Tag:Gilbert Arenas
Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:47 pm

Arenas' comments forced Leonsis to trade him?

Posted by Royce Young

Ted Leonsis went on record saying he didn't want to see Gilbert Arenas traded and that Arenas was part of the Wizards long term future.

And then Arenas was traded a few weeks later.

Most saw it as the usual NBA person says one thing and doesn't mean it story, but according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Leonsis really didn't want to see Arenas moved, until Arenas started talking.

The idea of trading Arenas was given a thumbs up after Leonsis became angry with some comments from the point guard. Lee writes: "A person with knowledge of the situation said Leonsis became upset after hearing that Arenas was telling those close to him that a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers would be his final game in a Wizards uniform and that he was likely headed to Orlando. The comment was a surprise to Leonsis, according to the source, because he was unaware of any trade discussions involving Arenas. Arenas played the next game, a loss in New Jersey, but was dealt two days later."

Honestly, I don't really get it. So Leonsis was upset because Arenas thought he was going to be traded? I'm sure he did because his name was associated with a ton of rumors and after the Wizards, you know, drafted John Wall, Arenas became expendable.

But maybe Leonsis was looking for a reason to move Arenas and he found it because of the comments. Who knows.

Arenas returns to Washington for the first time tonight as the Wizards host the Magic. Arenas was of course dealt to Orlando Dec. 18 for Rashard Lewis.

I'm sure there's no hard feelings on Arenas' side of things because he was very appreciative of the Wizards when he left. He had some good years there accompanied by some serious turmoil, but was always a fan favorite.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 4:37 pm

Weather among many things, affects Gilbert Arenas

Posted by Royce Young

Gilbert Arenas has a pretty substantial knee injury in 2007. And while he's fully recovered from it, sometimes it acts up on him. Some days, it's just tighter than others.

But why? The weather, that's why.

Arenas told the Orlando Sentinel, "Really high humidity and places that's cold, it gets in my joints. You know how they say, 'I know when it's going to rain'? Well, I know when it's raining. In Indiana, it was bad. The joint swells, so it stays stiff, so I can't really get the flexion that I need. But as soon as we landed here, it was fine."

There's nothing actually wrong in terms of structure with his knee but Arenas has said before that he has some arthritis in the joint. It's one of the reasons he lacks the same explosion he used to have.

Of course Orlando is classified as a warm and humid subtropical climate, so maybe it's not the ideal spot if humidity affects his knee. But surely it's better than the cold temperatures in Washington D.C. this time of year.

So if we've learned anything, Arenas probably doesn't ever want to play in Minnesota and if his knee had a preference, it would probably enjoy Phoenix where it's warm and dry. Kind of like every other older player that has health issues.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 6:58 pm

Magic release Jason Williams after he no-shows

Orlando Magic point guard Jason Williams deserted his team and has been released. Posted by Ben Golliver. jason-williams

Update (6:56 PM): So much for taking the patient approach. The Orlando Magic announced Wednesday afternoon that they had released Williams.

There are many ways that the NBA is unlike your job, but there is one crucial similarity: showing up matters.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Magic point guard Jason Williams has apparently not clocked in and not informed his bosses why he hasn't clocked in, and that's a big no-no even in the world of professional basketball. The Magic are currently on a road trip and Williams is not in attendance, leaving president Otis Smith a bit peeved.
"Well, he's not with the team. We'll deal with him when we get back to Orlando."
Asked if Williams has asked for his release, Smith said, "Not so much in those terms. You say his 'release,' we're not into giving guys their release. He signed a contract to play basketball for the Orlando Magic, and we're expecting him to uphold his end of that deal."

Asked if Williams is balking at his limited playing time or is facing a personal issue, Smith said, "From what I gather, he's facing more of a personal issue. I don't know if he wants more playing time. That was talked to him about before we signed him. When we signed him, we signed him as a third point guard. That didn't necessarily change."
Williams has barely played this season, and was further squeezed out of any chance at truly cracking the rotation when Smith traded for Gilbert Arenas. Barring another franchise-altering trade, Williams doesn't figure to see the court any time soon, given that he's behind starter Jameer Nelson, solid backup Chris Duhon and Arenas, unless there's a major injury (really, a series of injuries).

While his disappearing act is disappointing, his unhappiness is no great surprise as Williams mentioned earlier this season that he was considering leaving the game due to ongoing foot problems. 

