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Gilbert Arenas starting to reconnect with Wizards fans


Gilbert Arenas didn't participate in the Wizards' open practice on Saturday at Verizon Center, as he is still recovering from a mild groin strain, but he was certainly a marquee attraction afterward. As players took free throws at the conclusion of practice, a group of four boys yelled from the stands for Arenas's attention. When Arenas waved, they giggled and gave each other high fives.

It's not exactly the glory days when Arenas captivated the crowd and connected with fans through his underdog story and post-game jersey tosses. But Arenas doesn't have to search far to realize that there is a significant portion of the Wizards' fan base that will always side with him.

That was evident as Arenas headed off the court and stopped to sign autographs and pose for photographs with dozens of fans. He hadn't signed 10 autographs before a fan climbed down five rows and asked to take a picture with him. Arenas didn't turn down any fan, signing T-shirts, jerseys, posters and scratch paper for about 10 minutes -- about eight minutes longer than any other player, including No. 1 overall pick John Wall. One woman even asked him to sign her forearm.

Arenas repeatedly heard, "We still love you, Gil."


Thank you. Thank you. You're far too kind. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

This has been a wild week in Arenas world, with him cavalierly admitting to faking an injury in order to let Nick Young start, getting fined $50,000 for lying to Coach Flip Saunders about it, and really getting hurt in his first home game since returning from a 50-game suspension for bringing guns into the locker room.

Arenas was nervous about the reception that he was going to receive on Tuesday against Atlanta, which may have also contributed to his "sore knee." But he was pleasantly surprised by the applause he received from the sparse crowd in his three-minute performance against Milwaukee -- the day after his reputation took another hit for his ill-conceived means to assist Young. But his interaction with fans is starting to help Arenas break out of that gloomy persona that he took on the first few days of training camp.

The Wizards held an event for season-ticket holders at Six Flags on Friday night, and I heard from a few witnesses that Arenas was perhaps the most engaging player. One person said that fans repeatedly approached Arenas to ask him to smile more, that they couldn't wait for him to get back on the floor. They showed him jerseys that Arenas had tossed their direction several years ago. Arenas traded jokes and laughter for several hours, even though it was a rather chilly evening.

As he signed autographs on Saturday, Arenas joked with fans and made fun of himself in the process. As security encouraged fans to stand behind a barrier, one woman managed to get through to get to Arenas.

"You ain't going to get in trouble?" Arenas said. "All right. I don't want them yelling at me. I already got enough trouble by myself. I don't want no extra pressure."

When Wall finally came over to sign autographs, the fans slowly drifted away from Arenas. The crowd had finally dwindled down, so Arenas walked back toward the locker room. He was asked to talk to reporters, but declined by saying, "Nah. I'm happy right now."

Then Arenas turned around, possibly realizing that he walked off with a pen or something. He returned to sign a few more autographs. Arenas finally left.

Thornton, Marks closer to returning
Al Thornton returned to practice on Saturday after missing the previous five days of action with a sprained left ankle. Coach Flip Saunders said he wasn't sure if Thornton would be available on Sunday against New York, but he is hoping to have him back for at least one of the final two exhibition games. "It will be nice to get him some reps here in these next couple of games," Saunders said.

Thornton said he would be a game-time decision for the Knicks but would "definitely shoot for the Detroit game" on Tuesday in Toledo, Ohio. He was just excited about getting back on the court, even if his ankle was still a little tender. "I felt pretty good, pretty good," he said. "A lot of the soreness has gone away, but I'm still not feeling 100 percent. Still very painful but I can tolerate. I haven't been on the court for a while. I didn't want to lose conditioning, just wanted to get a feel for it again."

Sean Marks has missed most of the preseason with a pulled right hamstring but said he would like to get in at least one practice and one game. Marks, a 10-year-veteran, is on a non-guaranteed contract and Saunders said he would like to see him on the floor to make a fair assessment of him.

"I've started to do a little running and shooting drills with the guys. I haven't done any of the full-court scrimmages, but hopefully we'll pick it up tomorrow and Monday," Marks said. "The plan is definitely to play in one. Obviously, I came here wanting to play and practice and show everyone what I can do, so it's definitely frustrating sitting from the sidelines."

