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Posted at 3:32 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Dwyane Wade on Gilbert Arenas: "He decided to get into the fight"

By Michael Lee

It's my time to be aggressive, Dwyane. That's all. (Getty Images)


Near the end of the first half of the Wizards' 105-94 loss in Miami on Monday, Gilbert Arenas pulled up from deep behind the three-point line to quickly drain a shot that silenced the crowd. It wasn't quite a "Hibachi" moment, but it was a reminder of an earlier era when Arenas would routinely end or begin runs with a quick three-pointer.

And, it was a welcome sight for Heat all-star guard Dwyane Wade, who has noticed the change in Arenas's play in recent weeks. Wade has spent some time with Arenas the past two summers in Chicago, where they both train with Tim Grover, and knows how hard he pushed himself to get healthy again. But Wade was understandably concerned when Arenas arrived at training camp looking despondent and distant.

"Gilbert's dealt with a lot of things on the basketball court, but off the court as well. You always like to see a guy who comes through adversity, especially when it looked like earlier in the year, he wasn't there mentally with the team," Wade said. "He decided to get into the fight and have some great games for them."

With his 23-point game on Monday, Arenas moved ahead of John Wall as the Wizards' new leading scorer at 18.1 points per game. Ever since he returned to Chicago on Nov. 13, Arenas has been playing at a different level, beginning with his 30-point outburst against the Bulls. In his past nine games, Arenas has averaged 21.6 points and 6.2 assists. He had a season-high 31-point game in a loss to Orlando on Saturday and handed out a career-high 16 assists against Detroit.

"He's one of the best talents we have in the game," Wade said. "He's a guy that defenses fear, because you never know what you're going to get from him. He puts pressure on you all the time."

With Wall missing six of the past eight games, Arenas has been asked to take on a greater offensive load than either he or Coach Flip Saunders had expected, with him working his way back from a strained tendon in his right ankle.

"I think he's playing great this year," said Arenas's former teammate, Mike Miller. "It was tough for him, coming into a situation like that. He's used to being the man -- I still think he is -- but they are going to put the ball in John Wall's hand more, but I think he's playing great."

Arenas has been mostly a jump shooter, as he continues to try to regain that burst. He also recently complained about trying to adjust to how officials are now allowing big men to jump straight up while contesting shots and not calling fouls on contact. He hasn't driven the ball as much, which is why he averages just 3.5 free throw attempts a game. But Arenas said he understands that he has to assume more responsibilities until Wall returns.

"Right now, I have to be aggressive," Arenas said. "I catch myself, like I did in the middle of the third and the beginning of the fourth [against Miami], just sitting there watching and I think that's when the game started slipping away and I think that's when I have to assert myself. When John comes back, I can go back to what I was before."

Arenas said he didn't get too caught up in his individual matchup with Wade. "It just feels good just playing in the NBA again," he said. "No matter who it is any night. When you're playing, you take it for granted that the game could be over any second. And I'm just happy to be out there to be part of it again."

And Wade is pleased to see Arenas looking more like the player he remembers. "More so, because I know Gil, I know some of the things he's been through, I'm just happy to see him play basketball and not be in the media about anything else, just basketball."

By Michael Lee  | November 30, 2010; 3:32 PM ET
 
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Comments

Arenas is still not seeking as much contact as he used to. I'm not completely convinced its the officials allowing players to jump straight up. It might be Arenas's mentality that i've been injured before maybe i shouldn't dive into these forwards for a lay up. There were questionable calls in miami

Posted by: jefferu | November 30, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Good coloumn Mike,

You knew the title would make me think DWade was talking wreckless about Gil!

Posted by: gmac78 | November 30, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

He's getting the AI treatment from the zebras. And it's not simply that the refs are allowing bigs to jump straight up. He gets bumped around on virtually every drive. Those who criticize him for settling need to recognize that.

Posted by: dobrojim | November 30, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The refs have been calling less fouls when Arenas is attacking the basket. In some games he gets the calls in others he doesn't. So is it; Arenas driving differently in some games or is it the officials calling them differently. Arenas has been a model citizen and a good teammate this year. It is good to see another player give him the thumbs up, even if it is a member of the Miami trio. As good as Wall is, he has not yet learned the NBA game. His generalship has been lacking at times. He lives on his speed and hops. They are great, but sometimes the old bull has the better game plan.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 30, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"He's one of the best talents we have in the game," Wade said. "He's a guy that defenses fear, because you never know what you're going to get from him. He puts pressure on you all the time."

Need I say more to all the Gil haters that didn't listen when I told them that he is among the TOP 10 TALENTS IN THE LEAGUE! At's all good because the doubters are starting to come back to the other side.