So far, Smith has played a sticky situation spot on: Defuse the initial news, express his unhappiness with Williams' lack of professionalism and realize that he holds all the cards. Releasing Williams would be detrimental to Orlando's depth chart and a contender can't make a habit of doing professional favors for its scrubs in the thick of a hotly-contested playoff chase. 

The most important thing to result from the situation is to establish a clear conduct standard for the rest of the players. Williams has always been a bit of a loose cannon; he's not worth compromising your culture in any way from a basketball or locker room standpoint. Barring a remarkable explanation regarding the health/well-being of a close family member, a fine and possible short-term suspension without pay is in order. 

If Williams is truly ready to give up on his career, then there's not much Smith can do to prevent that. He will almost certainly regret a decision to leave the game come playoff time, and hopefully someone close to him is whispering that in Williams' ear right now, wherever he might be.
Posted on: January 25, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 4:54 pm

Andray Blatche blasts Wizards fans

Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche blasts off on Wizards fans. Posted by Ben Golliver. andray-blatche

Somebody call Kanye West: We've got a blame game going on in the nation's capital. 

First, Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders publicly called out forward Andray Blatche after the Wizards lost to the New York Knicks on Monday night. Saunders was quoted by CSNWashington.com as saying, "He was terrible, he was bad.  He was bad.  He didn't look like he had energy or something. He didn't have it.  When you're a quote-unquote go-to guy you can't have those kind of games.  You gotta get some energy and find a way to produce."

OK, the in-over-his-head coach of a team that just lost its 21st consecutive road game of the season blames his knucklehead go-to player. Not really the most productive course of action, but it's at least somewhat sensical, as Blatche went 2-10 in 28 minutes to finish with six points and five rebounds.

On Tuesday, however, SBNation DC quotes from a 106.7 FM rant that Blatche handled the pressure about as poorly as you could imagine, making three excuses for his poor play in one sentence -- he's ill, he has a shoulder injury and he has a knee injury -- before going on to say that he wasn't going to make any excuses. From there, the inane turned into the regrettable, as Blatche blasted off on Wizards fans, who he believes are disloyal, citing former teammates Gilbert Arenas as a trusted reference.
That caused him to share a conversation he had with Gilbert Arenas, in which the mercurial, divisive outgoing star told him 'You're next.'
"We had a discussion, and this is what he said to me. 'Just as fast as they turned on me, it's going to happen to you.' I took it as a joke, but I actually see what he's talking about. Everybody is looking for someone to blame, and I feel like I'm turning into that person just like Gil."

"If you're a Wizards fan, that means you cheer for everybody. That doesn't mean you'll come to a game and you shout 'Trade him!' If you're part of a Wizards organization fan group, that means you cheer for the team."
Blatche's understanding of the basketball fan is both completely wrong and condescending, as he apparently believes the general basketball-viewing public is made up of money-spending robots that should not concern themselves with matters of performance. And let's not forget character or civil decency, as Blatche put a black mark on his entire organization by fighting with teammate JaVale McGee at a nightclub on Christmas Eve and long-ago attempted a tryst with a lady of the night.

If Wizards fans weren't already shouting "Trade him!" they should be now. That is, if only anyone in the league would touch him. Blatche is unintentionally wise to compare himself with Arenas: he's another player standing in the way of John Wall's greatness who will wind up being very, very difficult to dump. 

As for Saunders, he's probably frustrated and at his wit's end, but he clearly applied more pressure than Blatche was capable of bearing. Throwing a player to the media wolves will only delay the inevitable for Saunders, who will surely take plenty of Heat himself before season's end.

