Washington Wizards must tell Gilbert Arenas to grow up
Today, that’s what Gilbert Arenas did -publicly blaming the Washington Wizards for his injury woes and claiming the team’s medical staff were partially responsible for him missing so many games over the last two seasons. And, just to rub salt in that giant wound he created, Arenas claimed the team should have ignored his pleas to play and kept him on injured reserve. ‘The Hibachi’ also alleged that the Wizards rushed him back prematurely to ‘sell tickets’ …
Breaking NBA News mixed with analysis …
Their News: "If you have a kid that loves basketball, that eats, sleeps, drinks and thinks basketball and all he knows is basketball and he gets hurt and he’s your franchise player, you need to hold him back from himself," Arenas told the newspaper. "If I’m saying I feel good and you know it’s supposed to take six months, instead of letting me at four months run … they should have held me back. Rather than saying, ‘Let’s let this guy do what he wants and use him to sell tickets’ — sometimes you have to protect players from themselves. I don’t feel like I got that type of protection." (ESPN News.com)
My Quick Reaction: Nothing is gained by throwing the organization under the bus.
Today, that’s exactly what Gilbert Arenas did -publicly blaming the Washington Wizards for his injury woes and claiming the team’s medical staff were partially responsible for him missing so many games over the last two seasons.
And, just to rub salt in that giant wound he created, Arenas claimed the team should have ignored his pleas to play and kept him on injured reserve. ‘The Hibachi’ also alleged that the Wizards rushed him back prematurely to ‘sell tickets‘.
Well, at least, he didn’t blog about it.
On the one hand, Arenas may be right. Washington’s trainers and doctors could be sub par when compared to new trainer Tim Grover. And, perhaps, these doctors and trainers are partially at fault for him spending most of the last two years on injured reserve.
On the other hand, Arenas couldn’t be more wrong in how he addressed his concerns -through the media. Such problems should be addressed behind closed doors. Make no mistake about it, going public will rub many the wrong way.
Abe Pollin, Washington’s owner, has always emphasized loyalty and respect for all, even in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately NBA. In fact, many have argued his old school values are why the Wizards have struggled year-after-year.
Still, win or lose, Pollin has maintained that nobody is bigger than the team. For instance, he once handed the great Michael Jordan a multi-million dollar severance and kicked him out of the organization for abusing employees and young players like Kwame Brown.
So how will Pollin handle these comments? After all, he showed great loyalty to Arenas by personally approving a $111 million contract last summer, despite reports his combo guard’s knee hadn’t healed.
Then there’s the medical staff, who can’t be blamed if they hold a grudge against Arenas when training camp opens in a few weeks. Going forward, doctors and trainers will be nervous when treating his injuries because they don’t want to risk winding up in the news.
His teammates and coaches can’t be overly thrilled, either. During this interview, Arenas mentioned that “All-League and to play as many games as possible” were his goals for the coming season. There was no talk of collective achievement like winning 50 games or qualifying for the playoffs, which reveals much about Arenas.
Arenas isn’t a bad person. And he possesses an exciting skill-set. He still thinks it’s all about him, though. For the Wizards to move forward in 2010, somebody has to tell him otherwise.