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Gilbert Arenas inching closer back, Flip Saunders defends John Wall and Kevin Garnett

By Michael Lee

Gilbert Arenas practiced fully on Thursday, spending most of his time lined up with the second unit which featured Lester Hudson, Yi Jianlian, Cartier Martin and Hamady Ndiaye. Arenas will be listed as a game-time decision when the Wizards face the New York Knicks on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

"You'll know more 10 minutes before the game," Coach Flip Saunders said, perhaps forgetting that the starting lineups and inactive lists are released an hour before tip-off. "He looked good [in practice], so we'll wait. I think anytime you're coming back from any kind of injury, especially when you've been out for a while, this is the first time he's really run hard, you have to see how he reacts."

If Arenas is able to return, Saunders said that he "handle really thought about" how he would use the three-time all-star, but anticipates having him come off the bench. Arenas has missed the first three regular season games with a strained tendon in his right ankle and missed the final two preseason games after developing a mild groin strain. He hasn't played since his three-minute stint against Milwaukee on Oct. 14.

"I think right now, we'll probably go with the starting lineup we have, based on where we are and just the unknowns as far as where Gil is at," Saunders said. "I think because he's coming off the injuries that he's had with the groin, with the ankle, I think we need to be a little bit more cautious for him to try to limit his time as much as we can but still have him where he can be effective."

John Wall's dance during pre-game introductions on Tuesday somehow drew the ire of ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd, who went on a rant about how it displayed Wall's selfishness and served as proof that he would never win a championship. Flip Saunders responded to the criticism of his point guard after practice on Thursday by asking, "I didn't know they were Dancing with the Stars, that you could be voted off."

"He is 19, 20. He's got great enthusiasm with what he does. His first time at Kentucky, he did a dance," Saunders said. "I think it would be different if you weren't around him each day, but John's very professional. He wasn't doing anything to disrespect the game. It was something he was excited about playing."

Saunders also mentioned how Wall followed up the dance by having one of the best home debuts for a point guard in NBA history, as he became the first player to ever get at least 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals in a game, and just the fourth rookie to have at least 20 points and 10 assists in his first home game.

"If he has to dance and get 29, 13 and 9 steals and cut down on the turnovers, he can dance all he wants," Saunders said.

Boston Celtics all-star forward Kevin Garnett found himself in the middle of a controversy after Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva revealed on Twitter that Garnett called him a "cancer patient" during their game on Tuesday. Villanueva has alopecia, a condition in which hair is lost in all areas of the body.

Garnett has since denied the comment, saying in a statement released by the team that he told Villanueva that he was "'cancerous to your team and our league." Celtics Coach Doc Rivers supported Garnett, claiming that he heard what Garnett said. He also criticized Villanueva for putting in-game trash talk on Twitter.

Saunders coached Garnett for 10 years and is familiar with his trash-talking ways. "He's got a reputation for doing that, but he's never been disrespectful. He's been very aware of situations," he said. "In Minnesota, he had a suite every game where he brought cancer kids up for Make-a-Wish foundation. He had a suite for every game at home. There are a lot of things that he does, going to hospitals he never likes to advertise very much. It was a little bit of a surprise."

Saunders said he believes both Garnett and Rivers when they said that Garnett didn't cross that line. "Kevin would never do anything to be disrespectful, knowing, as he said, he's had people also going through that situation."

By Michael Lee  | November 4, 2010; 7:20 PM ET
 
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Comments

No trash talk on Twitter? That's about all it's good for.

My favorite NBA trash talking and Twitter story is from last year when Brandon Jennings got into it with someone pretending to be Jordan Farmar.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

So how is Charlie V. "cancerous to his team and the league?" KG needs to shut his yap as he used to talk trash with Caron until Caron stepped up to him. KG is a punk b!tch.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 4, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

KG may very well be a pb, but so is Charlie V as well for putting trash talk on twitter.

That's like running home crying to your momma... momma, momma, they pickin' on me.

Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 4, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I can understand if Flip wants to take it slow with Arenas and moniter his pt to make sure he isn't going to fast to quickly, but what does that have to do with starting him.

