Tag:Flip Saunders
Posted on: November 24, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 8:38 pm

Shootaround 11.24.10: Winners and losers

People trying to keep LeBron out of the All-Star Game, Jarrett Jack doubts the Heat, Durant and Beasley as young guns, and T-Will is out of sight, out of mind, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • There's a movement afoot specifically to keep LeBron James out of the All-Star Game. It's things like this that trot the fine line at the nexus of funny, pathetic, and mean. Props for the idea, but just because you don't like a guy's ego, is that really reason to sully a system to honor play that's been in place for decades? And this is all beyond the fact that it would take coaches about forty five seconds to select him as a reserve and then all of a sudden the person atually voted in would have a hamstring injury.
  • Terrence Williams looked like a star in the making last year. Now he's been suspended for two games for "violations of team policy" whle Avery Johnson is talking about him "not getting" it. A perfect example of how a coaching change can dramtically alter a player's forecast. Meanwhile, if Williams is on the block, the Grizzlies and Bulls should both be on the horn to see if they can grab him at a bargain bin price.
  • Jarrett Jack, a winner his whole career except for when he wasn't winning, which was most of his career, is already ready to pack it in on the Heat, saying their failure could curtail others from going the superstar route. In other news, Jack put the cart before the horse and said "Done!" before walking off. The Hornets are 0-1 since Jack arrived, clearly indicating he's not a winner. See what I did there? You see? Because he said ...
  • Spurs fans were joking about Ime Udoka being signed last week, and now it has happened . Still bizarre they thought Udoka was more valuable than Gee.
  • Flip Saunders, getting digs in on Doug Collins. Better hurry to get them in, he may not be around long.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:05 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Wiz coach Flip Saunders flips out at practice

Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders walked out of practice today, disgusted with the team's effort. Posted by Ben Golliverflip-saunders Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders has always had that "trying too hard" swag about him. Always a little too emotional -- too high or too low -- without much to show for the roller coaster ride.  Saunders was reportedly at it again on Monday, according to the Washington Post, stomping out of his team's morning practice after criticizing the group's effort and then demanding the team return for an afternoon practice.
With about 30 minutes still scheduled before practice ended, Saunders got up from his chair on the main court at Verizon Center and stormed to the locker room, shouting, "If you want to get better. Come back at 4."
Saunders forced his team to practice twice, something he said he has done once or twice a year with previous teams.
"It's frustration when you lost games that are winnable, and you're in a situation where you've been outrebounded over the last three, four games by 12 and you're averaging 20 turnovers a game," Saunders said. "You would think that you'd come into a practice - especially with a young team - with a sense of urgency. Come in to learn, to be very detail oriented, to get in, get out, get what you need to get done and get better. I didn't think we had the right frame of mind."

Flip's flip-out in this case is somewhat understandable, given how pathetic the Wizards' front line has been on the boards. For an NBA coach, watching your team give up second-chance points is as fun as making out with Dick Bavetta or jamming ice picks in your eyeball. 

But it's important for Saunders to see the bigger picture here, lest he wind up like P.J. Carlesimo. Carlesimo, a true screamer, got so caught up in short-term micromanaging during Kevin Durant's rookie season that he played KD out of position and wound up with nothing to show for it, getting canned in favor of the lower-key Scott Brooks, who promptly oversaw Durant's emergence and the evolution of the Oklahoma City Thunder into a playoff team.  The "serenity now" mantra for Saunders, assuming he wants to stick in Washington for the long haul, should be, "John Wall is your point guard. John Wall is your point guard. John Wall is your point guard." At this point, nothing else matters. No one expects big things from the talent-deficient Wizards this season, and the team would be best served trading off as many knuckleheads as possible -- Nick Young, I'm looking at you -- as quickly as possible. The sooner Wall has mature, talented teammates, the sooner Saunders will be able to really do some teaching in practice. Until then, it's all hot air and wasted breath, a media stunt that accomplishes nothing.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:44 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 12:46 pm