Posted by: zack5 | November 30, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

HEY, zack5:

I'm a hater. La,la,la,la,la .......I can't hear you.

It's not ARENAS' play I hate.........it's who he is personally. He just doesn't get it.

He was holding his breath early, and D-WADE said it. He wasn't contributing. He didn't get his way so now he's "decided" to participate with the team?.......plueeez.

We don't need a player of his abilities with a 10-cent head.

zach5, you are an enabling apologist.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice, positive piece. A guy like Wade understands Gilbert as few other people can, and it's good to see guys showing solidarity with each other.

And that shot at the end of the first half was unbelievable. He had 2 guys guarding him and drained the 3 pointer as if it was a 5 footer.

I've criticized Gilbert plenty, but say what we want, he's still the best player to play for the Wiz/Bullets in many years. Now JWow may change that, but still has quite a ways to go to do so.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | November 30, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

i over heard hilton say gil is not like what people think of him..he said hes a show men in the arena and a quite person away from it..but when people think of him they think the worst..hes one of the coolest players...go gil i stuck by you through think and thin..

Posted by: MrNoOne | November 30, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Need I say more to all the Gil haters that didn't listen when I told them that he is among the TOP 10 TALENTS IN THE LEAGUE! At's all good because the doubters are starting to come back to the other side.Posted by: zack5"

Only problem being, Gil isn't among the league's top 10 players.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 30, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

glawrence and Samson - You are right, Gil is no longer one of the top ten players, he also is not the bad guy glawrence would have everyone believe. He is playing as a professional. He is coming off about three years of inactivity, and is getting used to the game again. All that said, our team and our city is better with him on the team. LeBron, Carmelo, Artest, Kobe, and others with his ability all have had issues, Gil is by far whom I would prefer to have around other players and fans. At least he wants to be here, better than you can say for others.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 30, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"LeBron, Carmelo, Artest, Kobe, and others with his ability all have had issues, Gil is by far whom I would prefer to have around other players and fans. At least he wants to be here, better than you can say for others.
Posted by: 1bmffwb"

What's LeBron's issue?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 30, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Gil was top ten before injury and all the other nonsense. Give him til January or so to get his legs back and he will be one of the top 10 again, even with JWall. They will be the most feared duo in the league!

Posted by: henro99 | November 30, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert will given time be that top player in the league that he once was. I just fear that this year and the push to make Wall the face of the franchise and the new leader will be a hindrance to both of them excelling on the court.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 30, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope everybody was listening to Steve Buckhantz last night during the Wizards' game when he stated that the refs are aware of Arenas creating contact & not getting the calls. For those you do not understand the dynamics of what is going on here is the scoop. The "plantation mentality" of Stern has filtered down to the guys in black and white, and Arenas will have to deal with them swallowing their whistles when Gil has the ball- of course unless there is a questionable offensive play, and of course the call will automatically go against him. Now players are more reluctant to speak out against injustices (I know that is a strong word), but it is what it is. Sadly the NBA has not learned from Donahy & how he cheated, but was gracious enough to "finger" certain refs & their meeting to disuss how to deal with players that were not to their liking (specifically Iverson), now Arenas becomes their #1 "whipping boy."What a disgrace that the refs have the outcome of games at their disposal, & the only one that can bring an end to it is Stern. I think he is 68 years old. I pray is tenure in as league head honcho will close before he hits 70. It would be fitting for the players to hold a going away party for "Adolph Stern." John, Gil needs help. Get well soon. Go Wizards

Posted by: esmith4 | November 30, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Some of esmith4's best fiends are Jewish.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 30, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

*friends*

Posted by: djnnnou | November 30, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"glawrence and Samson - You are right, Gil is no longer one of the top ten players, he also is not the bad guy glawrence would have everyone believe. He is playing as a professional. He is coming off about three years of inactivity, and is getting used to the game again. All that said, our team and our city is better with him on the team. LeBron, Carmelo, Artest, Kobe, and others with his ability all have had issues, Gil is by far whom I would prefer to have around other players and fans. At least he wants to be here, better than you can say for others."

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 30, 2010 7:06 PM

It's not like he has a choice.

