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Posted at 2:57 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Gilbert Arenas: "Maybe I wasn't worth the contract"

By Michael Lee

Gilbert Arenas spoke with 106.7 The Fan's Mike Wise Show on Thursday in anticipation of his return to Verizon Center for the first time since he was traded to Orlando on Dec. 18. Arenas, as usual, had a lot to say, and Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog provided some of his more interesting comments on his time in Washington, the negative response of fans toward Andray Blatche, the pressures on John Wall, and his fears of being booed. Here's more from Dan:

On his message to D.C. fans: "Um, we'll start with the people that's upset. You know, some people just can't forgive. And that's just the way life is. You know, I can't forgive some things, either. At some point I hope they can forgive me as a person. Maybe not as a basketball player. Maybe I wasn't worth the contract. Hey, I don't think anyone's worth $100 million if Michael Jordan wasn't, but hey, that's what Abe Pollin thought I was worth, and if someone put $100 million in front of you, you're gonna take it, too....So for the people who can't forgive some of the stupid things I've done and did, I was just trying to be entertaining. And when I got hurt and I'm sitting there, I can't do anything, so I'm just trying to entertain you somehow. And the people who love me, I just want to say thank you for hanging in there and I love you guys and all the support you gave me."
On John Wall's future with the Wiz: Being a number one pick is gonna always have its pressure. It was more pressure on him coming in because he's coming in as the white horse, that keeps saving the organization, so that's a lot of pressure in itself. Any person that would have came in, him or Evan Turner, they're coming in as damage control. Now you've got a guy who's replacing me and he's feeling so much pressure, that's why I tried to take the pressure off him by saying this is your team, go out there and play basketball."

Arenas also spoke with CSNWashington's Chris Miller in Orlando. It will be a two-part interview that starts tonight, with part two on Friday.

By Michael Lee  | February 3, 2011; 2:57 PM ET
Categories:  Gilbert Arenas  
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Next: No shortage of story lines for tonight's matchup

Comments

Maybe?

Posted by: djnnnou | February 3, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Sure, it was Abe's money, but it was Grunfeld's job to negotiate a contract with Gilbert and he got abused badly....by a player, not a clever agent or attorney. Only in this city would Ernie Grunfeld get to be this incompetent and keep his job. Stunning!!!

Posted by: FireGrunfeld | February 3, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

That's a great comment from Gil. I "forgave" Gil a long time ago for the gunplay. As Gil said, the basketball part was harder to deal with.

EG's great trade, to bring in a good player with fewer years on his contract, makes me feel better about Gil's basketball shortcomings. Good luck, Gil--you have a great situation with the Magic.

Posted by: EdDC | February 3, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Ga is very sick.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 3, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Sure, it was Abe's money, but it was Grunfeld's job to negotiate a contract with Gilbert and he got abused badly....by a player, not a clever agent or attorney. Only in this city would Ernie Grunfeld get to be this incompetent and keep his job. Stunning!!!Posted by: FireGrunfeld"

I hope you don't expect people to consider that an objective analysis. I mean, check out your screen name -- that's an agenda if ever I saw one.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 3, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I see the Knicks got fined $200K by the NBA for conducting illegal workouts for prospective draft picks...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 3, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

U couldn’t tell his injury would be rushed back by him and his medical staff at the time the contact was given. He was a top 5 player arguably at the time. And people forget the good he did; he even left what 9 million or so at the table so the team could resign Jamison. People are fast to hate on arenas.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 3, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

".....Maybe I wasn't worth the contract....." GA

Well, he does deal in reality at least.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 3, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

if grunfeld dint resign him, people would have criticized him for letting him getaway. he would have got max money in golden state if he wanted to. people are never happy.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 3, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I get the feeling Gil is genuinely ashamed of himself for his actions the past couple years. He is no longer entertaining or in good spirits or lovably quirky. He just sits on the bench and says "oh well, Jameer is better than me and I think he should play as many minutes as he can" or some such defeatist garbage. I hate seeing him like this, scoring 4 points a night and looking sad all the time. I blame stupid Grunfeld. DC loves Gilbert Arenas always, best player we've had since the Championship 30 years ago. Fix your knee and stop feeling sorry for your self and beat the Heat Gil!

Posted by: bosshog7169 | February 3, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I forgave Gil and wish he were still here. Heck, we wouldn't be any worse

Posted by: zack5 | February 3, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I'm right again about Gilby. Gilby not only robbed Les BouleS of max money $120 mil, remmber....he also had a $65 mil contract prior to that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 3, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Is Javale still taking suggestions for the slam dunk?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2011/feb/03/classic-youtube-sports-clips-dunk

Posted by: midlevex_ | February 3, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I'm right again about Gilby. Gilby not only robbed Les BouleS of max money $120 mil, remmber....he also had a $65 mil contract prior to that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 3, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Ernie robbed the Wiz by giving Gil the 111Mil contract. That had to be a hard decision considering Gil had been amazing prior to surgery and no one thought his knee would require knee surgery. You're not right about anything...ever.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | February 3, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

MORE surgery

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | February 3, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that Ernie provided ZERO protection for the Wizard organization when he offered Gilbert a $127 million contract. No option-year for the org, no performance clauses, nothing to provide a modest amount of protection in the event that Gilbert's 2nd knee operation did not succeed. It was one of the worst NBA contract-offers EVER.