NBA F&R Podcast: Michael Lee on the Wizards

Michael Lee of the Washington Post checks in on how Arenas and Saunders are getting along, John Wall's influence, and if the Wizards are a playoff team.  Posted by Matt Moore

Michael Lee has seen quite a bit. He followed a terrible Hawks team before joining the Washington Post to cover the Wizards. After a stint covering the league on a national level, he was called back to the beat for the Wizards. This year, the Wizards come off of one of the most traumatic seasons in NBA history. But hope springs eternal with John Wall in town, even as Gilbert Arenas continues his goofy antics. Lee spoke to us about the relationship between Saunders and Arenas, about John Wall's leadership and the trust the team has in him, and if the Wizards can contend for the playoffs this season. 
Michael Lee covers the Wizards for the Washington Post. You can find him on Twitter at @MrMichaelLee.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:53 am
Edited on: October 17, 2010 3:19 pm

Gilbert Arenas's fine is a drop in the bucket

Arenas fined $50,000 by league for faking injury
Posted by Matt Moore

Gilbert Arenas has paid his debt to society after spending a month in a detention center earlier this year following his sentencing for felony gun possession. Now apparently he's decided to start working on paying his debt to the league, since he keeps finding inventive ways to send them dough.

The Wizards fined Arenas $50,000 for lying to Flip Saunders about an injury in order to get more time for Nick Young on the floor. It's a pretty healthy chunk of change. And it's not the first or last time Arenas has shelled out some dough to the league.

In 2009, Arenas was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media during the preseason. Prior to that he was fined $7,500 for criticizing offiicials. And, you know, all the court fees, lawyer fees, and dough lost during his suspension last season. Add all that up and it's enough to take a huge.... nothing out of his income. Arenas makes $216,227 per game this season. Subtract all the mone he's paid in fines over the past three years from his first paycheck this year and he'd still have over $133,000 to buy all the gold-plated guns he wants.

And that's got to partially be why Arenas fails to change his behavior. Sure, you'd expect maturity, or maybe even simple deductive logic to take some sort of effect, but I think we can agree that ship has sailed. In the meantime, only punitive efforts can hope to alter his behavior, and, well, they're not getting the job done. This isn't to say that Arenas needs to be fined more, or have any harsher punishments handed down. What he did simply wasn't a big deal. But if we wonder why Arenas fails to take anything seriously, why he acts petulant and immature regarding all of these public relations disaster and his lone criminal act which was very much dangerous to himself and others, perhaps it's that vantage point of perspective that he's incapable of reaching. No matter what's happened to him, his life isn't very much different. He gets paid, still, and while losing last year's salary was surely a blow, he is making $17 million this season, which probably makes the recovery path a bit easier.

$50,000 is a stiff slap on the wrist from the Wizards, and yet it's a drop in the bucket, just as this latest silly act was a drop in the bucket of his facepalm-worthy moments.

This is Arenas. And he isn't changing. And all the fines won't even make him blink. Unless, you know, the owners manage to make contracts non-guaranteed. But then we'll have bigger issues because hell will have frozen over.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:48 pm

Gilbert Arenas fined by Wizards for faking injury

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas has reportedly been fined by the team for comments he made about faking an injury on Tuesday night.

Posted by Ben Golliver Last night we noted more sophomoric insanity from Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, who let reporters know after the team's preseason winover the Atlanta Hawks that he had told Wizards teammate Nick Young that he would fake an injury so that Young could see more playing time. Arenas reportedly told Wizards head coach Flip Saunders that he had knee soreness and wouldn't play. Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner reports on Twitter that, at Wizards practice Wednesday, Arenas "admitted to lying to Saunders about his knee." Cindy Boren of the Washington Post also notes that Arenas "has apologized for faking a knee injury." SB Nation's Mike Prada reports on Twitter that Saunders took to Washington, DC's ESPN radio affiliate on Wednesday to call Arenas's injury excuse "unjustified" and to say that Arenas had been fined by the team for his remarks. Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post confirms the fine on Twitter as well. Now, if only Saunders could fine some sense into him. I'll show myself out.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 4:45 am