And I haven't seen anything to suggest Kobe and Artest don't want to be in L.A. Both had the chance to siogn somewhere else when they were FAs and didn't. That sure seems like them wanting to be there to me. (And I'm sure the championships don't hurt, either.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 30, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

For those who care what kind of kicks NBA ballers wear:

http://hoopshype.com/sneakers/nike/zoom_hyperfuse.htm

Sincerely, Les BouleS Prophet.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 30, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

A while ago I was briefly entertained by the question of whether Gil was still among the NBA's top 10 guards, where he definitely was before that first major injury. Here's the list I came up with:

Top Tier (no particular order):
Kobe Bryant
Dwyane Wade
Chris Paul
Deron Williams
Rajon Rondo
Joe Johnson
Derrick Rose
Steve Nash

Second tier (no particular order)
Brandon Roy
Ray Allen
Jamal Crawford
Gilbert Arenas
Eric Gordon
Jason Kidd
Vince Carter
Devin Harris
Tyreke Evans

Obviously some of those guys are on the way up, some not. Depending on where you think Gil belongs at the moment, he can squeak into the top ten, or not.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 30, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Westbrook, Billups, Monta Ellis, Manu, and Stephen Jackson belong among those guys. You can also make a case for Curry.

Posted by: ts35 | November 30, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Westbrook and Parker are 1st tier. If Curry, then Collison and Martin(maybe). Crawford doesn't belong on that list.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

ARENAS is cancer to my mind, and the sooner he's off this team the better. I just had enough of his idiocy. Sorry, I really would like to get behind the guy, but he's an individualistic prick in my book. I have no more excuses for the guy.

Now if he wants to hand over money for my season tix for the rest of the year, I might just change my mind, but he owes this city and this team and 'deciding' to participate just doesn't get it in my book. He hasn't earned that right. What a joke.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 30, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"More so, because I know Gil, I know some of the things he's been through..." - D Wade

I used to like D-Wade, but now he has just earned my 'heightofhypocrisy' award. He talks like Gil is a victim here. He is not. Everything Gil has gone through on the court was due to Gil. Gil's injury no? Yes, Gil's injury is part of the game. Get over it. Sh*t happens. And guess what, Gil curried $111MM from an overly sentimental owner. And he goes and disrespects Mr. Pollin by going gangsta in the locker room. Hey, if you look at it on the whole, Gil actually made out like a bandit compared to Plaxico. And he didn't even shoot himself in the thigh.

So DWade, I do not wish harm on you or anyone else but a good dose of reality YOU NEED. And throwing your coach under the bus just shows us what kind of feline you really are.

Posted by: heightofhypocrisy | November 30, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay ts35, you say that the execution was bad, 1) and you say that if Kirk had manned up hard on Nelson, it would not have made a difference.

To point 1) the execution imo is doomed to fail in most cases when you set out to help in the first place. Point 2) If Kirk had manned up Nelson from the onset, we can't really say that Nelson would have ended up in the lane requiring our center to pick him up instead of staying with Howard.

Larry, you've played hoops. You know that if the picker and the roller know what they are doing, there's no way for the defender not to get screened off, unless the defender gets in between the picker and the roller (stop me when this sounds familiar), or goes under the pick.

If Hinrich goes under (a daunting task given Howard's size), Nelson has a open shot as he clears Howard's pick. A shot he's probably taken about a thousand times. If Hinrich tries to go over, Nelson has an open shot or the lane (wait for it) unless McGee steps out and helps. If McGee steps out, Howard has the chance to roll to the hoop. Either way, Nelson is driving to his strong side, his right.

I'm assuming in your defensive belief system, you believe in the defender trying to take away things the offensive player wants to do. If the offensive player wants to go to his right, the defender shades him that way to make it harder and take away the offensive player's strength.

By choosing the defensive tactic that they did, the Wizards not only (attempted) to take away Nelson's strong side, but also the play's strong side -- around the pick. If properly executed, McGee forces Nelson to go just far enough to his left for Hinrich to recover, then drops back to cover Howard.

It's essentially the same as a trap (do you believe in trapping or even double teams). The mistake they made is the one you can't make, letting Nelson split it and get back to his right. Hinrich was a step slow in reacting, and partially blocked by Howard. McGee was too far back to start and also should have maintained leverage to Howard's side, but he made one misstep that allowed Nelson through.

Is it the only way to play it? Of course not. But it is a way to do it. And there's nothing wrong with it if properly executed.

You have more faith in the help/switch defense than I do and I apparently have more faith in manning up to the gill.

1) Those are not mutually exclusive concepts.

2) As previously stated, there is no good defense in existence that does not use the principle of steering players to help as one of it's cornerstones.

And yes, Dantley not automatically deferring to Isaiah is all apart of it. Dantley's pov on how to play D was not to Isaiah's liking, but Dantley would not cowtow to appease him.

LarryInClintonMD.