By Michael Lee  | October 16, 2010; 7:15 PM ET
Categories:  Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, Nick Young  | Tags:  Gilbert Arenas; Washington Wizards  
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Next: Beard is gone, Gilbert Arenas likely done for the preseason

Comments

Count me in as one who is rooting for Gil. Obviously there are some who don't think he can be a force again for this team. I am not one of them. We all make mistakes. I have no doubt that had he known that having guns in the locker room was illegal (remember, there was NO ammunition in any of them), he would not have had them there. I consider it an honest mistake. They say "ignorance of the law is no excuse." That statement indeed shows the ignorance of our
culture.

The main thing with Gil is that his heart is in the right place, even if the manifestations of that are less than stellar. I've often said that, even in his heyday, Iverson could never play for me. Well, Gil will always hold a special place this way.

Here's to a healthy, focused and dynamic Gilbert Arenas, 2010-2011 version.

Posted by: bpybay | October 16, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Gil needs to go.

He's going to mess up the flow of the team, watch and see. I've already seen him do this preseason what he's done his whole career: get the rebound, go coast to coast, brick up a shot, and then run back to play defense with his arms flailing.

He still can't defense and he still wants to be "the man." He's selfish on the court and he needs to grow up.

At some point he's going to be coming off of the bench and not starting. This team looks SO much better with Wall on the floor an Gil on the bench.

It's time to move on without him, he's not the future of this franchise.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 16, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

It is not just at the event that Wall seems distant. On the court, after games, when the players shake hands, he has the demeanor of someone who is not friendly. I like him, and his game, and his future. That does not mean I am blind. He is watching how this team, city, and media is watching Arenas. What lesson is he taking from this? That it is all a business and he must do whats right for him, just like LBJ? We should not create a monster like Cleveland did by putting all our eggs in one basket. When we run Arenas out of town will he blame Washington for not having enough talent to win? It is a different generation now!! Leonsis should evaluate Flip and his management skills. Good X's and O's, poor people skills maybe. Lets put the best players on the floor (you can not win in the NBA without talent) then coach them up and learn to play team basketball. Flip needs management coaching skills-it will help him keep a job. There are holes in this organization that can be repaired.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | October 16, 2010 8:52 PM

Good Post.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 16, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

arenas has always been overrated to begin with. even in his best seasons he still turned the ball over too much, played no d, and missed free throws at critical times. like the poster said he is going to mess this team up. watch. that is what he does. there is a reason he has never been on winning teams

Posted by: slim4 | October 16, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ray,

Have you been reading the most recent post about Gilbert?

And what makes you or anyone think or believe that Arenas is not The Star on this Team?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 16, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I AM STILL A FAN GILL I WONT FORGET WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR THIS CITY.HATERS ARE GOING TO HATE NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.I THINK YOU GAVE A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY TO THE KIDS OF DMV

Posted by: lazy1520 | October 16, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

arenas has always been overrated to begin with. even in his best seasons he still turned the ball over too much, played no d, and missed free throws at critical times. like the poster said he is going to mess this team up. watch. that is what he does. there is a reason he has never been on winning teams

Posted by: slim4 | October 16, 2010 9:14 PM

Statement above: True or False?

From where I sit, False. Slim4, As my Grandmother always said, think before you speak.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 16, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Larry. Being from Clinton I'm sure you have limited intellectual capacity. It's okay though there are folks who can help you out with that.

Posted by: slim4 | October 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I love Gil to death, remember what we were before he got here... nobody. Several loses to lebron walks was all that held him back from being a full feldged Superstar.

Now I hate what he has turned into but, believe if he returned with the focus and excitement he had, we would be very dangerous with him and Wall. Dont sleep on Yi and Mcghee down low, blatche if he really wants it. All I can say is stop worrying bout the media, they are paid to be haters (listen to them talk about the overachieving skins, its a show!!) Dont let em get to you gil most of em never played a sport in there lives!!


War Wiz
War Skins
War Caps......

Posted by: Rshelton50 | October 16, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I was at the meet the Wiz at Six Flags. Didn't get to meet Gil or Wall but did meet Josh, Nick, Javale, and Kirk. Josh, Nick and Kirk were really appreciative of the fans and thanked us for coming out. Javale got tired of signing but did stay around with Nick, Hilton and Luther Hudson to shoot some hoops with the fans. Yi gave authographs even after the session was over.

