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Gilbert Arenas Is A Bit Perturbed

Well, here’s some drama to mix into an otherwise smooth Team USA ride. Gilbert Arenas says that the “groin injury” that caused him to be removed from the USA’s roster was an excuse so he’d avoid the humiliation of being cut. Some quotes from a Washington Post article

“They already knew what they wanted. They said it was a tryout, but they already had their team selected.”

“No joke, I felt like I was the 16th man on a 15-man roster. You are there to support your team and support your country and be happy to play but you know, I did everything they wanted me to do; but if I did everything they wanted me to do, why am I on the bubble of getting cut? I sacrificed. You’ve got LeBron being LeBron. You’ve got Carmelo being Carmelo. You’ve got D-Wade being D-Wade. Why can’t I be me? Why do I have to transform? I did that and now you are going to cut me?”

“The disappointing part was talking to Colangelo and he said, ‘I heard you want to go home,’. I told him that I was hurt but I didn’t know how serious it was and that I didn’t want to hold up a spot for somebody else. He told me, ‘I’ve been talking to the coaches and you’re on the bubble anyway, so you can go if you want.’ I was like, all right.”

And he’s also got some vitriol stored up for Team USA assistant coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.

“I’m going to be the silent assassin this year. I can’t wait to play the Suns and Portland. Against Portland, Nate McMillan, I’m going to try to score 100 in two games and against D’Antoni, I’m going to score 100 in two games. I’m going to try.”

On a certain level, I feel for the guy. He wanted to be on the team, probably worse than anyone else, and he busted his ass to prepare. But in some of these quotes, you can see why he didn’t fit.

Some of these comments are all over the place. If he felt like the team was made up before anyone even got to camp, then that’s a legitimate beef. But the rest of the stuff… I don’t know. Its so scattered.

First, he complains about having to change his game, and then says he did change it, but was cut anyway. I’d suggest that if you’re complaining about it in the first place, that you’re not going to suddenly change your ways. And if you’re complaining about it at all, why is he even invited? I’m sorry, but we’re stocked at the superstar position. If you’re not OK with that, go home. No hard feelings, just take the summer off and relax.

Of course, the other issue is asking superstarts to become role players, when we could just invite role players to begin with … but that’s for another time.

The exchange with Colangelo, in my opinion, doesn’t really flatter Gilbert, either. If I’m in Colangelo’s position, and a player says to me, for any reason, “…but I don’t want to hold up a spot for someone else,” then I’m probably going to send them home. If the injury was one that could be played through, tell him it’s fine, and then go prove it. Fight for your spot. If I heard a half-hearted response like that, I’d have done the same thing.

And the thing about revenge on D’Antoni and McMillan … that’s just kind of sad. “I still love Team USA, and I want to be a part of it, and I’m rooting for them, but you know, I want revenge on the assistant coaches, too.” That’s probably not the best attitude to take. Nor is it something you should go public with.

I love you, Gilbert, but you’re confusing me here.


  1. It’s obvious Awvee Storey made him say those contradictory things. Very obvious.

  2. First: I love Gilbert. I’m a die hard Wizards fan and watching him in person I would rate him as one of the top five scorers in the league.

    The hard truth of it is that he’s not at that James, Wade, Carmelo superstar level. If you’ve got a guy like Jerry Colangelo running the team and your teammates have that kind of star power you’ve got to fall in line. Its not as if he wasn’t replaceable, on a team stacked with scorers you’ve got to do more than show up and be enthusiastic. He never showed himself to be indispensable, and as sad as I am to see him go I’m not surprised.

  3. The Bird The Bird

    Gilbert has always been a bit of a head case, but man can he play ball. His frequently uses the notion that he has been shortchanged as motivation. He did when no one recruited him except Arizona, he did when he went in the second round of the draft instead of the first, and he is now. While he can come off as immature at times, I love the guy.

  4. Tony Tony

    I would hate to be his teammate when they play Portland and Phoenix.

    Truthfully, Arenas is overrated. The only area he truly excels is scoring. He’s not a willing passer, doesn’t fight for rebounds, and plays shitty defense.

  5. aussiehoya aussiehoya

    gilber (without the ‘t’) is not overrated. that series with cleveland this past playoffs against lebron was one of the most entertaining superstar clashes in recent memory.

    plus – i’m pretty sure his teammates have recognized how clutch he is and love him for it.

    i like gilber because he doesn’t hold anything back in the press.

    completely agree with mjd’s post on this recent outburst though.

  6. Joel Joel

    Can’t wait to see FreeDarko turn this into a racially motivated 4,000 word essay comparing Colangelo to George-W and D-Wade to a robot, all the while spitting vitrol to “right-way purists” and taking some subtle jabs at Battier, Hinrich and Brad Miller being on the roster…

  7. Brett Brett

    Oh, everything is an insult to this guy.

    He couldn’t even handle his teammate getting arrested without wanting in on the action.

    Why would this be any different in his lifelong quest to make sure he’s always “disrespected” in everything in his life?

  8. Charles Charles

    Arenas is the best shooter in the league after Ray Allen, and he is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the league as well. I would have picked him before several of the guys who made the cut.