Apparently it was AD's unwillingness to defer to Zeek on O and in the the locker room that caused issues.

http://mitchalbom.com/d/node/1139
(note that the word 'defense' doesn't appear anywhere)

Posted by: ts35 | November 30, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Arenas just needs to keep getting his game and rythm back and watch, by January-February, he will be all back and he'll be a top 10 by the end of the season. He is slowly coming around so it's all good. Let's forget the past, what done is done, he served his time, so let's move on and let's focus on now. The Refs are not giving Arenas the calls but if Arenas keeps attacking and is relentless with his attack, the refs will not be able to ignore the calls because it will become too obvious. That will happen, I am sure of that.

Posted by: MCermeno | November 30, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

2) As previously stated, there is no good defense in existence that does not use the principle of steering players to help as one of it's cornerstones.

Steering is one thing, but at some point you're barely defending the guy.

Posted by: divi3 | November 30, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

2) As previously stated, there is no good defense in existence that does not use the principle of steering players to help as one of it's cornerstones.

Steering is one thing, but at some point you're barely defending the guy.

Posted by: divi3

Which is an execution issue, not a strategy issue.

Of course, if Hinrich did let Nelson go around the pick, it might have exposed the part where Nick Young lost track of Redick... :)

Posted by: ts35 | November 30, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@ Samson:

Looking at that list, if you're ranking in terms of impact/effectiveness(as opposed to numbers/entertainment), I'd slot some of the guys in the second tier solidly ahead of Arenas:

--Ray Allen: on a team where he was the first or second option, he'd easily be a 20 ppg scorer)

--Brandon Roy: when healthy, which may not be anytime soon, if ever again

--Eric Gordon: like Arenas an undersized scoring guard, but right now he's playing more efficiently than Arenas, although the results aren't any better

(Also, if Andre Igoudala is considered a guard, I'd put him on the second tier list ahead of Arenas.)

Based on what he's doing right now (as opposed to what he did 4 years ago) I don't see any real measure by which Arenas is a top 10 guard in the NBA.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

And that's not even counting the guys ts35 and djnnnou mentioned (Parker, Ginobili, and Westbrook) who would definitely go on the list ahead of Arenas.

But I'd take Arenas over Monta Ellis every day of the week.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

[i][b]For those who care what kind of kicks NBA ballers wear:

http://hoopshype.com/sneakers/nike/zoom_hyperfuse.htm

Sincerely, Les BouleS Prophet.[/i][/b]

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 30, 2010 8:59 PM

Thanks. Gilbert rocks Under Armor Micro G Supremes. He has 0 championships:
http://hoopshype.com/sneakers/under_armour.htm

U were wrong about some of this stuff, for example how many games it would take Joww to hit a brick wall:


[b][i]I'm certainly looking forward to this upcoming season. I see JWoww taking over the team and getting nice looks for all the big men. I think he'll hit a brick wall after about 30-35 games, and it'll be up to Hinrich to step up and carry on as the PG. I just hope Flip Flop doesn't look to Yi or AB to play center. It might be painful to watch when teams slow down the tempo and pound it inside.[/b][/i]

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2010 10:53 PM

Posted by: prescrunk | December 1, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

For those who care what kind of kicks NBA ballers wear:

http://hoopshype.com/sneakers/nike/zoom_hyperfuse.htm

Sincerely, Les BouleS Prophet.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 30, 2010 8:59 PM

Thanks. Gilbert rocks Under Armor Micro G Supremes. He has 0 championships:
http://hoopshype.com/sneakers/under_armour.htm

U were wrong about some of this stuff, for example how many games it would take Joww to hit a brick wall:


]I'm certainly looking forward to this upcoming season. I see JWoww taking over the team and getting nice looks for all the big men. I think he'll hit a brick wall after about 30-35 games, and it'll be up to Hinrich to step up and carry on as the PG. I just hope Flip Flop doesn't look to Yi or AB to play center. It might be painful to watch when teams slow down the tempo and pound it inside.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2010 10:53 PM

Posted by: prescrunk | December 1, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: prescrunk | December 1, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

The aspect of GA that is Being over looked is the mental recovery.
He is lacking in confidence/swagger that will be the most difficult part to reestablish. Three major injuries in 3 years, would make the strongest among us buckle. Getting physically fit, pales by comparison to the mental effects of what a superior athlete has to endure, when his gifts are challenged.
I see Gilbert trying his best. But patience is needed to restore that confidence in his body and skills, once again.

Posted by: mricklen | December 1, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

HEY, zack5:

I'm a hater. La,la,la,la,la .......I can't hear you.

It's not ARENAS' play I hate.........it's who he is personally. He just doesn't get it.

He was holding his breath early, and D-WADE said it. He wasn't contributing. He didn't get his way so now he's "decided" to participate with the team?.......plueeez.