It is just an excuse not to start him so Hinrich doesn't have to sit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 4, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88; I mean who really cares what KG has to say he needs to save that hot air and focus on his game, and bro, don't remind me of Caron yeah i miss the dude he was the one Bullet that played hard every night No! he didn't have the year i would've expected in 09-10 but boy could we use him now.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 4, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

This pile of Colon Cowturd should not even be heard. To go out of his way to take a swipe at the purest form of youthful exhuberence and joy, not knowing what a serious dedicated professional this kid is makes Cowturd the true selfish jerk in the spotlight. But we already knew that. He grovels up to obvious sports heroes and goes out of his way to rip others. He has no clue and I can't listen to the Colon.

Posted by: YoCaps | November 4, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

KG is a punk b!tch.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 4, 2010 9:14 PM

Well chronicled. 'Memba Anthony Peeler (a 6'4" guard, btw)? He almost knocked KG out with an nice elbow upside his noggin in the playoffs and KG NEVER got in his face again.

Posted by: ahwyatt | November 4, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself."
-LarryInClintonMd

Right, because using violence to solve personal disputes is ALWAYS better than using words. Just ask all the upstanding young gentleman packing heat and hanging out drinking 40s at 11am in Sursam Corda. I bet their tough mommas ignored their problems, smacked them around, and taught them to stand up fo' theyselfs real good. They'll probably be dead by age 23, but they sure don't take no disrespect!

So, yeah, Charlie Villanueva should compromise his NBA career and take a swing at KG next time he sees him on the court--because I'm sure he wouldn't want some moron in PG County to think he ain't living the thug life. Jeezus...

Posted by: Plix | November 4, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"KG may very well be a pb, but so is Charlie V as well for putting trash talk on twitter.

That's like running home crying to your momma... momma, momma, they pickin' on me.

Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 4, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse "

For what it's worth, Charlie called KG out for a fight. They can do PPV.

And, for what it's worth also, Flip Flop should shut the f#ccck up about KG and concentrate on his own d@mn team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 4, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

It is just an excuse not to start him so Hinrich doesn't have to sit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 4, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

You hit it on the head. I mean Yao starts and plays 24 minutes. Flip is part of the good old boy network that will start an Oberto, Mike Miller and now Hinrich.

It is amazing how Flip now has no problem with youthful exhuberance but has cosistently ripped his other young players in the past for far less overt actions.

BTW larry If you remember last year Flip defended a "dead wrong" KG against his own player Blatche.

Flip is a clown and is a mediocre coach at best.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 4, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Colin Cowherd is a blowhard. He just randomly picks topics and goes off. Who the F cares what he says

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | November 4, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

The real reason Flop wants to have Gil come off the bench is because he has NO scoring on that second unit. Gil can spill JW but KH is NOT ANY WAY a starter. Flop will jump out and continue to have the public believe that he is responsible for the development of JW when he will be more responsible for having him burned out or hurt by the allstar break by constantly playing him 40+ min. a game.

Posted by: zack5 | November 4, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I really don't mind him coming off the bench for the time being. He's amazing on the court but has been plagued by an injury and may not be in game shape just yet. Also, it will be nice to have that option off the bench. Wall and Gil can play side by side and when Wall needs a breather, Gilby can control the team and light it up. Basically as long as Gil is available, this team is better.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 5, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Flip's nostalgic love for all things KG rears its head yet again.

Flip, he's moved on, and you need to too.

Weird, embarrassing, choose your adjective...

Posted by: ArchieTambo | November 5, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

@ WP copy editor re "Saunders said that he "handle really thought about" how he would use the three-time all-star...

did you not LISTEN/READ the copy prior to formatting (or whatever) that you're supposed to do prior to sending it downstairs for printing? i think the word you should have substituted is probably "hadn't"

Posted by: dcjazzman | November 5, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I can understand if Flip wants to take it slow with Arenas and moniter his pt to make sure he isn't going to fast to quickly, but what does that have to do with starting him.

It is just an excuse not to start him so Hinrich doesn't have to sit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 4, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Shut up.

Posted by: bbachrac | November 5, 2010 4:12 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing how Flip now has no problem with youthful exhuberance but has cosistently ripped his other young players in the past for far less overt actions.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 4, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Really? You are trying to compare Nick Young to John Wall? You may as well just give it up now. Flip has never...NEVER...had a young player produce like this one, so...next point, please.