  9. haah, Awvee Storey, awesome. The Dennis Rodman of ASU. He probably did get him to say those things since Arenas and the Wildcats always beat us.

  10. Tony Tony

    Some of you have lost your mind. Arenas is an over-sensitive, ball massager.

    He launched 21 shots per game last year. His primary attribute is scoring (but only with the ball in his hand). Unfortunately, Wade, Anthony, and Lebron are all better scorers than Arenas. And, of these four, only Wade and Anthony have shown the ability to catch and shoot (kind of important in International Bball).

    The problem with guys (ej. Jason Richardson) like Arenas is they play the same game as many players better than them (and they can’t adjust).

    This makes Arenas above average and not coincidentally so is his 42-40 basketball team.

  11. alex alex

    looks like you win the bet dogg
    maybe we should have tried driving the lane
    oh well

  12. Jimmy Jimmy

    Gil just proved why you dont need big names to win. You need guys that will commit to playing a team game as a team,

    I like Gil, but I dont want him out there playing his game. That’s the problem with alot of today’s players is that they can score in bunches but dont know how to score within the flow of a team.

  13. the master the master

    Plain and simple: Gilbert loves the game of basketball. All the naysayers in the world do not have half the passion that Gil has in one pinkie for the game of basketball. He lives on the court, and belongs on the court. It’s quite obvious that this stems from Coach K’s (the savior right?) lack of respect for University of Arizona players and Alum. Gil will have his revenge and score 100 points as he should, but I was actually quite surprised that he didn’t bring up the fact that NBA scrubs like Shane Battier and Elton Brand were there for one reason. Have we not had enough of PUKE University players fail us in the past? Coach K the wonderful has failed us again with a hand picked team , so I can’t wait to hear him pile on the excuses this upcoming basketball season. His ego will not allow him to coach a team that he will eventually say never really listened to all “my great advice”. With Coack K gone next year, Gilbert will shine in the international spotlight.

  14. Bullets Bullets

    I’ll preface my response by admitting that I am a Wizards fan so there is likely to be at least a hint of homerism in my defense of Gil – but there’s likely to be a whole lot of truth as well.

    The truth of that matter is that there really wasn’t room on that roster for another scorer with Wade, Melo and Bron-Bron all perfectly capable of catching fire and hitting everything short of a Jordan/Bird shot from those old McDonald’s commercials (remember?…off the roof, off the Hubble space station, off the Statue of Liberty, nothing but net *swish* – damn I miss the NBA of the 80’s and 90’s). The problem is that Gil is not now, has never been, and will never be the type of point guard that team needed. With so many scorers on the roster that team badly needed someone who could maybe provide a scoring spark off the bench occassionally, but whose primary function was to contribute and control the pace of the game. Gil has one speed: All out. The run and gun offensive basketball the Wizards play is perfect for Gil but the deliberate half court set offensive style that you often see in international play quite simply does not play to his strengths.

    Gil could have provided something that USA team is desperately in need of….an outside shooting touch. Say what you will, but Gil has one of the three smoothest strokes in the Asssociation and when he’s hot he can hit from Euro three point range with his eyes closed and on his knees. The problem is that he needs a lot of touches to find that groove and those touches weren’t going to come with all of the talent on that roster….so, essentially Gil was useless to that team.

    As the leader of my ‘Zards Gil is nothing but money. I’d lead the charge to the MCI center, gasoline can and matches in hand, if he were to ever leave the organization…but it is what it is. This situation just wasn’t right for him.

    I feel bad for Gil because NO ONE on that team wanted to be there more than he did. You can question his game, his skills as a point, or even his sanity, but in no converstation can anyone who knows ANYTHING about roundball question that man’s heart or commitment.

    This bodes well for Wizards fans though. Gil uses these types of slights as motivation to set the nets ablaze and work harder than anyone else at improving his game. Heck, I was hoping that he wouldn’t run out of slights – real or imagined – before he retired. Gil says he’s going to drop 100 on Phoenix and Portland? I wouldn’t put it past him. He is that damn good. But he’s no fool. As much as Gil likes to prove the doubters wrong, he’s no fool..he likes winning even more and rest assured that he’s going to do whatever he has to to ensure a victory for the squad. Now, if he can break that 100 and still secure a win – watch out Suns and Blazers.

  15. To Master:Not to pile on, but I doubt coach K. really has confidence in any college player originating west of the Mississippi. probably could count the exceptions on 1 hand.

    Let Gil lead a ‘we were excluded’ squad in Canada. Him plus the dinos.Could be fun.

  16. johnedg johnedg

    gilbert is the most selfless player in the league. How many other super stars do you know that work nearly as hard and talk as little as gilbert does? He is the definition of a consumate pro, all he cares about is the DC area and winning and thats way more than i can say about a Kobe or LeBron

  17. 1FastHoo 1FastHoo

    Well, after watching this wonderful 54 point display at Phoenix, I’m eager to see the WizARDs play Portland.

    Anyone who thinks Arena is merely “above average” must be thinking of someone other than Gilbert.

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