We don't need a player of his abilities with a 10-cent head.

zach5, you are an enabling apologist.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@glawrence007

I get it, you don't like Gil "the person". We differ in the fact thay I don't care about Gil the person. I've never looked to him or any pro athlete to be a role model for me or my kids. Sorry his personal life has affected yours! Okay, he brought guns in the locker room, he should have is butt kicked, afterwards let him play ball!

Now, that being said, if you think Gil can't and won't get back to where his PROVEN TALENT once was, not someone who's up and coming listed on Sampson151's list, you're kidding yourself. Management (whom I think very little of) knows what Gil will be and what he's capable of. The organization has been quick to push talent out the door for almost nothing in return (Chris Webber trade) for not being a "role model" and please, don't think the contract is the only reason he's still here. The Polin's had no intentions on moving Gil or they'd have made an attempt to void that contract.

Which act do you feel was worst, Vick's or Gil's? I still remember the critic's saying that Vick would never play QB in the NFL ever again. He went from most hated to potential league MVP. For the record, it doesn't which act was worst, they both were wrong but at some point you have to look beyond his stupidity just as we have to get beyond our own stupid mistakes. Look for Gil as COME BACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR! Is that a stretch?

Posted by: zack5 | December 1, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

@Sampson151

I can pick that list apart mostly because you're listing up and coming players, players that haven't been to an allstar game (as players), players that haven't been in the league long enough to compare numbers are playing well right now. When I posted, I thought the post may have been somewhat of a stretch but after looking at your list, I stand by my previous post " Gil is among the TOP 10 Talent's in the NBA! I don't think DWade was just being generous or kind with his words. He's played with/against a lot of players and I believe Gil's "Comback Player of the Year" this year & NBA Allstar next year. You have to admit, He's fun to watch again!

Posted by: zack5 | December 1, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

A while ago I was briefly entertained by the question of whether Gil was still among the NBA's top 10 guards, where he definitely was before that first major injury. Here's the list I came up with:

Top Tier (no particular order):
Kobe Bryant
Dwyane Wade
Chris Paul
Deron Williams
Rajon Rondo
Joe Johnson
Derrick Rose
Steve Nash

@Sampson151

BTW- You left out Carmelo Anthony, I think he's better than at least 5 on this list or is he not on your list of 1st and 2nd tier of players?

Posted by: zack5 | December 1, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

zach5:

We're in agreement then. You don't care about his character, I do. It takes both in my mind to be a champion, great play on the court, and honor off it. He may become a great player once again, but he'll never be a champion off it. Not to my mind.

And since you brought it up, MIKE VICK might. He seems changed somehow. At least his public face does now that he's in PHILLY. And if his attitude is genuine, there's the difference between he and ARENAS who remains small and simple-minded.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 1, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Like it or not, Gil is the only player on the Wizards who scares opposing defenses. Wall might someday, but he's still a mistake-prone rookie who lacks an outside shot and is not yet the star that he'll be someday.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 1, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Gil is among the TOP 10 Talent's in the NBA! I don't think DWade was just being generous or kind with his words.
Posted by: zack5

Wade didn't say anything about "top ten." You can interpret "one of the best talents" any way you want, but don't put words into the man's mouth.

Posted by: nmik | December 1, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

ts35,

Nice article on AD and the Pistons, but you know that article though informative is not the whole sum of Zeke's and AD's story.

Re: the D though, I think we both realize in the final analysis it was a defensive breakdown and not really a individual player deficiency.

Let's hope whether it is executing properly the help/switch D or manning up, the Wiz get it right.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 1, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert right now ranks outside of the top ten, but within the top 20. So when you consider what Wade said, Gilbert is indeed one of the top guards in the League.

As the season goes forward and the team/Wall/Arenas improves, he most certainly will break into the top ten list.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 1, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

"He's one of the best talents we have in the game," Wade said.

You might argue that the statement doesn't say top ten, but you can't argue that the statement means second tier either.

IMO, to infer anything from the statement, it is more logical that Wade meant 1st tier/top ten.

Now whether Gill is performing that way now, no probably not, but I think the statement by Wade was not to evaluate where Gill currently is but what he actually acheived/was and can be again.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 1, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Gil didn't force Wiz to pay him $20 mil. a yr. -- one of the most talented and entertaining players in the league when healthy. why did Flip name a 20 yr. old kid and a guy who had never played a minute for the Wiz as co-captains? Andre and Gil had seniority -- maybe should of named them "acting-captains" and had the team vote on it after the New Year.

Posted by: trnasell | December 1, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse


why did Flip name a 20 yr. old kid and a guy who had never played a minute for the Wiz as co-captains? Andre and Gil had seniority -- maybe should of named them "acting-captains" and had the team vote on it after the New Year.

