Thursday , Mar , 06 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Washington Wizards Likely to Lose Gilbert Arenas

Even though Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas participated in his first practice in 3½ months yesterday and has yet to set a date for his return to game action, he said he still intends to opt out of his contract to sign a max deal this summer- regardless of how much or how little he plays the rest of this season. ‘Yes,’ Arenas said. ‘I’m still gonna be the No. 1 free agent. I mean, on a bad leg I average 22.

‘The contract is not the reason for coming back,’ he explained. ‘The contract is what is on my mind when I’m thinking about coming back. Let’s be real. If I get hurt again, who’s gonna want to pay somebody who’s had three knee surgeries? So that’s the part that’s going in the back of my head right now.’ The three-time All-Star said yesterday his surgically repaired knee was ‘fine so far’ and his comeback will remain a slow, carefully executed process. But he maintained last week he won’t
return prematurely, a mistake he made earlier this season. ‘I’m not gonna go out there unless I’m in top form,’ Arenas said. ‘I’m not gonna go out there halving it. I’m not gonna go out there 75 percent or 85 percent. If I’m not 100 percent, I’m not stepping on that floor.’ Click here for more from the Washington Times.