I think it is a good idea to put Arenas on 2nd team. This way we have better balance.

As for Cowherd...he obviously didn't watch the game at all. Wall DOMINATED. And in his post game interview, he praised everyone but himself. Praised Al thornton for hustling, praised Cartier for hitting the big shot and staying ready, praised Dray for working on his FT's. And then said, we have a lot of work to do and need to keep improving.

Wall is the man and if he keeps his head like this (and can avoid some major injuries), he will be one of the most successful players in this franchise's history

But yeah, let's compare him to Nick Young.

Posted by: Blurred | November 5, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Garnett should not have said anything about cancer out of his mouth directed towards a cancer patient (personally I believe CV)...we all make mistakes but KG (I thought) was smarter than that...hmmm

Posted by: ronniecope106 | November 5, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Garnett should not have said anything about cancer out of his mouth directed towards a cancer patient (personally I believe CV)...we all make mistakes but KG (I thought) was smarter than that...hmmm

Posted by: ronniecope106 | November 5, 2010 7:12 AM

CV has never had cancer. He suffers some weird skin disease that results in hair loss. It was just trash talk. Goes on all the time in every sport. CV should get over it, stop crying on Twitter, and just play basketball.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 5, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Saunders coached Garnett for 10 years and is familiar with his trash-talking ways. "He's got a reputation for doing that, but he's never been disrespectful"
-------------------------------------
I'm not sure how you trash talk w/o being disrespectful. What do you say, "Mr. James, please don't come into the lane or I'll treat you unkindly"?

Posted by: randysbailin | November 5, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

On Garnett's trash talking to Charlie V, it was probably one of the nicer things the guy has said while on the court. Considering his use of one certain word it's clear he believes that most of the players in the NBA have bedded his mother.

One night on the ticket I was watching the T Wolves playing the Pistons and the T Wolves color guy said,"Charlie looks like he just came from Nair Club for men". At half time he apologized for the remark. I never heard a word about in the national media. But it was the T Wolves color guy, not Garnett.

Colin ripping people is just part of his whole act. It has a lot to do with who agrees to do his show and who doesn't. As he says he sticks up for the guys that give him some love. Help his rating by coming on the show you get a pass, don't come on the show he'll boost the ratings by ranting about you.

Kind of like a stalker that then turns to on his ex-hero after a failed bet.

Until he gets his legs back under him I'd be fine with Gil coming off the bench. Better tactic then EJ's 40 minutes a game on back to back nights with a flight in between. Ouch...

Hey, if Nick Young plays 2 games in a row like Wall just did, Flip will turn off the lights in the phone booth, shine a bright light on Young and let him dance too...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 5, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Garnett isn't too high in the class or sportsman categories. As a matter of fact KG is a punk b!tch.

Posted by: Rocky420 | November 5, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, Charlie called KG out for a fight. They can do PPV.

And, for what it's worth also, Flip Flop should shut the f#ccck up about KG and concentrate on his own d@mn team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 4, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Amen. Especially when we play the Celtics. It would be nice if Flip backed Andre instead of Garnett.

Posted by: bobilly2 | November 5, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Wall is the man and if he keeps his head like this (and can avoid some major injuries), he will be one of the most successful players in this franchise's history

But yeah, let's compare him to Nick Young.

Posted by: Blurred | November 5, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

It was never about a comparison but about one attribute of an orgznizations strategy for player development. Your comparison moniker advocates (as does the Wizards) one standard for one young player (a rookie) and a different way these other kids have been handled throughout their careers here. Essientially, your argument endorses a hierarchy that stars be treayed differently from the rest of the team.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 5, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Anybody have a date for when Josh Howard will return. I have heard middle of November, December, and January. Pretty wide span of dates.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | November 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Letting Gilbert anchor the 2nd team would be nice to anchor the scoring and balance.

Oh, that is really good. What about the 1st team? The 1st is just fine and okay w/o Gilbert???

