Gilbert Arenas has had quite a whirlwind of events in the last two years or so and it just doesn’t stop with him. Arenas has dealt with a number of injuries recently, he brought guns into the locker room, and now he fakes an injury to help out one of his teammates? Now, maybe he’s not the only one in the NBA that has faked an injury to not play in the preseason, but he’s the only one dumb enough to actually admit it and let the team find out about it.
It looked like the Wizards were heading in the right direction and the future was getting brighter. After all, they got the first pick in the draft and were able to land the new face of their franchise with John Wall, but when you have knuckleheads like Agent Zero on the roster and there continue to be distractions like this, it’s tough to move forward until finally cutting ties with him.
Flip Saunders joined ESPN Radio 980 in DC with the Sports Fix to talk about the comments Gilbert Arenas made about faking an injury to help Nick Young get playing time, whether or not this is an ongoing issue with Arenas, whether or not he actually is dealing with an injury that can last, and what he thinks of John Wall so far in preseason.
On the comments Gilbert Arenas made about faking an injury:
“One, that’s not totally true. I talked to Gilbert at shootaround, he said his knee was sore, and I told him at that point that he was not going to play. Whatever comments beyond that that Gilbert made, those are untrue comments. He might think that and I know he’s very close to Nick and that, but as I told him and the rest of our team, those guys don’t determine even if Gilbert doesn’t play, who does play. That’s what I do as far as determine. We’ve dealt with it internally, Gilbert is going to be fined for it, and we move on.”
On constantly having to deal with this kind of stuff with Gilbert Arenas:
“I don’t know if it’s a twice a month basis. As I said last night, believe it or not, Gilbert has been in my two years here, coaching wise, he’s been the easiest guy that I’ve had to coach. From when I ask him to do something, he has done everything I’ve asked him to do from a players standpoint. Gilbert can be his own worst enemy as far as talking too much and I really believe this, he looks at himself as being Nick’s mentor. He likes to see Nick do good, but for him to make those comments, those are unjustified type comments.”
On whether or not his knee injury is going to linger for much of the season:
“I can’t answer that. I will tell you that in two weeks. Here’s what you have to understand when you’ve had a player, no matter who it is, that has had two or three knee injuries, surgeries, and he hasn’t played very many games in four years, you do have days where they can’t operate at a very high function. The other reason was, if you talked to anyone that has been to our last two practices prior to yesterday, we probably had our two longest practices that we’ve had all preseason and we had other guys that were sore. That’s why I said I really had no question. I went to the game last night and the first time that I heard about the comments, someone texted me around 12:30 at night. So that was more of a surprise to me as it was anybody.”
On John Wall’s play this preseason:
“Hes a lot of what we thought he was going to be from the standpoint of being a very dynamic player. He definitely has spurts where he plays at an extremely, unbelievably high level. He’s still learning how to run a team, learning tempo of the game and who to get the ball to and that. He’s definitely a pass first type of point guard which I think is extremely positive. I think he has a chance the way he plays, his aggressiveness offensively, and his intensity defensively to change maybe how people look at the prototype type of point guard.”