Posted by: ptp09 | October 16, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Gil needs to go.

He's going to mess up the flow of the team, watch and see. I've already seen him do this preseason what he's done his whole career: get the rebound, go coast to coast, brick up a shot, and then run back to play defense with his arms flailing.

He still can't defense and he still wants to be "the man." He's selfish on the court and he needs to grow up.

At some point he's going to be coming off of the bench and not starting. This team looks SO much better with Wall on the floor an Gil on the bench.

It's time to move on without him, he's not the future of this franchise.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 16, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Your post is the prime example of someone talking out the side of their neck. Go review thew Milwaukee game or better yet read the article Mike Lee posted before you espoused your ignorance. The reality is this team will need Arenas in the worse way when it happens for real. His ability to put the ball in the hoop at the end of games when the lane closes up and the defense becomes physical is something very few players do well (and Wall does not have yet).

By the way his defense has been good throughout preseason. I believe he had a block, thee steals and three assists in the 3 minnute span in which he played. They had no one in the second half that could score (Gil was done for the night). Watch some of the games before you post.

Posted by: NewManagement | October 16, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a Gilbert fan..He has talents that have been unparalleled here since Bernard King. We had talent here is recent years(ie. Rod Stickland, Richard Hamilton, Jerry Stackhouse) but no one, besides Michael Jordan has bought more buzz and excitement to Washington basketball in the last 25 years. Even Jordans couldn't guide us to the Playoffs. I remember the game winning shots, the 50 and 60 point games, and the community work. He is apart of the community. In a day when many athletes feel they are above the working class, he spends his time in parts of the city that the working class ignores. Gilbert doesn't deserve praise for his poor decisions. However, this is a city that re-elected Marion Barry and forgave Bill Clinton.
John Wall is going to be good but he has not played one regular season game let alone a post-season. We don't know if he is going to be great(I'd like to assume he'd be). Anyone who puts all their eggs in the John Wall basket is a fool. John is going to have a long rookie year. Longer than any year he has ever played in his life. I don't feel that we should throw him to the wolves. Gilbert makes his game easier. During those times when John hits the rookie Wall, gets trapped and knocked around in the grown men's NBA its going to be nice to defer to Gilbert. The game is just easier when you have the opportunity to play with another explosive talent.
Lets stop this talk of getting rid of Arenas. Unless any of you doubters have $80 million to buy out his contract you sound like whiners complaining about a moot point. Gil is here. Deal with it!

Posted by: murria | October 16, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

GIL is a demented fool. Sorry GIL lovers if I don't join in the apologists circle-jerk. He's going nowhere, and will continue to be an albatross around the neck of this franchise for two to four more years.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 16, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Wall can't shoot the 3, Gil can

Posted by: whobet | October 16, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert made this team relevant a few years back. I was a huge Jamison fan since college and enjoyed Butler too, but Gilbert was the reason people watched and cared about the team. Wall may become that player, but not this season for me. When I watch a game it is still to see Arenas play.

Posted by: Dancy1 | October 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Gotta sign Martin first, Hudson is on the bubble and Morrison is kind of a less athletic mike miller that doesn't even pass well.

Posted by: jefferu | October 16, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It isn't surprising that there are people in this town who still love Arenas. After all Washingtonians kept re-electing Marion Barry after he smoked crack.

Surely a little pistol waving isn't enough to get people to throw Arenas under the bus!

AMAZING!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | October 16, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

There you have it, Gil 2.0 has arrived. LET THE SEASON BEGIN! HATRES, PLEASE STAY HOME. YOUR SERVICES WILL NOT BE NEEDED THE SEASON! ! !

Posted by: zack5 | October 16, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

First of all Mike Lee, Gil's REAL fans never left and the reconnection process began a long time ago. Your media buddies kept the poison in the water and over the airways and now that Gil has surfaced in a forum where he could actually hear from his real fans, he knows that we want to root for him to be successful. I am a die hard Wizards fan and I had no desire to go to the V Center and boo the man like everyone unfairly did Jawan Howard. Hopefully, this is a stepping stone for everyone to move beyond this "gun" thing and get about the business of basketball. I wonder if Kobe went through the same thing with the rape/infidelity beef!