The entire scene makes you feel bad for Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, as media-savvy and fan-friendly as NBA owners get. If I'm Leonsis, I'm looking at both Saunders and Blatche this week thinking, "Man, I can definitely do better than this."
Posted on: January 17, 2011 9:01 am

Shootaround 1.17.11: Salute, MLK

Posted by Royce Young
  • Ken Berger has some great new insight and info on the Melodrama: "The best move now? That would be for Anthony to inform Ujiri and Kroenke to cool it with the trade talks -- and that he will wait until the end of the season to address the extension. Under the current rules, Anthony can re-sign with the Nuggets any time before July 1. Once the season is over, Anthony could be moved in an extend-and-trade all the way up to July 1, as well."
  • Gregg Popovich said James Anderson will return in Austin: "This coming week, he's going to be going one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, that kind of thing, so he'll have his first contact. The end of the week, or some time the following week, he'll go down to the D-League to play for a while, so he's a couple of weeks away from coming back to us, probably towards the end of the month."
  • Otis Smith is a little worried about Dwight Howard's option: "I'd be crazy if I didn't. Of course. At end of day, I think he wants to stay here and wants to win here. But with so many marquee guys moving, it's kind of hard for me not to have any angst about it."
Posted on: January 12, 2011 2:11 pm

Arenas did Nick Young another favor - got traded

Posted by Royce Young

During the preseason, a bearded Gilbert Arenas famously faked an injury so then teammate Nick Young could get a start for the Wizards and show off some of his talent.

And Young did. He dropped 24 and hit seven shots from 3. It was a chivalrous move by Arenas and something he took a lot of Heat for, but something I'm sure Young greatly appreciated.

But Arenas did Young an even bigger favor. He got traded to Orlando.

Young is now firmly in Washington's starting five and he's making the most of it. Tuesday against the Kings, Young scored a career-high 43, including 18 in the third quarter. After his explosion against Sacramento last night in which took a bow at the buzzer, Arenas sent his buddy a text. It said, "You learned from the master."

Young said the Arenas trade hit him pretty hard because over the past few years, the two had formed a pretty solid bond. They had become friends and Young looked up to Arenas in more ways than one. Not only was Arenas faking injuries for Young, but when they were in the game at the same time, Arenas would call plays for Young.

"He kind of took me in," Young said after Arenas was traded. "He's like a brother to me." 

The first game after Arenas was traded, Young and the Wizards hosted the Heat. Young dropped a then career-high 30 points and held Dwyane Wade to just 7-19 shooting. While Young was upset because his best friend on the team was gone, he was finally getting a real chance to show what he could do. And this time, not in a preseason game that nobody was watching.

On the season, Young's averaging 15.9 points per game and is hitting 41 percent from 3.

But since he's been starting, he averaged 18.3 ppg in December and so far in five games for January, he's putting up 22.2 points a night. He's gone from decent bench player to potential a building block for the Wizards.

Young fits in really well with John Wall in the backcourt as a good spot-up shooter and someone athletic enough to attack the rim off the dribble. Young has good size (6-7) and can really play three positions. If these past few weeks aren't just a hot streak or a fluke, Washington could be looking at a pretty good future backcourt between Wall and Young.

Thing is though, we've seen this type of thing happen in Washington before. After Antwan Jamison was traded last season to Cleveland, Andray Blatche finally got a chance to start full-time. He made the most of the opportunity, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds over the last three months of the season. But because of a foot injury and potentially a sub-par work ethic, Blatche has been disappointing this season.

Will that same fate hit Young? Hopefully not. Like I said, he's got the tools to be a legit starting 2-guard in this league. And right now, he's got the confidence. Two very important things for a young player trying to find his way.

The Wizards need a scorer badly to supplement Wall. Just like Derrick Rose in Chicago, while Wall is a nice scoring point guard, he's there to create and distribute for teammates. He can't do it all alone. So with Young, plus Blatche (when he's actually in shape and focused) and JaVale McGee who's an athletic freak, the Wizards have a nice little core to build around. Most didn't see Young as part of that but because of Arenas' departure, the door has been opened. And just like the preseason game, all Arenas had to do was give Young a chance.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:31 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 11:23 am

Bourré alternatives for players to avoid trouble

After O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen scuffle on a team flight, we wonder what other games might best replace Bourré on chartered flights to prevent future incidents. 
Posted by Matt Moore with contributions from Ben Golliver and Royce Young

Ken Berger lays out the case for the NBA to abolish gambling on NBA charter flights, an age old tradition. Berger's right to point out that as long as gambling is allowed on planes, these kinds of disputes are going to continue. But in our efforts to take a pragmatic step towards eliminating conflicts over these games, perhaps we should move the gambling to an alternative contest. And so, we present a series of games that may best replace Bourré as the game of choice for NBA rounders. Our scale will be on one-to-five Tony Allen punches, with one being very unlikely to lead to suspensions, and five being very likely to lead to suspensions.

