on here. If you hate how he has handled himself off the court - fine, but on the court he's one of the best guards playing today."

Do you think he's still among the top 10 guards in the East? Here's the competition:
Dwayne Wade
Joe Johnson
Rajon Rondo
Derrick Rose
Steven Jackson (Charlotte)
Vince Carter
Rodney Stuckey
Brandon Jennings
John Salmons
Jarrett Jack
Ray Felton

Posted by: Samson151 | October 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Release the jerk! It would be addition by subtraction!

Posted by: slimjim21787 | October 14, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

why are they asking Flip Saunders if Gilbert will be playing tonight? shouldn't they be asking Gil since he decides whether or not he's playing?

Posted by: cornbread_jones | October 14, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

More Eastern guards:

Jameer Nelson
JJ Redick
Ronnie Brewer
Jonny Flynn
Courtney Lee
Corey Brewer
Darren Collison
Ray Allen

Looking at the entire list, I don't know how you could put him in the top four with Rose, Wade, Johnson and Rondo. But he hasn't lost as much as Ray Allen, for instance. I'm presuming that on a stronger club (as opposed to the Wiz) he would have played fewer minutes and had fewer points and assists last season. It's hard to compare Gilbert with players who have actually been on the court for most of the past three years. If I had to settle on a comparable, it might be Vince Carter.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 14, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I thought this Milwaukee game might be when we get a gander at something resembling the actual Wiz rotation for the start of the regular season. The first half of preseason is for experimenting, and Saunders needed every minute of it, given the turnover in this team.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 14, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Samson, I used to think you were one of the rational ones here, but you lost a ton of credibility in my mind with that last post. Jarret Jack is a nice backup PG, not a 3-time allstar. I mean, Jack? Felton? Salmons? Stephen Jackson??? Vince Carter? STUCKEY? What sport are you watching? Of your list, Wade is better than Gil. JJ, Rose, and Rondo could go either way depending on how the year plays out. If Gil plays like he did last year, it's a tossup. (Yes, Rondo kills him on D, but Gil kills Rondo on O). There's not much that JJ can do that Gil can't, plus Gil passes the ball, unlike JJ. Rose is a lot of hype, with speed and better PG talents, but with 1/10 of Gil's shooting ability. And I'm not even going to insult Gil by addressing your "Rodney Stuckey" inclusion. I'll just assume that was a joke. I mean, Gil was 9TH in the league in scoring AND 9TH in the league in assists when suspended -- while playing with 4 guys who were twice as good in their own minds than they were in reality. And that's after 2 years off. Give me a break. Just because Johnson didn't do the dumb stuff Gil did off the court, doesn't make him automatically better on the court. I think Gil starts in a tie for 2nd best guard in the East after Wade. I think the inclusions of Stuckey and Jack on your list is an insult to basketball posters everywhere.

Posted by: Urnesto | October 14, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the bigger question has to be why would a guy in his situation, do something like this, knowing there's a bullseye on his back?Posted by: lilhollywood10

Maybe it had nothing to do with Nick. Maybe he just wanted to make a grand entrance like he did in 2008, but the team was playing too well for him to do it.

To the surprise of everyone in the building, including his coach, Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas decided to make his long-awaited return

Posted by: djnnnou | October 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Man, you people blasting Gilbert saying he is not good anymore forgot about how much he was averaging last season before he was suspended on a bad knee. They guy was QUIETLY getting over 20 a night! Imagine the chip he has on his shoulder listening to idiots say he's washed up. I can't wait to see people eating humble pie when he lights up Miami and other squads like it's nothing.

Posted by: cbmuzik | October 14, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@Urnesto

1. Wade
2. Rose
3. Rondo
4. Johnson
5. Arenas

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

1. Wade
2. Rose
3. Rondo
4. Johnson
5. Arenas

I totally agree with the guys one your list, also you can add Wall in the top ten if he continues to improve. So having 2 of the possible top ten guards in the east on our team is a great start to a season! I'll be positive for my team and the haters can go watch the Heat.

Posted by: EpicMike | October 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"I think the inclusions of Stuckey and Jack on your list is an insult to basketball posters everywhere.Posted by: Urnesto"

Well, the idea is to place players where they best fit on that list. Sounds like you'd place Stuckey and Jack at the bottom. But you don't get around to offering many reasons as to why you rate Arenas as high as you do. Mostly you just insist he's better than this player or that, and repeat that over and over.

The big problem with Gil is how little we've seen of him -- something like 47 games over 3 seasons. Vince Carter has played in 231 games during the same span. That makes a difference. It's much easier to sustain stats over 47 than 230 games. That's what people forget when cite Gil's excellent averages during his appearance last year -- he didn't have to sustain them through nagging injuries and the usual scoring slumps.

It's ultimately subjective, of course.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 14, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

He's already been fined, so it's time to move on and play him. Sitting Gilbert tonight would just perpetuate the incident. Gilbert just needs to settle down and get into the flow of playing again.

Parenthetically, I think Gilbert has the right idea as far as NY potentially fitting well into this offense. You have Wall penetrating and dishing, which puts a premium on spot up outside shooters. This--at least in theory--benefits NY, Gilbert, Hinrich, and Martin. Ie., you have a team composition which benefits the "littles." So it behooves Gilbert to settle down, get in the groove, and look at the positives this situation offers him.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | October 14, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The Post has got to stop obsessing about Arenas.

Posted by: guglio | October 14, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Now that's comedy!

"wizravterp" is the man!!!