Posted by: trnasell | December 1, 2010 8:51 AM |

Gil didn't and doesn't deserve to be a captain. He's a clown with poor judgement, not exactly what one looks for in a captain. Even his work ethic has apparently waned; dude gained 15-20 lbs over a two-week period when his ankle was bothering him. NO EXCUSE for that.

On Blatche, he has no work ethic. You would never want a single player to follow in his footsteps. He's fat, poorly conditioned and has a bad 'tude.

Posted by: bobabuie | December 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"@Sampson151BTW- You left out Carmelo Anthony, I think he's better than at least 5 on this list or is he not on your list of 1st and 2nd tier of players?Posted by: zack5"

He's a full-time forward. The list is guards.

Players I did leave out: Westbrook, T. Parker, M. Ellis, B. Jennings.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 1, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"@Sampson151 I can pick that list apart mostly because you're listing up and coming players, players that haven't been to an allstar game (as players), players that haven't been in the league long enough to compare numbers are playing well right now."

LOL newbies like Jason Kidd and Vince Carter, eh?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 1, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Based on what he's doing right now (as opposed to what he did 4 years ago) I don't see any real measure by which Arenas is a top 10 guard in the NBA.Posted by: kalo_rama"

Especially if you add Billups, Westbrook and Tony Parker to the list. He might be a really good 6th man for a contender, I think. Fewer defensive responsibilities. Not that it appears he'll get the chance anytime soon.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 1, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert right now ranks outside of the top ten, but within the top 20. So when you consider what Wade said, Gilbert is indeed one of the top guards in the League.

Now whether Gill is performing that way now, no probably not, but I think the statement by Wade was not to evaluate where Gill currently is but what he actually acheived/was and can be again.

Since we're looking at what Wade actually said . . . He didn't mention guards, he didn't mention players. He mentioned "talents."

From his statement, given the absence of context (what was he asked?), he could have meant that Arenas is a really talented guy who has always wasted--and always will waste--his talents. He could have meant that a guy that talented will next month play better than any of the Miami Heat trio. He could have meant anything at all.

So to draw any conclusions from what was quoted in Lee's article . . . Well, you just can't.

Posted by: nmik | December 1, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

ARENAS is cancer to my mind, and the sooner he's off this team the better. I just had enough of his idiocy. Sorry, I really would like to get behind the guy, but he's an individualistic prick in my book. I have no more excuses for the guy.

Now if he wants to hand over money for my season tix for the rest of the year, I might just change my mind, but he owes this city and this team and 'deciding' to participate just doesn't get it in my book. He hasn't earned that right. What a joke.

Posted by: glawrence007

Get over it or get another team, cause Gil ain't going nowhere for a couple years.

Posted by: G-Man11 | December 1, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"why did Flip name a 20 yr. old kid and a guy who had never played a minute for the Wiz as co-captains?"

Like I said, he was probably seeking maturity. Had to trade and draft for it. The last bit of maturity the club had went to Cleveland in exchange for the 30th pick.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Larry, Larry, Larry . . . you should really do yourself a favor and refrain from ever again commenting on Pistons' history. Every time you do you only succeed in embarrassing yourself. Now you claim to know more about the inner working of the Bad Boys than Mitch Albom? Come on.

One question: If Isiah wanted Dantly gone because of some dispute over defense, then why did he push to have him replaced by . . . Mark Aquirre? Not exactly a noted defensive stalwart, as I'm sure a Pistons expert such as yourself would agree.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"Especially if you add Billups, Westbrook and Tony Parker to the list. He might be a really good 6th man for a contender, I think. Fewer defensive responsibilities. Not that it appears he'll get the chance anytime soon."

Posted by: Samson151 | December 1, 2010 9:18 AM

I could see him starting for a contender, as long as it's one where his skill set fits into a specific role and he's not the primary option.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Gil didn't and doesn't deserve to be a captain. He's a clown with poor judgement, not exactly what one looks for in a captain. Even his work ethic has apparently waned; dude gained 15-20 lbs over a two-week period when his ankle was bothering him. NO EXCUSE for that.

On Blatche, he has no work ethic. You would never want a single player to follow in his footsteps. He's fat, poorly conditioned and has a bad 'tude.

Posted by: bobabuie | December 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse


you can't run cardio when your ankle is hurting, but he may have been lifting more, so that might be where have helped attribute to the weight gain. so more muscle + less cardio = weight gain. i don't question his work ethic. not when he's been battling for 3 yrs to get back to his former form. even what he is now is a huge improvement from last year, when he was committing a turnover every single time he dribbled. i agree with the earlier comment about the mental recovery. he's improving, just be patient.

