NBA / Sep 9, 2010 / 1:15 pm

Enough About John Wall, The Wizards Still Have Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas

We already know that Gilbert Arenas has traded in his No. 0 for No. 9 this season. And if you don’t remember, we’ve even already given Agent Zero a new nickname. But with the departures of former teammates Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison during the 2009-10 season, it became evident that more changes were ahead.

The rebuilding process started with the Wizards drafting John Wall this June, and with the rookie becoming the new face of the franchise, many questioned what new owner Ted Leonis would do with Arenas. Would he be traded? Would he be released? What exactly would the Wizards do with him? With so many questions came so few answers, and like it or not, Arenas is going to play a major role this season in helping restore this franchise.

By now, everyone knows about his gun charges, about the 30 days he spent in a halfway house reminiscing about his actions and hopes of becoming a better man. Let’s look past the bad and think about the future. There was a time when Arenas was the most clutch shooter in the League. Kobe may have the title now, but don’t think he’s forgotten about when Arenas dropped 60 in his house like a slot machine at The Bellagio spitting out quarters.

There was a time when Arenas could find motivation in a faulty blender. We’re talking about a guy who wore the No. 0 for most of his career because that’s how many minutes he was told he would play in the NBA. This is a guy who once collected press clippings and kept them in rooms throughout his house. This is a guy who played in a total of 47 games the past three seasons, and even with that, it’s hard to write him off as useless – a term being thrown around as of late. And yet, there’s no one stopping Gilbert Arenas from moving forward in the hopes of returning to his true form.

A few weeks ago during a pickup game at the Verizon Center, Leonis released a statement on his blog stating that Arenas has been looking like his old self:

Last night there was a pick-up game played at Verizon Center on our practice court. There were many NBA players in attendance and a few NBA All-Stars played as well. I stumbled into watching purely by accident.

Gilbert Arenas played last night. It was a very good evening of basketball. Gil – our All-Star – matched up against another NBA All-Star. It was quite a show and quite a display of talent.

I won’t comment yet on Gilbert or who was in the gym last night but suffice to say Gilbert looked trim, fit and explosive. His shot was sweet and he did one left handed dunk that was something to see. It had everyone talking. I was impressed and am happy.

For the record, that All-Star was Chris Paul.

If Arenas is in top shape after missing a significant chunk of last season, he could get off to a stronger, faster start than some are anticipating. But now, Arenas has already met with Leonsis, who is encouraging fans to “re-embrace” him, and has spoken with Wall about his expectations for the upcoming season. Both Arenas and Wall could eventually end up becoming an All-Star duo with Wall at the point and Arenas at the two.

Without a doubt, this season is all about trust for Arenas. With a young, talented frontcourt and the emergence of both JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche, the Wizards might turn out to be better than expected. With No. 6 being a symbol of maturity, Arenas will return to D.C. with patience and willingness to dole out the shots. Just make sure you save him the last one, you know, for old times sake.

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  • LakeShow84

    Man oh man if someone figured it out and plugged him into the SG spot..

    Given hes healthy enough of course..

    POINT GUARDS arent supposed to go off and drop 60 lol and yes, i remember that game Andrew.. Thanks for reminding us lol

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ LakeShow84

    LOL, I didn’t think you forgot.

  • the_don_mega

    “There was a time when Arenas was the most clutch shooter in the League. Kobe may have the title now…”

    – i don’t know ’bout this one bruh…

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ the_don_mega

    During the 06-07 season, Arenas was the most clutch player in the League.

  • the_don_mega

    @Andrew –

    i dunno bruh… but if you’re right, i must’ve just forgot

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ the_don_mega

    Here’s the video my guy during that season.


  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ 4

    Yes, I remember that. Hard to believe now, but definitely true.

  • the_don_mega

    @Andrew – cat been out for so long.. my bad, i forgot

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Hope he doesn’t get caught up in the moment this year if he is able to drop 50 or so on an opponent and do any “gun” slinger motions lol.

    That is one dude I hate all that happened to, although it was do to his lack of thought. Still, dude was a pleasure to watch specially in close games. I hope he has the right group with him that can get his p.r. back up, he should be able to do the rest court wise.

    Used to love when Washington played Cleveland, especially when Ol Boy (Haywood) imitated the crying LeBron.

  • Mike

    Arenas changed his number to 9, not 6.