I'm not sure that some folks know what winning is round's here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 5, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Colin ripping people is just part of his whole act. It has a lot to do with who agrees to do his show and who doesn't. As he says he sticks up for the guys that give him some love. Help his rating by coming on the show you get a pass, don't come on the show he'll boost the ratings by ranting about you."posted by flohrtv

Right you are. He's pretty open about that -- considers himself an entertainer first, sports guy distant second. One of those guys who doesn't know all that much about sports but hit on a way to make an income from it anyway. Guy like that, if it bleeds, it leads.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 5, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"Wall is the man and if he keeps his head like this (and can avoid some major injuries), he will be one of the most successful players in this franchise's history. posted by blurred"

Injury is the risk, the way he plays. Was reading a Q&A with Kobe Bryant who was asked what hurt at the moment. "Everything", was the answer. And he's not even injured.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 5, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"CV has never had cancer. He suffers some weird skin disease that results in hair loss. It was just trash talk. Goes on all the time in every sport. CV should get over it, stop crying on Twitter, and just play basketball.osted by: Wizbullets88"

Alopecia. An autoimmune disorder. He's spokesman for that national organization.

If I was Garnett, I'd come away from this thinking I could push Charlie's buttons any time I needed to.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 5, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself."
-LarryInClintonMd

Right, because using violence to solve personal disputes is ALWAYS better than using words. Just ask all the upstanding young gentleman packing heat and hanging out drinking 40s at 11am in Sursam Corda. I bet their tough mommas ignored their problems, smacked them around, and taught them to stand up fo' theyselfs real good. They'll probably be dead by age 23, but they sure don't take no disrespect!

So, yeah, Charlie Villanueva should compromise his NBA career and take a swing at KG next time he sees him on the court--because I'm sure he wouldn't want some moron in PG County to think he ain't living the thug life. Jeezus...

Posted by: Plix | November 4, 2010 10:47 PM

Jumping too conclusions might just show the your own negative prejudicial bias.

First of all we are talking about trash talking in the NBA. Not thugs, and not PGC. Evidently, you jumped all the way from trash talking all the way to vieldly saying that PGC is a den of thugs.

Wow.

And secondly, standing up for yourself in may day, where gangs and thugs were not on the radar screen, was about being a strong young person in word and deed and also in play.

It had nothing to do with the biased slight you are referring to. Parents in my day taught their kids what playing and pickin was all about and how to react to it without thuggery and ignorance of the type you are slanting a whole county with.

The nerve.

Trash talkin in the NBA is a time honored tradition and if Charlie V wants to go cryin to the twitter page cause he don't know how to handle it, it doesn't make PGC a thug county.

You is anything.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

KG is such a dbag, shame Flip is still on his nutz considering they're in our Conference.

Ben Wallace had some funny comments about KGs trashtalk, said Garnett mainly goes after little guys he thinks are intimidated by his size. When asked if KG ever trashtalked him, Wallace laughed and said "Not once, he wouldnt dare say a word to me."

Posted by: divi3 | November 5, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Obviously Gilbert should start. I have nothing against Hinrich, but he plays too many minutes. Against the sixers, Yound had a hot hand and yet DSaunders took him out. He only haD 20 minutes. Mcghee only had 20 minutes. Wizards won in spite of Saunders inept rotations Friday.

Posted by: bobilly2 | November 5, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Gil's just coming off yet another injury, why not bring him off the bench and limit his minutes? Once he's proven healthy, no way he doesnt start.

Posted by: divi3 | November 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Flip, you haven't coached Garnett in years. Please take his p*nis out of your mouth.

Posted by: sonny2 | November 5, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas is a freaking joke. Owner ship need to get rid of his contract by trading him. He has a sprain ankle and missed 5 games. Brett Favre is 41 and he tapes it up. He's a joke and the owner should sue him for a breach of contract.

Posted by: GregAntoine | November 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

They could've kept Hinrich in Chicago if I had known he was going to start over Gilbert! I couldn't wait to see Gil and Wall play together and now he's coming of the bench!! How will Gil and Wall gain any chemistry if they're not playing together! The season is young so NOW is the time to play them so they will gain that chemistry. Just watch when Howard returns, he'll come off the bench too. No way Hinrich is coming off the bench!!

Posted by: cdouglas2 | November 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know what Andray Blatche thinks about the Garnett situation.

Posted by: colerwilson | November 5, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself.
-LarryInClintonMd

I'm with Plix that blaming Charlie's mother for not being physically abusive doesn't make much sense.

