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News » Washington Wizards Getting Inside 2009-09-19

Washington Wizards Getting Inside 2009-09-19

Washington Wizards Getting Inside 2009-09-19You know that Gilbert Arenas is getting back in form when things that shouldn't be slipping out of his mouth are flying all over the place.

Such was the case in a recent Washington Times story. Arenas, who boycotted the media after missing the better part of a second consecutive season because of knee surgery, blamed the Wizards for allowing him to come back too soon from a third surgery.

The Wizards had previously awarded him a generous, $111 million contract. The team's front office has long since given up trying to tell Arenas what he should and should not do because he tunes those voices out anyway.

Arenas asserted that the Wizards needed to hold him back, to keep him from playing. This is not a problem that other teams have with their star players: Most take the advice of the medical staff and follow it.

Arenas, however, does not.

"If you have a kid that loves basketball, that eats, sleeps, drinks and thinks basketball and all he knows is basketball and he gets hurt and he's your franchise player, you need to hold him back from himself," Arenas told the Times. "If I'm saying I feel good and you know it's supposed to take six months, instead of letting me at four months run ... they should have held me back. Rather than saying, 'Let's let this guy do what he wants and use him to sell tickets,' sometimes you have to protect players from themselves. I don't feel like I got that type of protection."

This is the type of thinking that no doubt prompted new coach Flip Saunders to spend more time with the one-time All-Star than with any of the other players. In just a few weeks, we'll get a chance to see if the bond Saunders and Arenas forged will hold up when things get testy during the season.

Since Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld tied his horse to Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler back in 2005, they have started together in just 115 of a possible 328 games. Together they have won almost 60 percent of those games, not a bad clip at all. But the problem is that the team is running out of time.

"This is a business, and because of that you can't continue to stay in that wishful-thinking mode," said one Eastern Conference scout, speaking anonymously. "Those guys could be damn good together; we already know that. But at what point do you look at them and say, 'It might never happen'? They are at that point right now."

"It's an important year for us, no question," Jamison said earlier this summer. "This is the NBA. Nobody is going to have any pity on you. With that said, it's time for us to make a move in the division. The time for us is now."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 19, 2009


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