Arenas may or may not have faked injury for Young

Wizards guard tells reporters he faked an injury to give younger player playing time. Posted by Matt Moore

Part of the collateral damage of Gilbert Arenas' complete and total public image meltdown over the past 12 months has been the perception of him as a leader. He went from being the kooky but lovable best-player-on-the-team and presumed captain o' swagger to being an immature attention hog with no respect for his teammates or himself. This year he's shown up a changed man, ditching the smiles, saying he's cutting the beard, and talking constantly about it being John Wall's team. He's shown a legitimate commitment to the idea of sacrifice.

Maybe too much.

TruthAboutIt.Net (our winner for Tuesday night's Blog o' the Evening) reports tonight of some comments from Arenas that may wind up putting him in hot water . Before the game, Arenas was announced as out with some soreness in his leg. No biggie, happens all the time. Nick Young took his place and dropped 24, which is great for the youngster who's struggled through most of his career.

Story over, right?

Except not.

Post-game, Arenas told reporters:
“Yea, I told him I’d sacrifice playing tonight so he’d get some time. Because I know he’s kinda frustrated not getting a chance to crank it up at the three position, especially since we’re going three guards. So I told him I’d fake an injury or say something’s wrong with me. So that’s why he said sacrifice.”



Now, in the video over at TruthAboutIt.Net, Arenas has a smile on his face when he tells this to reporters. Maybe he was kidding. Maybe he was jerking their chain, in order to create posts remarkably like, oh, say, this one. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Gilbert Arenas really was hurt and decided to say this because everyone might flip out about it.

Or, you know, he may have actually lied to his coach, faked an injury, and disrupted the coach's plan for the team all because he thought he was doing something nice for a younger player. Both of these scenarios are completely possible. That's what happens when you're Gilbert Arenas. If Arenas is telling the truth and he did fake an injury, that's not going to sit well with Flip Saunders. As TAI author Kyle Weidie discusses, Saunders actually spoke up in defense of Arenas post-game. To mess with Saunders and his plans for the team in that way would be not only irresponsible, but disruptive. And not at all cool.

This could be nothing, it could be something, and we won't really know until reporters are baited into asking Saunders about it in the morning. By then, Saunders could have talked it out with Arenas and come up with reasonable cover,which could also conveniently be the truth. The truth...ahem, about it... is that there are two possibilities here. Either Arenas is actually pulling stunts like this, which would reflect a blatant disregard for authority, or he's kidding about that, which is only going to lead to questions for Flip Saunders, which shows a gaping lack of maturity.

Welcome to the puzzle that is Gilbert Arenas, still, to this day. Have fun figuring it out.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 4:49 pm

Rookie Wall leading Wizards as captain

Wizards rookie already taking reins as captain as team heads toward regular season.
Posted by Matt Moore

Can you teach leadership? The jury's still out, you have to think. There have been many players that have grown into being leaders after bouts with immaturity of sheepishness, and some players just never get it, despite the attention paid to them by coaches on the matter. But some players, at least, do get it right away. One such player is John Wall.

The prodigal point guard has already claimed captain status on the Wizards alongside Kirk Hinrich. And boy, if that isn't opposite sides of the coin. Wizards blog TruthAboutIt.Net has the scoop :

On Monday afternoon, when I asked Flip Saunders who had arisen to fill the team captain position(s) this year, he sounded pretty confident that 20-year old John Wall and soon-to-be 30-year old Kirk Hinrich would be his men. “Right now we’ve gone with Hinich and Wall. Those are the two guys, at this point, that have shown leadership through camp. So that’s where we’re at right now,” said the coach.

