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.