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News » Wizards' Tapscott tries to explain Arenas cover-up

Wizards' Tapscott tries to explain Arenas cover-up

Wizards' Tapscott tries to explain Arenas cover-up
WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott on Wednesday attempted to clarify the extent of injured star Gilbert Arenas' participation in practice - and the cover-up that went along with it.

The Wizards, at Arenas' request, had played coy after the three-time All-Star returned to practice last week. Then, in a sudden reversal befitting Agent Zero's confounding logic, Arenas decided he wanted the world to know. He told the Washington Post late Tuesday that he was practicing full-speed on his surgically repaired knee and was "running, jumping, dunking, feeling good."

Tapscott confirmed as much, saying Arenas has been doing "a few contact drills" and that "conditioning is a question." He added there remains no timetable for the return of Arenas, who has yet to play since signing a six-year, $111 million contract last summer.

"He's trying to do a little more each day," Tapscott said. "Just like everything for a very limited period. And now we'll judge how he responds."

Tapscott said he understood why Arenas wanted to keep the news quiet. Arenas' two previous attempts to return were failures, resulting in a total of three surgeries on the same knee over 18 months.

"I can understand not wanting to build up expectations of him that can't be fulfilled," Tapscott said. "He's in a tough position, having been out, and trying to work though this."

Yet now those very expectations have been raised by Arenas' comments to the Post, and the exposure of the cover-up put Tapscott in an uncomfortable position as he faced reporters before Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Asked if he had preferred that Arenas had not gone public, the coach said: "There are things you always wish you could have done better."

"When you can't go through the process quietly," said Tapscott, with an air of helplessness in his answer, "you go through the process publicly."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: February 26, 2009


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