100% agree about blatche though. flat out lazy. get rid of this guy asap, he is not in our future and every time he tries to break down a defense off the dribble (which has got to be something like 50% of the time he touches the ball) i have to look away or cringe. many basketball players wish they were taller. andray blatche is the only one who wishes he was shorter.

Posted by: LoveTheWiz | December 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

We all have to remember that D-Wade has worked out with GA in Chi-town and has seen him do things on the court that we have not. Therefore, he is giving his opinion based on league play and street ball. I also believe D-Wade when he says that he knows what GA has been dealing with personally. Being a baller myself I can imagine the 2 of them talking about personal situation while sitting around after playing streetballl in Chi-town during the off season.

The main point is that GA is starting to show some signs that he is on his way back to the top. If the Wiz trade him this season I believe they will regret it. Every team has to have a go-to-guy and JW is no where near ready to fill that role. Gil's game makes everything so much easier on the other 4 because he is starting to demand 2 defenders ala Dwight Howard having to leave his man to help contest Gil's last shot the other night.

Again, I like the way the team is progressing. Let's save our judgment for mid season when everyone if back and healthy. Patience grasshopper...LOL!!

Posted by: TEliasB | December 1, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

as long as it's not a gun fight...

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 1, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

ts35,

Nice article on AD and the Pistons, but you know that article though informative is not the whole sum of Zeke's and AD's story.
LarryInClintonMD.

Not at all, but I wasn't the one who said it was about defense. :) It may or may not have been part of it, but for sure there were a variety of other issues. Mainly because both AD and Zeek were LeBron-esque divas in their own rights.

Re: the D though, I think we both realize in the final analysis it was a defensive breakdown and not really a individual player deficiency.

Let's hope whether it is executing properly the help/switch D or manning up, the Wiz get it right.

No question, whatever system or strategies the choose to use, they need to exert more effort individually and develop better cohesion as a team.

Posted by: ts35 | December 1, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@glawremnce007:

This post is in response to your general attitude towards Gil (based on my reading of your numerous post here on Wizards Insider).

On the one hand, I can totally understand your frustration with Gil and his transgressions. When I heard that he brought guns to the locker room, my first reaction was "Gil needs to go. Now!" Nobody looked good after that incident. Also, Gil hasn't even come CLOSE to earning his contract. Based on production, Gil is severely overpaid.

On the other hand, when healthy, Gil is hands-down, the only player on the Wizards that other teams must account for at all times. D-Wade said it himself. Most importantly, Gil can help the Wizards win games, which at the professional level, is all that matters. That's really all I care about as a Wizards fan.

I trust what my eyes see. And right now, despite all the hype, John Wall is NOT ready to lead this team. Can't speak for the young man's maturity or character, as I do not know John Wall personally. But John Wall has a ways to go before he translates his tremendous physical gifts into a consistent, difference-making, package. John Wall is NOT the best player on this team right now. Gil is.

And if you have ever played basketball, the "leader" of the team is usually the best player. If the best player has solid character, great! But in sports (unlike in life), being a good, likeable person is not a prerequisite for leadership. Ability and performance matter the most (feel free to disagree) when it comes to athletic leadership. Right now Gil is emerging as a the leader of this team.

Based on your stream of negative comments regarding Gil, it is plainly obvious you don't like the man personally. I get it. Gil's a clown; Gil's immature; Gil's overpaid; and so on. At a certain point, the force of your argument against Gil becomes diminished when you repeat the same stuff over and over and over. If you can't appreciate watching Gil redeem himself, game by game, I don't know what to tell you. Just my $0.02. Carry on...

Posted by: MEssex | December 1, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert is starting to go on one of his classic "Hibachi" scoring binges. You can see his confidence returning. Whether you like his personality, or not, it shouldn't factor into this discussion. He is highly productive on the court.

Arenas, even at 85% or 90% of his all-star form, is the best player on the team. He is a gym rat. The man has a patented jump shot that all defenses must respect. He's beginning to drive to the basket again.

Like it or not, Gilbert Arenas is the REAL face of the franchise. Ted Leonsis, Ernie Grunfeld, and Flip Saunders wanted to remove any association of Gilbert's gun situation from this team. That's why John Wall was named co-captain. No knock on Wall, but he hadn't taken his first shot in a regular season NBA game - and already he's a co-captain! Did Peyton Manning, Wayne Gretzky, or Michael Jordan come into the league as co-captains?

None of the Wizards promotional material featured Gilbert. The man was invisible. You would have thought he was in the witness protection program. But time has a way of correcting things. Wall gets injured and Arenas comes to the rescue. I'm loving it.