Gilbert farted, LOL!

I can't believe it; he put ya'll in your place with humor, I can't believe it. This kid is remarkable.

Chef John

Posted by: upscalechef | October 14, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

This stupid is cooking well against his career,Ted and EG should be happhy to see more wrong acts from him to make a big case against him.NBA contract is garanted only when it is handled legally.what he did is not diffrent from missing a shot on purpose.The reaction of the fan tonight will have a chance to help in building case against him.I wish i could be wrong, but things will be going this way.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 14, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr Leonsis, add this to your list of to-do things:
1. Fire Flipper.
2. Fire Ernie G.

Everything else will fall into place afterwards.

Thank you.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | October 14, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's see:

Dwayne Wade-no
Joe Johnson-yes
Rajon Rondo-yes
Derrick Rose-not sure-D. Rose can't shoot.
Steven Jackson (Charlotte)-yes
Vince Carter-no
Rodney Stuckey-Hell yes
Brandon Jennings-Yes
John Salmons-Yes
Jarrett Jack-Are you on crack?
Ray Felton-Yes

Gilbert is better than all but 2 on this list without debate.

Posted by: lemekdivine | October 14, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

Man you, like Gil just don't get it. It ain't up to Gil to decide shi* about the 1,2,3,4 or 5 spot. So it doesn't make a difference what his opinion is.

Gil should've been suspended for this. If you don't get, which I know you don't, that this undermines the coach, coaching staff, organization, ownder and screws the fans then I'm sorry for you.

He lied to his coach about being injured man. He cheated some of the fans who paid their money to possbily see him play. Do you understand that?

Nobody is "wildn" but you and Gilbert and the rest of his excuse makers..

This was very unprofessional and again brings negative attention to Gilbert. This team doesn't need any of this..

Get it lil guy?????

Posted by: kevenjones | October 14, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@lemekdivine,

LOL.. You think Gilbert is better than Rondo. Starting and Contributing PG with a championship ring, 2 time Easter Conference Champions, probably the same divisional championships..

Man the crack in DC is like nowhere else..I mean this is funny.

Rondo is head and shoulder's better PG than Gil...Not even close. What is there to even discuss..

Posted by: kevenjones | October 14, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

Man you, like Gil just don't get it. It ain't up to Gil to decide shi* about the 1,2,3,4 or 5 spot. So it doesn't make a difference what his opinion is.

Gil should've been suspended for this. If you don't get, which I know you don't, that this undermines the coach, coaching staff, organization, ownder and screws the fans then I'm sorry for you.

He lied to his coach about being injured man. He cheated some of the fans who paid their money to possbily see him play. Do you understand that?

Nobody is "wildn" but you and Gilbert and the rest of his excuse makers..

This was very unprofessional and again brings negative attention to Gilbert. This team doesn't need any of this..

Get it lil guy?????

Posted by: kevenjones | October 14, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

i understand why all of you crybabies are upset. I just think it's funny. if this incident was in fact a slap in the face of The Great Flip Saunders, then so be it. There are some great coaches out there in the world. Some coaches that guys would run through a wall for, flip is a coach that guys will purposely sit out of games to force his hand to make "correct basketball decisions." Was Gil right?No. but his actions served a purpose. Maybe Gil; having been around the team a lil bit (and NY more than a lil bit), saw the youngster losing his confidence because he felt like he was working as hard as possible but didn't think he was given a fair chance.
It was a tremendously selfless act by a player who is called selfish every third post on this very blog. He's taking this one on the chin. He'll accept all the heat as he should, but for his punishment he at least got to get his homeboy some time to build his confidence going into the season.
These guys are on our team, and until they are not on the team, why not find the best ways to use them. i'm not so much against Kirk, but if you're gonna have to take him out of the starting lineup every coupla games for defensive purposes, why not settle in on a starting 5 that can just go out and play. i don't know if Kirk brings that much as a 3rd guard playing the 3, nor do i know for a fact that we lose very much starting NY and bringing Kirk in as the 1st guard off the bench . That way you could still let Kirk handle the PG responsibilities after Gil or Wall comes out.
BTW i never said that what he did was OK, in fact i made it a point to say the following with my last line

Gil trying to play coach isn't the best thing for the team by any means, but i think this goes back to Flip, his rotations and how out of touch he can be with regard to HIS team.

I do think there are other issues here though as to why he would feel like the only way NY would see the court is by him and thornton being unavailable. You guys are right. The coach is the coach and his decisions should be the final word, that is unless players don't trust this coach to make the best BASKETBALL decisions.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Rondo is head and shoulder's better PG than Gil...Not even close. What is there to even discuss..

Posted by: kevenjones | October 14, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The big 3. I'd discuss that and how he's so 1 dimensional that the Lakers didn't guard him. i'd luv to see a team try to leave Gil open in the NBA finals and win. Rondo is a great player, no doubt. But Gil was doing better numbers than him with two years rust on his knee. The big 3 carry that team. Rondo runs the show gets Doc's offense going. but you will never look to Rondo for a game winner, in fact he may not touch the ball in that situation because he struggles at the line. He has the benefit of being able to kick it to 3 HOF'ers. I suppose if Gil got to play in that low pressure high reward situations he could flourish too.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Ok..

Like I said Rondo is a better POINT guard that Arenas.

Yes Arenas can score 60ppg, but he will give up 45..

I doubt there is a GM in the league who would take Gil over Rondo, everday of the week and twice on Sunday...

Posted by: kevenjones | October 14, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

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