Posted by: zack5 | October 17, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Ali had to fight the greatest group of heavyweights in the history of boxing. It did his body damage. Wall will compete against the best group of point guards ever, this year. He will get tired, sore and used at times this season. The point is - Gilbert can take a lot of damage off of Wall. There will be some nights when Wall will be neutralized and Gilbert will be in control of the show, just like he has before. This has the potential to be the best guard duo in the league, and possibly in the history of the league. We need all the help we can get, let them play.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | October 17, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I've criticized Gilbert a lot in the past, and called for him to be traded, but it's obvious that he's not going anywhere for a while. Also, I believe that you don't kick someone when he's down.

Gilbert's been out for a long time and it will take some time for him to get into game shape mentally and physically. So I'd like to see everyone--including the Washington Post--just back off and let the dude play.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | October 17, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Gil needs to go.

He's going to mess up the flow of the team, watch and see. I've already seen him do this preseason what he's done his whole career: get the rebound, go coast to coast, brick up a shot, and then run back to play defense with his arms flailing.

He still can't defense and he still wants to be "the man." He's selfish on the court and he needs to grow up.

At some point he's going to be coming off of the bench and not starting. This team looks SO much better with Wall on the floor an Gil on the bench.

It's time to move on without him, he's not the future of this franchise.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz

Hey bro are you okay? Do you even what you are talking about. Some of you people really need to think before you write something about somebody. Please read what you write before you hit the submit button. "He still can't defense" that's not English....

Posted by: sainnis | October 17, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

in order for this squad to be competitive we need gil to produce numbers and hit big shots, both of which he is very capable of if healthy, does anyone want andray or yi or ny hoisting up j's with the game on the line?

Posted by: bford1kb | October 17, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

*chuckling @ sainnis*

"Do you even what you are talking about."

That's not english, either.

Ray = Michael Wilbon

Posted by: RedCherokee | October 17, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Gil's absence was the reason the Wiz were stuck on 82 points for @ least 5 minutes in the 4th qtr vs. the Bucks. This is what happens when your two PF's (Blatche and Yi) are more comfortable 20-25 feet away from the hole than backing his man down 12 feet away from it.

Posted by: bernard_thompson | October 17, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

zack5,

Couldn't agree with you more...The real Wizard/Arenas fans stayed loyal. Cant wait to see Gil and Wall transform this team into a young,exciting and talented squad. They're definitely going to surprised a lot of teams. Keep the hate coming, I'm sure Arenas loves it.

Posted by: crisco00786 | October 17, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

zack5,

Couldn't agree with you more...The real Wizard/Arenas fans stayed loyal. Cant wait to see Gil and Wall transform this team into a young,exciting and talented squad. They're definitely going to **surprise a lot of teams. Keep the hate coming, I'm sure Arenas loves it.

Posted by: crisco00786 | October 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

It's time to let Gil play without the media rehashing all the negative old stories. Gil has many fans who just want to see him play and are not concerned about his beard or whether he talks to the media. Gil's fans know that he loves them back.

Posted by: bobilly2 | October 17, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I have this crazy fantasy that Arenas just plays basketball at a high level and we don't have this ongoing soap opera, largely fueled by the media.

Posted by: randysbailin | October 17, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I am not surprised by the warm reeception Gil received considering all of the things he has done in the community. People seem to forget how he would give a 100 dollars for each point scored to area schools. Pollin even matched his contribution. I read the court case and the countless letters written by everyone from judges, principles,students, people who worked at the Verizon ctr etc. I was blown away by the content of letter telling about the many ways in which Gilbert positively affected their lives. I was truly blown away by some of th things he had done. All without the public knowing. all of these propl wotr lrtter after letter on Gilberts behalf. That is why I pull for him to get it together. I think in Gilberts mind he may have thought the city deserted him after reading all of the negative press. Who knows, maybe the warm recepyion he was shown will help him truly get it together. one ca only hope.

Posted by: ivyleague | October 17, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I am not surprised by the warm reeception Gil received considering all of the things he has done in the community. People seem to forget how he would give a 100 dollars for each point scored to area schools. Pollin even matched his contribution. I read the court case and the countless letters written by everyone from judges, principles,students, people who worked at the Verizon ctr etc. I was blown away by the content of letter telling about the many ways in which Gilbert positively affected their lives. I was truly blown away by some of th things he had done. All without the public knowing. all of these propl wotr lrtter after letter on Gilberts behalf. That is why I pull for him to get it together. I think in Gilberts mind he may have thought the city deserted him after reading all of the negative press. Who knows, maybe the warm recepyion he was shown will help him truly get it together. one ca only hope.