I hope Gil leads this team back to respectability [8th seed in the playoffs?] and that he gets Comeback Player of the Year consideration.

Posted by: musicmanjr | December 1, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I am pleasantly suprised at the reemergence of Gilbert Arenas and as a season ticket holder, I look forward to watching him this year. Dwayne Wade, a champion who put a club on his shoulders, has made the most profound and credible comments regarding Arenas of any I have heard this year. With respect to him being a cancer, that is pure bull$$t on every level. The majority of Wizards fans I know have embraced him and his reception at the games are more than postive. More importantly, I have not heard one of his teammates so a negative thing about him and the comaraderie they show is the opposite of what a cancerous team killer would exhubit.

Honestly and to the detriment of the team Gil has went out of his way to be the most unselfish teammate. He has effusively acknowledged that this is Wall's team, and that he has no problem with it. Cllerly there are times where he should have been more aggresive with the ball.

When you evaluate the level this man is playing with in the context of a 2-3 year layoff, three knee surgeries and the public humiliation he brought on himself, where he is right now is amazing.

Now I don't know where you would rank Gil in the context of the 10 best or 20 best guards or players but I am confident that in a month from now as his conditioning, feel, confidence and swag comes back he will be squarely in the conversation. And quite frankly if he was getting any fairness with respect to the officiating, his statistics would be even better now.

While Flip is not the answer in my opinion, Wizards fans have a bonafide reason for optimism with good young players like Wall, McGee, Young and Blatche and potentially one of the better combo guards in the game under a long term contract. We have a good nucleus to build on.

Posted by: NewManagement | December 1, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@Samson, Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis >>> Eric Gordon

Posted by: meatkins | December 1, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

also Russell Westbrook is a top tier guard too. Not even a question.

Posted by: meatkins | December 1, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

where are the Gil haters? Where did they go? Clowns should be eating crow right now..including you Wilbon.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 1, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse


"you can't run cardio when your ankle is hurting, but he may have been lifting more, so that might be where have helped attribute to the weight gain. so more muscle + less cardio = weight gain."

LMFAO!! Yeah, he sure looked EXTREMELY muscular when his ankle healed. Maybe he gained most his muscle in his ab area, since that area was the only one that was noticeably bigger. Or maybe he heavily worked out his jowls.... Stop it, okay?

Btw, running isn't the only cardio that you can do to stay in shape, so enough with the excuses. Arenas gorged himself like a pig, showed NO discipline and the team is paying the price.

"even what he is now is a huge improvement from last year, when he was committing a turnover every single time he dribbled."

Arenas currently has a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Last year he had a 1.96 assist-to-turnover ratio. Your analysis doesn't hold up. Arenas is markedly worse as a ballhandler this year.

"Like it or not, Gilbert Arenas is the REAL face of the franchise."

That's preceisely why they will never go anywhere as long as he's a part of the team. He's a loser.

Posted by: bobabuie | December 1, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Even the most severe Arenas critic would have to agree that, at his best, he was an elite offensive talent. He was lightning quick, explosive, strong and could shoot lights-out. The question is how close can he get to his peak form and will his body hold up over a season.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Arenas has played well. Not great, but well. Good for him.

But they still need to trade him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@ kalo

Do you think we should have also traded Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond? My point being that you will not get equal value and if you still feel this way, YOU should be traded! You're my man and I might miss you on the blog but we need more players on the court that play like Gil! AB is probably our only tradable player at this point.

Posted by: zack5 | December 1, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert will given time be that top player in the league that he once was. I just fear that this year and the push to make Wall the face of the franchise and the new leader will be a hindrance to both of them excelling on the court.

LarryInClintonMD. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU LARRY (rare)

Posted by: Mikereese23 | December 1, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Amusing that Kalo is still beating his "we need to trade Arenas" drum. Good lord man, do you EVER admit when you are wrong about something?

Arenas has proven the doubters wrong this year. He is still the best player on this team and is still an elite talent. 21.6 ppg and 6.2 assists in the last 9 games...no one in the NBA is putting up these numbers pal.

Just admit you were wrong and move on.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 1, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Gilbert into the fight? How many guns is the gay little punk gonna bring? He's out of JAIL already?

Posted by: JamesChristian | December 1, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Save yoour money going to the Verizon Ctr..we will be in the lottery again for sure...anytime you let Toronto lead you by 20 at the half says a lot about your defense let alone score 60+points against you in a half...

No one wants to LEARN how to play or play DEFENSE...Same old story for the past 20 years at least...

Hold their check up and I will bet performance will improve...

Posted by: pentagon40 | December 1, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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