Posted by: closg | February 3, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I think many of those who are critical of Gilbert Arenas now, may forget exactly how good he actually was. At the height of his popularity, he was a marquee player in every sense of the word. Yes, it was a gamble for Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to sign him to such a huge contract. From what I understand, Abe Pollin was very instrumental in that process. As has been reported, Abe was fond of Gilbert and I suspect did not want to risk losing him to another suitor by lowballing him or engaging in hardball negotiations. Hence, the Wiz paid top dollar to retain his services -- and the rest is history...

Gilbert put the "fun" in "Fun Street". Not only was he plain fun to watch play basketball, he also was fun to root for. I, for one, was, and still am, a huge Gil fan. To me, he was a very likable Rod Strickland clone -- with a better jumper.

Had Gilbert returned to pre-injury form after re-signing, I'm pretty certain there would be very little critical discussion about the size of his contract. He would easily have been worth the value of his contract, IMHO. I'm sure Mr. Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld felt similarly. If foresight was hindsight, they surely would have elected to go in a different direction. It was a tough decision which didn't pan out, but I don't fault them for erring on the side of hopeful thinking. Most of us who are Gil fans were doing the same.

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | February 3, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Forgive the unnecessary bolding in above comment -- I attempted to bold just the word "marquee", but apparently erred in doing so.

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | February 3, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I get the feeling Gil is genuinely ashamed of himself for his actions the past couple years. He is no longer entertaining or in good spirits or lovably quirky. He just sits on the bench and says "oh well, Jameer is better than me and I think he should play as many minutes as he can" or some such defeatist garbage. I hate seeing him like this, scoring 4 points a night and looking sad all the time. I blame stupid Grunfeld.
----

gil couldn't even say good-bye to his kids, he was in such a hurry to leave when he heard he'd been traded. remember?

he hasn't looked sad the whole time he's been in orlando. he's had a good time, constantly joking with his teammates and the press. (he's also badmouthed the team, the Wiz fans, and the organization every chance he's had.)

don't believe me? check out the orlando papers.

no, he hasn't played well but he sure as heck hasn't looked sad. if he's ashamed, he sure hasn't shown that by his words or actions.

anyway, interesting game tonight, Miami vs. Orlando at 8.

Posted by: MinuMang | February 3, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Had Gilbert returned to pre-injury form after re-signing, I'm pretty certain there would be very little critical discussion about the size of his contract. He would easily have been worth the value of his contract
True
Injuries can't be predicted.
I think he'd a got the same $$ sdomwhere else if Abe didn't sign him.
We forget the kinda player he used to be.

Posted by: VBFan | February 3, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Had Gilbert returned to pre-injury form after re-signing, I'm pretty certain there would be very little critical discussion about the size of his contract.
Posted by: VBFan

Depends. If the team had continued to be stuck in the middle, and in particular if he had continued to not play defense, he would have been criticized. Just because it's the nature of the beast to criticize the marquee guy and the guy making the most money.

Posted by: ts35 | February 3, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

If it's available, tune in to Miami-Orlando. Gilbert's 2 of 4. But LeBron is putting on quite a show -- he's 10 of 10 with 6:14 left in the second quarter, for 25 points.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 3, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert has a perfectly valid point about his contract, however. If you live in a market-based economy, and there's some potential employer out there who's willing to pay you all out of proportion to your expectations, are you supposed to turn it down?

It would be positively un-American.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 3, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"Ernie robbed the Wiz by giving Gil the 111Mil contract. That had to be a hard decision considering Gil had been amazing prior to surgery and no one thought his knee would require knee surgery. You're not right about anything...ever.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | February 3, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse "

No one except for me. Gilby's reckless behavior was predictable. He's the cause for his own downfall, and I predicated it all along. Now he's gone. Good.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 3, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Given all that, when the Magic lose again and don't win the East or the championship, expensive players like Gilby will be shipped off and used as trade bait.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 3, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

It would be positively un-American.

I think we can take this beyond nationalism and even commitment to market based economics, purely human nature to take the money and run.

The story about the KC Royals pitcher Meche who turned down the final year of a guaranteed 12 million to retire is inexplicable to me.

Major sports athletes are payed too much, except of course in an insane market based economy. Their careers however are short, injury prone and inclined to end unexpectedly, so why not take the money?