So you've got a 20 year old kid who has come in and been vocal enough to be a leader on a squad filled with NBA veterans, all while showcasing explosive athletic ability and tremendous vision at the most pivotal position in the sport. Yeah, I'd say that whole lottery thing worked out pretty well this year for the Wizards. Weidie at TruthAboutIt.Net went on to ask Saunders about Gilbert Arenas. You know, the former All-Star veteran who you'd hope has taken a forceful voice in practices in order to make up for the time he missed last year and repair his significantly damaged reputation:

“We just haven’t really talked,” said Saunders. “Those two guys have been our two most vocal guys and our two guys that have shown leadership.”

Well, then. That's unfortunate, though not unexpected.

Back to Wall, it's things like this that make you believe this kid could have a higher learning curve than even his Calipari-bred predecessors in Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. In fact, Wall may be the most cerebral point guard to come out of the top five since Chris Paul. All with excellent instincts, athleticism, and vision. Now if he could just get that jumper wet...
Posted on: September 8, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 9:50 pm

Pop Quiz: Which coach is on the hot seat?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Which coach has the hottest seat going into the season?

Scott Brooks.

No kidding, you have to put Scott Brooks on this list. Even though he's been instrumental in taking a team with nothing but young players and turning them into a playoff team that looks every bit ready to challenge for a Western Conference title, Brooks has to be on this list. Why? Because he was so good last year he won the career death sentence: the Coach of the Year award. Let's take a look at the previous winners, shall we?

Mike Brown: canned.

Byron Scott: deleted.

Sam Mitchell: terminated.

Avery Johnson: gonezo.

Yeesh. Watch your back, Scottie.

Okay, besides the superstition, who's actually in danger of losing their gig this year? Here are four candidates.

Jay Triano: It's been stunning how Triano has managed to avoid harsh criticism for his squad's performance which helped lead to Chris Bosh's departure without so much as a consideration for staying in Toronto. Brian Colangelo takes all the blame for constructing a spineless defensive team with too many inconsistencies offensively, despite acquiring Amir Johnson and Reggie Evans and being willing to spend for Hedo Turkoglu (who despite all his problems, was a legit quality free agent last summer). Yet Triano's team wound up with the worst defensive marks in the league, falling out of the playoffs down the stretch, and he walked away largely unscathed. Now the Raptors are suffering with a significant lack of talent, and often, guys who underperformed with talent end up getting removed when they actually have good reasons for underperforming... much like Triano faces this season.

John Kuester: The offensive wiz of a team now considered to be one of the greater disappointments of the last decade had a rough opening season. Injuries and subpar play from their big free agents (which most people saw coming outside of the Pistons, though not to the degree) played a part, but this is a cold hearted business that very rarely provides reasonable responses to legitimate causes for losing. If Kuester can't get the Pistons turned around with that payroll, his reputation may not spare him from the axe of Joe Dumars.

Flip Saunders: If anyone in the entire league has an excuse for struggling through two seasons, it's got to be Saunders. Saunders was at the helm for one of the most disastrous seasons in league history last year, and had to preside over the meltdown, grin, and bear it as all his talent was shipped out in a rebuilding plan. John Wall was a Godsend, but Saunders has to deal with re-integrating Gilbert Arenas, containing the combustible Andray Blatche, and trying to move the franchise forward with John Wall. Throw in new majority ownership from Ted Leonsis, and Saunders may have too much stacked against him to survive a poor start, fair or not.

Jim O'Brien: Larry Bird has committed to O'Brien, has stayed by his side, and recently gave him a vote of confidence. But he's in the last year of his deal, which makes letting him go much easier to swallow. On top of that, the questions about talent are no longer going to valid this year. The Pacers now feature a legit center in Roy Hibbert, a legit star forward in Danny Granger, and a star point guard in Darren Collison. If O'Brien can't make this team work in a thin Eastern Conference, with at least some improvement, Bird may run out of patience for him.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com