The Culprit: Bourré

The object of Bourré is to take a majority of the tricks in each hand and thereby claim the money in the pot. If a player cannot take a majority of tricks, their secondary goal is to keep from bourréing, or taking no tricks at all. A bourré usually comes at a high penalty, such as matching the amount of money in the pot.
via Bourré - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

So you've got a trick game, which is problematic in and of itself, combined with a "must play to win" element and the possibility of significant loss of money with the bourré. See, that's just not a game you want involved with guys amped up on testosterone and dealing with competitive natures on a plane with significant money involved. You're asking for trouble. This game is not well suited for NBA players. It's got the ability to have exponential pots.  It's got to go.

Rating: Five Tony Allen punches

The Team-Builder: Go Fish!

Go Fish is competitive and can lead to taunting, sure. "So, do you  have any threes, Gilbert? Oh, I guess only in practice!" But it also lets you learn about one another's mindset "Who always asks for face cards?" and teaches giving. And it reinforces the idea that you should have nothing left at the end of the game. Throw in the fact that it relies on the honor system, and you've got a terrific option for NBA players or  their seven-year-old children.

Rating: One Tony Allen punch

The Mind Game: Bluff

Also known by another less kid-friendly name involving a male cow, Bluff is a wonderful game for learning about your teammates. Being able to determine when your teammate is lying, what his tells are, will help you understand his body language in game. With limited capacities for gambling fit in, the game can look ideal. But it also encourages lying to your teammates, deception, and challenging one another on the premise that you feel they are dishonest. Not exactly encouraging of a friendly environment.

Rating: Three Tony Allen punches

The Life-Skill Teacher: Monopoly

NBA players too often have their own ideas about spending their money and are too often misguided. The classic game with the creepy Mike D'Antoni character as the mascot would do wonders for learning how to manage your assets. It reinforces that the priciest assets aren't always the most valuable, that efficiency is valued over excess, and that energy is important. Unfortunately, it also reinforces the idea that if you have the right piece of paper, you can get out of prison, and that money is the end of everything. There are some ups and downs here.

Rating: Three Tony Allen punches

The Allegory: Hungry Hungry Hippos

Buys into the competitiveness while combining it with a sense of whimsy.  Reinforces the idea of always being active and consistently finishing through the end of the game. Exceedingly difficult to gamble on. Game not well suited for players' hands. Also difficult to steady on charter flight in turbulence. Also teaches that he who consumes the most is best, not great for sharing instincts. 

Rating: Two Tony Allen punches

The Greater Game: Chess

Teaches total team effort. Encourages critical thinking. Reinforces team concept. Difficult to gamble on in a group setting unless you get into a prop bet situation. Can breed competitive nature and trash talk, though. Chess is a high-minded game and the kind of thing coaches like Phil Jackson would want his players to play. It's also boring as all get out to watch and difficult to play.

Rating: Two Tony Allen punches

The Tough Guys: Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Reinforces competitive spirit without endangering anyone, allows for release of tension and embraces violent tendencies without any long-term harm. Difficult to bet on due to arbitrary nature of robots. Focuses on possibility of injury and why punching each other can be dangerous. Kevin Garnett would have to figure out a way to have the robots retreat after the first punch, but all in all, a great option.

Rating: One Tony Allen punch

Leave your best ideas in the comments or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba and we'll post the results tomorrow.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 3:28 pm

Grizzlies ban gambling on team flights

Posted by Royce Young

Following the Gilbert-Javaris Crittenton showdown in 2009 over a card game, a lot of teams saw the writing on the wall and banned gambling on team charters. The Grizzlies evidently did not.

This reared its ugly head in a fight between O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen last Sunday on the team plane as first reported by our Gary Parrish.

So naturally, the Grizzlies got the message it looks like. ESPN.com reported the team was considering banning gambling on flights and Rudy Gay said on Jim Rome's radio show that the team in fact did put a stop to gambling on the plane.

The league is not going to mandate the action and apparently will not take action against the players, keeping this an internal team matter. The Grizzlies already put out a press release following the incident saying the issue was closed.

The Grizzlies will get on a flight for the next time Friday as they head to Oklahoma City for a game Saturday. It doesn't sound like anyone will be playing any Boo-Ray on that charter which hopefully means nobody will be punching anyone in the face either.
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