Or if for whatever reason we're writing in the vernacular maybe I should say "I be wit Plix that ClintonLarry out of line dissing CV's ma for not slappin and kickin' his butt 'nough. 'Nough said."

Posted by: BPupp | November 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself."
-LarryInClintonMd

Right, because using violence to solve personal disputes is ALWAYS better than using words. Just ask all the upstanding young gentleman packing heat and hanging out drinking 40s at 11am in Sursam Corda. I bet their tough mommas ignored their problems, smacked them around, and taught them to stand up fo' theyselfs real good. They'll probably be dead by age 23, but they sure don't take no disrespect!

So, yeah, Charlie Villanueva should compromise his NBA career and take a swing at KG next time he sees him on the court--because I'm sure he wouldn't want some moron in PG County to think he ain't living the thug life. Jeezus...

Posted by: Plix | November 4, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

What an intelligent and sinceable observation. Sometime we forget about how relevant that can be when posting. Got to keep it real!

PEACE!!!

Thanks much!

Posted by: bazteal | November 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

ARENAS' STATUS FOR TONIGHT'S GAME: (singing in a high pitched voice) "YOU'LL SEEEEE!!!!" ROFL!!!

Posted by: carterm1 | November 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Check out John Wall's alleged new girl. I hope he keeps his head on straight.
http://dalockerroom.com/weekend-wifey-bonus-8/

Posted by: rdskns1975 | November 5, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Charlie probably didn't have a momma that was tough that would have smacked his butt and kicked him back out the house and told him to stand up fo' hisself."
-LarryInClintonMd

I guess you have to spoon feed folks these days in this politically correct society.

In my day smacking his butt and kicking him back out the house does not necessarily mean physical violence. This is what happened to me and plenty of kids who came home crying cause other kids were calling names and picken as we called.

My mom did not slap or kick me, but she in no uncertain terms told me to shut up that crying and to get my butt back outside play. She did not lay a hand on me. But as a very young person, I understood her message well. She wasn't tellin me to commit violence, she was tellin me to stand up for myself and be a man.

I never had a problem since with kids being kids and it was never about violence or the thug, beer drinking, gangsta bullcrap you guys are bringing into this.

It was all about trash talkin and a lesson that Charlie V did not learn from his momma or anyoneelse.

Sometime you folks need to stop throwin your prejudicial shields up to quickly.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It was all about trash talkin and a lesson that Charlie V did not learn from his momma or anyoneelse.

Sometime you folks need to stop throwin your prejudicial shields up to quickly.

LarryInClintonMD.

*********************************************************************************

It's trash talkING, and SometimeS, and throwING. If you want to complain about prejudicial sheilds, do it in English, not Ebonics.

Posted by: sonny2 | November 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If Gil is healthy, he should start. That doesn't mean that Flip has to play him more than 20-25 minutes until he is fully into game shape.

Although it makes practical sense to bring Arenas off the bench, Gilbert will react negatively if he has to come off the bench behind Hinrich. We all know that Gil has to be handled in a special way.

But, really, it's worth it to cater to Gil if it results in him being more productive.
So, start Arenas and rotate him in and out of the game as needed.

Posted by: musicmanjr | November 5, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Although it makes practical sense to bring Arenas off the bench, Gilbert will react negatively if he has to come off the bench behind Hinrich.

Or maybe backing up a player like Hinrich will be the ultimate motivator for Gil, no way to tell really. I would think he shouldnt care at all in his first game back.

Posted by: divi3 | November 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why people are so bent out of shape on Gilbert coming off the bench in first game or first few games back. He hasn't played in a regular season game since midway through last season, he's still working his way back from a knee injury and he's had various recurring problems this season. I think it's prudent to bring him back a little slowly.

And I don't buy into the thinking either that you have to have him 'start' but then don't play him full starter's minutes. It doesn't matter right now if he starts or not (even if it matters in his mind). What matters is getting him out there and seeing if he's healthy. If he's healthy and once he demonstrates it, he'll start.

Posted by: ts35 | November 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Garnett is a sissy and a punk for all the trash talk he does. The only way he can win in this league is by having three other hall of famers on hi steam. You saw what kind of leader/player he was when he was the guy in Minnesota.

Posted by: sjp879 | November 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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