Posted by: ivyleague | October 17, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I am not surprised by the warm reeception Gil received considering all of the things he has done in the community. People seem to forget how he would give a 100 dollars for each point scored to area schools. Pollin even matched his contribution. I read the court case and the countless letters written by everyone from judges, principles,students, people who worked at the Verizon ctr etc. I was blown away by the content of letter telling about the many ways in which Gilbert positively affected their lives. I was truly blown away by some of th things he had done. All without the public knowing. all of these propl wotr lrtter after letter on Gilberts behalf. That is why I pull for him to get it together. I think in Gilberts mind he may have thought the city deserted him after reading all of the negative press. Who knows, maybe the warm recepyion he was shown will help him truly get it together. one ca only hope.

Posted by: ivyleague | October 17, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Mike, this report is really much ado about nothing. It changes nothing, b/c it is about nothing.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 17, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Larry. Being from Clinton I'm sure you have limited intellectual capacity. It's okay though there are folks who can help you out with that.

Posted by: slim4 | October 16, 2010 9:33 PM

Don't know how you correlate being from Clinton has anything to do with lack of intellectualism.

Sounds like yor are making a personal statement about people not grounded in fact, which would make such statement prejudicial.

And further the moniker is LarryInClintonMD, not LarryFromClintonMD, which indicates your level of comprehension of what you read needs some help as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 17, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"By the way [Arenas'] defense has been good throughout preseason. I believe he had a block, thee steals and three assists in the 3 minnute span in which he played...Watch some of the games before you post.Posted by: NewManagement"

Actually, Gilbert had a block, 3 steals, and 1 assist, not 3. Also a turnover. No points, two missed FTs, 1 rebound.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

is tonight's game televised on comcast or do you need nba league pass?

Posted by: divi3 | October 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse


bpybay,

Count me in as one who is rooting for Gil.

count me in as one who is rootinf for Gil to be traded

LOSER

Posted by: hessone | October 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse


Ray,

Have you been reading the most recent post about Gilbert?

And what makes you or anyone think or believe that Arenas is not The Star on this Team?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 16, 2010 9:18 PM |

ah, he's an overrated thug wannabe. he'll never be a star on any team, including barno and his team of circus clowns

Posted by: hessone | October 17, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Wall can't shoot the 3, Gil can. Posted by: whobet"

I think the idea is that Arenas will become more of a spot shooter than he has been in the past. And that will include improving from last year's 34.8% on 3 pointers. With Wall feeding him the ball in good position, the target is probably 40% (where Nick Young finished). So far this preseason he's at 28.6% from outside, which surprised me -- I had the impression from the media that he was shooting better than that.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Ali had to fight the greatest group of heavyweights in the history of boxing."

LOL this ain't a boxing blog but Ali fought his share of stiffs. You could certainly argue that other eras produced a better crop of heavyweights from top to bottom. And that the heavyweight class is normally the weakest, particularly in comparison with welters or middleweights, where the real depth seems to be.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Gil!

Make no question Gil is still the best baller & star of this team. He is one of the top scorers in the game period, & the best we have ever had in DC even better than MJ or Bernard King.

I hope Wall isnt too disapointed if he's not the annointed star & face of the franchise off the bat like he's expecting because he will take a backseat to ARENAS!

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 17, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Gil!

Make no question Gil is still the best baller & star of this team. He is one of the top scorers in the game period, & the best we have ever had in DC even better than MJ or Bernard King.

I hope Wall isnt too disapointed if he's not the annointed star & face of the franchise off the bat like he's expecting because he will take a backseat to ARENAS!

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 17, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thought some of you might be interested in a rule change for the coming season:

"Shortly before the start of training camp last month, NBA officials received updated -- and more stringent -- guidelines for calling technical fouls with the goal of handing out more technicals to players who persistently argue calls or display an aggressive demeanor toward officials."

"The Celtics already have been tagged with nine technicals in five preseason games. At that rate, Boston would commit roughly 148 technical fouls this season, which would be an NBA record and nearly 40 percent more than last season, when the C's had a pair of antagonists in Kendrick Perkins (knee surgery) and Rasheed Wallace (retirement) who aren't contributing to this fall's lofty count."