Posted by: midlevex_ | February 3, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MinuMang | February 3, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"Now he's gone. Good"

How is it "Good". Our team isn't any better. The Wiz might even be worse off without him.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | February 3, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"How is it "Good". Our team isn't any better. The Wiz might even be worse off without him.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | February 3, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse "

This team ain't any better with him either. He was part of the away losing streak. That boat has sailed dude, let it go, or move to Orlando.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 3, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Max money baby!

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310203019

In all seriousness, I don't think Gilby is going to get over the hump down in O-town unless they get rid of Jameer Nelson and Gilby starts.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 3, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

@DCMAN_88

If you know so much, why is team the worse it's been in 20 years without Gilbert? Have not been anything to be right about. Pre and post Gilbert when was the last time this team made the playoff over the past 20 years?
As far as a max deal, if he hadn't gotten it here, he would have gotten it somewhere else,(Golden State had a similar offer on the table) and for the record, it wasn't a max deal that he took from the Wizards and how do you know Abe wasn't behind that deal while everyone blames EG?

Echoing Wizfan, you ain't ever right about shiggity!

Posted by: zack5 | February 4, 2011 2:10 AM | Report abuse

@DCMAN_88

If you know so much, why is team the worse it's been in 20 years without Gilbert? Have not been anything to be right about. Pre and post Gilbert when was the last time this team made the playoff over the past 20 years?

Posted by: zack5 | February 4, 2011 2:10 AM | Report abuse

UMMMM 20 years??? We've been the worst franchise in professional sports for 30+ years, so what's one more year. We made t-shirts for getting to the second round of the playoffs...

Starting over, getting young, and making strategic signings (hmmm, just like the caps who are now perennial contenders)is the way this team will get better. Even at gilbert's best he wasn't John Wall. Gilbert was a shoot first PG and he was the best at it pre-knee injury, but that only works in a princeton offense.

We actually have a player that makes everyone better, and if john wall had been surrounded by true professionals he would be averaging 12 Assists a game and he'd be a cusp all star player as a rookie.

We have the foundation now. We have a nice young center who has shown improvement. We have an elite PG. This is the first time in my 27 years of existence that we actually have building blocks. Not one or two flawed all stars that can get us to the 5th seed but not much else...

Look where we were last year at this time as a team. Terrible. Dis-functional. uninspired. Now all we have is Nick Young and Andray blatche who are terrible, dis-functional, and uninspired.

New Culture! Embrace It!

Posted by: vanllathunder | February 4, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

"if john wall had been surrounded by true professionals he would be averaging 12 Assists a game and he'd be a cusp all star player as a rookie."

I don't think any of the knowledgeable observers around the NBA expected Wall to turn this team around by himself. It wasn't just the weak talent; it was the sheer weight of the turnover. It's the wrong sort of situation for a rookie PG to learn on the job, but hey, them's the breaks.

Three things to work on this summer: the jump shot, of course, and pressure defense, but most importantly, strength and conditioning.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Watched the Heat-Magic game last night and it was the best thing possible for us. Heat were in control the whole way to the point where I thought SVG shouldve pulled his main guys with like 8min left and gave up but he kept them in and they fought so hard all the way to the end just to lose a tight one and Howard played 48min.

I see Flip going back to the McGee-Dray frontcourt. I still think Dray has slimmed down and will play really well from here on out. I think he can kill Anderson if we play right and they have no other backup big with Bass injuried. He should be our go to guy.

Booker has dissapeared the last couple of games with McGee's return and we still have some hope that Dray-McGee can be our frontcourt of the future so I say we will give them one more long look to know where we stand heading into the offseason.

Before last game I thought NY looked like the old NY in the previous 2 or 3 games. Chucking bad shots with blinders on but last game he played alot smarter again like he's done pretty much all year. He always plays well at home. Him vs Richardson will be classic.

Lewis will bring the energy against his former team and should play solid against his old friend Turk. I actually believe this game comes down to Gil. For some reason I really like us in this game. I think those 48min and the L will hurt Howard while I think Dray will beast in this game. I think we are motivated at home, will have the crowd behind us against Gil, and I think our guys will really want to beat Gil. I truly like us in this game.

The reason I said it comes down to Gil is because he has sucked since early on when he got there but over the last 2 games he's looked physically much better. He seems to have his burst back somewhat but he's struggling with trying to find a rythm while coming off the bench so late every game and then everyone on there team has the green light so he may hit 2 in a row and instead of getting it every time like he would here, he watches guys like Reddick & Anderson jackup shots with no consience.

He's not use to that yet. Still, he seems like he's trying to pick it up right before he got to this game so he could play well. Hopefully he is mentally weak again and comes out passive. I know Kirk will be aggressive on him defensivley. I think the crowd will boo more then applaud. Its one of those things where he could fold, play solid, or beast and it will inspire that team the rest of the year like the Heat did when they won at the Cavs. Should be an exicting game.

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Seraphin played Howard well last time so this may be a game for him. I wouldnt even be shocked if Flip started Seraphin over Mcgee & Booker but I think he goes with McGee 1st

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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