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@ DC MAN88. . . Your Gil hating services will not be needed at the Verizon Center this season. Thank you for your NON support!

Posted by: zack5 | October 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse


is tonight's game televised on comcast or do you need nba league pass?

Posted by: divi3 | October 17, 2010 9:47 AM


It's being broadcast on MSG. If you have the NBA Season Pass, you can catch the game there too.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 17, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@slim4. . . your services will not be needed this season. DC_MAN88 is hosting the "Gilby" hater party this season, he still has room for another hater.

Posted by: zack5 | October 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope Wall isnt too disapointed if he's not the annointed star & face of the franchise off the bat like he's expecting because he will take a backseat to ARENAS!

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 17, 2010 10:28 AM

Wall won't have to worry about that because Wall is already the face of the franchise. Arenas is just one false step from being suspended or out of the league again.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 17, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry people...Arenas will be a non-factor on the team this season because he can't control his mouth or actions...don't know if it is psycological or what but he needs to talk to a professional...

We can praise his past skills all wwe want but it's about what have you done for me lately...and with the amount of money he is being paid, that's not much...He won't be the first athlete making big money who can't control themselves better...Derrick Coleman, Bonzi Wells, Rasheed for years and other cancers who left the league long before they should have....

Gil's history says a lot about him...now that he has control of his future, let's see how he handles it..all he has to do is play ball...don't speak, just play ball....

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 17, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Game is on MSG, also nba league pass which i believe is free during preseason so you dont have to be subscriber to watch tonight.

Overall I am optimistic about this team. I really like our top 8 of wall, hinrich, arenas, howard, thornton, blatche, yi, mcgee.

I would like to see a starting 5 of wall, arenas, howard, blatche & yi. Come off bench w/ C Mcgee, F Thornton, G Hinrich for our top 8. Young (offense) & Armstrong/Booker (defense) as additional role players as needed. That works out to a really nice 11 man rotation overall.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 17, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Is Gilbert Arenas still an elite NBA player?

ESPN poll

Posted by: djnnnou | October 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

First of all Mike Lee, Gil's REAL fans never left and the reconnection process began a long time ago. Your media buddies kept the poison in the water and over the airways and now that Gil has surfaced in a forum where he could actually hear from his real fans, he knows that we want to root for him to be successful. I am a die hard Wizards fan and I had no desire to go to the V Center and boo the man like everyone unfairly did Jawan Howard. Hopefully, this is a stepping stone for everyone to move beyond this "gun" thing and get about the business of basketball. I wonder if Kobe went through the same thing with the rape/infidelity beef!

Posted by: zack5 | October 17, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for this post. Michael Lee is an idiot and a completely classless reporter. And he has exhibited a real bias against Arenas over the years. He is the Jason La Canfora of the Wizards. A guy who roots against the players and tries to create controversies in order to gain more attention for himself and his career. I guarantee you Lee is striving for a national gig and has abused his position as beat reporter to advance his career.

The guys in the Wiz locker room do not respect Michael Lee, much the same way La Canfora wasn't respected by the Redskins players.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

That is a bias poll and it's based upon the "gun" incident very much fresh on the mind of NBA fans. If I didn't live in DC and hadn't seen him finally looking like the Gil of old, we'll see once he earns comeback player of the year award. Oh, almost forgot, Gil hating ESPN Poll voters' services will not be needed at the Verizon Center this season. . . probably too many invite to DC_MAN88 "Gilby" hater party but that's not my call!

Posted by: zack5 | October 17, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"That is a bias poll and it's based upon the "gun" incident very much fresh on the mind of NBA fans."

I didn't see a date on the poll. Do you have any factual information about that?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"The guys in the Wiz locker room do not respect Michael Lee, much the same way La Canfora wasn't respected by the Redskins players.Posted by: Barno1"

Actually, the way I heard it was that Redskins team management disliked LaCanfora because of his criticism of their work, and that he had some pretty good relationships among the players.

I've never heard anything negative about Lee out of the locker room. Or maybe your sources are better than mine. I sure hope you're not just making this up.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"@ DC MAN88. . . Your Gil hating services will not be needed at the Verizon Center this season. Thank you for your NON support!

Posted by: zack5 | October 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse "

Sorry, but I don't create the news...I just report it.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 17, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

i'm rooting for him and expect him to return to great things. but gilbert seems to be wired differently than most of us. so is his buddy, nick young. and it (the wiring) is detrimental to their basketball careers and skills. i wonder: is it an LA thing???

Posted by: dcjazzman | October 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

WIZARDS fan, not an ARENAS fan. All true WIZARDS fans hate what ARENAS brings to the club. Only non-believers drink GIL's cool-aid.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The pro-Gil/anti-Gil split on this board is pretty fascinating. I think there are enough posters in here that the percentage is probably representative of Wiz fans overall, which appears to be about a 65-35 pro-Gil advantage. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.

We would all be better off if we could learn to observe without judgment, and especially avoid personal attacks. No one's personal opinion is any more valid than any other. Each of us could be right or wrong, but at the end of the day neither matters worth a hill of beans, except to our personal egos. We're all fans, and as much as we may gripe, grumble and complain, we will continue to be fans, and the team will continue to get paid.

With that said, I reiterate once again, I wish Gil a ton of success, and I would rather him succeed here than elsewhere. No one is perfect, but given all he has done for the city since he's been here (both on AND off the court), he is more than deserving of the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: bpybay | October 17, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Bobcats will wanna do business with the Wizzies anytime soon.
Critt --- waived.
Shaun Livingston, Kwame Brown & Dom McGuire injured.

Posted by: VBFan | October 17, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I love that dude.

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | October 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually, today's game against the Knicks starts at 6:00pm.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 17, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Gil has made so many mea culpas that they don't have merit anymore.

Posted by: sjp879 | October 17, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"With that said, I reiterate once again, I wish Gil a ton of success, and I would rather him succeed here than elsewhere. No one is perfect, but given all he has done for the city since he's been here (both on AND off the court), he is more than deserving of the benefit of the doubt.
Posted by: bpybay"

Well, to be fair and balanced, as I know you want to be, you'll acknowledge that having Gil as a Wizard for the past three seasons hasn't been a boon to the franchise. Some of that is not his fault, of course; he didn't plan to get injured and miss all but 15 games over two years. It's not his fault the Wiz signed him to that contract, either. Missing those 50 games last season, however, can be laid directly at his doorstep. Let's face it, the excitement of having Gil as a Wizard pretty much ended 3 years ago, and it's been something of a burden ever since. And an object lesson in how not to manage your NBA franchise.

Let's hope the future's brighter.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"The pro-Gil/anti-Gil split on this board is pretty fascinating. I think there are enough posters in here that the percentage is probably representative of Wiz fans overall, which appears to be about a 65-35 pro-Gil advantage. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out."

Wait a minute -- that ESPN poll somebody published says the opposite. You have another poll?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Count me in as someone rooting like hell for Gil. He made this team relevant again. People can say whatever they want but this is NOT an Albert Haynsworth situation. Keep in mind, Gil's teammates love him, and nobody has ever questioned the man's work ethic.
He and Wall could be one of the most exciting backcourts in the league this year. Can't wait for this season to start.

Posted by: murphalo | October 17, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Marks said. "The plan is definitely to play in one. Obviously, I came here wanting to play and practice and show everyone what I can do, so it's definitely frustrating sitting from the sidelines."


We already know what you can do Sean Marks, which amounts to nothing. We attempted to watch you do anything in this league for 10 years. The only reason you are on this team is because EG slept at the wheel again and got desperate.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | October 17, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

From reading this blog and the links to it, I really can't believe that everyone is buying this guys act again. it's really remarkable how short people's memories are. He's bad folks. I promise you he's a bad guy.

Posted by: heresthescoop | October 17, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I am rooting for Gilbert--and the Wizards as whole--to have a great season. Go Gil!

Posted by: gburggal | October 18, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

this for the haters, you know who you are,

Gil was absolutely the most engaging player at the planholders event. Easily.

First thing he did on the floor when he played those 3 min vs MIL was make a couple of nice DEFENSIVE plays.

Gil and John Wall will be the best backcourt in the NBA by midseason if not a lot sooner. Wishing for Gil to leave is really short-sighted and looking through hate-googles.

Posted by: dobrojim | October 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

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