  • LakeShow84

    Shit i think he dropped 60 in that ugly ass gold & black jersey too lol

    Or that ugly ass jersey has just stained my memories lol

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Mike

    Did he really? My bad, I never heard that he re-changed his changed number lol.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ LakeShow84

    Hahaha, yeah, it was in that jersey. He told Kobe to step back. You know you’re the shit when you get a standing ovation and take a bow in the Staples Center.

  • the_don_mega

    @LakeShow – i think he did wear those ish

  • Showtime

    U guys should consider he hit all those gamewinners when the score was tied. Taking a long three and celebrating before it goes in with the security of going to overtime is one thing … nailing the game winner down one or two is definitely more clutch

  • ShadyKidd

    Props @ Andrew for recognizing that Arenas still has the ability to be a force in the league. I think his motivation has to be pretty high right now. Let’s hope he stays healthy and starts scratching names off his ‘Kill Bill’ type list…

  • MSquared808

    Come on guys. Ted has the potential to be one of the best and most entertaining owners in the NBA. He has been great with the Caps. Let’s at least spell his name right. It’s Leonsis.

  • yoda

    so, only reason why kobe is considered the clutch right now is because gil got hurt? before that, kobe was second best clutch player at best? well that is your opinion but my humble one is that kobe was the clutch player in nba past 8-9 years ( yes that is before gil got hurt and in same season when gil dropped 60 on lakers in staples). honestly, from that season, who would you take to take last shot in game that means something? kobe or gil?

  • SJ

    Wall will still be #1 on the Wizards. Arenas probably has some left in the tank, but I just can’t see him having as big an impact as he did a few years back. We’ll see, though, I suppose.

  • That’s What’s Up

    His nickanme shouldn’t be Sixth Sense, it should be Loaded

  • karizmatic

    I keep saying it. The Wizards have a very real chance to be a dark horse team this year, but everything has to fall their way. Blatche has to live up to his potential without being a head case, John Wall has to be the real deal, and Gilbert has to be able to play the two and be back to his old self. Then once Josh Howard comes back he needs to be able to give them some scoring and defensive help, if all that happens the Wizards could make the playoffs and/or be an exciting team to watch.

  • WinDelRoj

    I dont think hes going to be any good this year. The knee isnt holding up. Hes a jacker so maybe it wont make any difference to his game…

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    If there’s one thing I learned throughout the years of watching Arenas is that no matter what the circumstance, never count him out.

  • Luigi

    i still believe. Agent Zero will return. i dont like him switchin to 9. but its whatever

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    ABout time someone put Wall on the backburner for the Real player on the team. the PROVEN player on the team. Arenas will make Wall’s job easy. Wall won’t win rookie of the year though because Arenas will need the ball too much from him. But as a back court, Arenas will make his life a living hell in practice, but a dream on the court.

  • http://freshouttatime.blogspot.com freshouttatime

    bring him to ny, have him run and gun with dantoni

  • http://freshouttatime.blogspot.com freshouttatime

    no pun intended

  • Mr. TKO

    I forgot about that man, I thought he was gonna be a lil bit of a factor this year but I forgot how much he was tearing up the league back when he was healthy

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Mr. TKO

    He’s a beast man and to be honest, it’s really a hard decision to pick him or Kobe for the last shot. They’re both clutch.

  • Mr. TKO

    See now you took it a lil too far lol, Ain’t no way I’m putting anybody over Kobe for now, and when it’s time for me to do it, I’m looking at Melo or KD first.

    Mr Hibachi is going to have to play like he’s stuck in Permanent God Mode before he makes me reconsider.

    (yes this is one of the rare times my Koby Fanboyism comes out of hiding)

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Mr. TKO

    I’m talking before Arenas was injured. The things he did on the court and the shots he’s made are unbelievable. I’m not saying Kobe hasn’t but Arenas’s game was on a different level.

  • Seven Duece

    the saddest part is that he was just turning the corner with his game, when the gun saga happened. they can play a small back-court ala the bad boy pistons, only in reverse. crazy offense, little d. or trade him to Orlando for rashard and his stupefying contract.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    I’m pretty sure the zero number came from Arizona, as in how much time he would get as a freshman…

  • Colton

    lysdexia lures! … is gils number 9 or 6?

  • Ian

    the wizards still have arenas ehhh so what??

  • Random

    Great article. I completely agree with you and it isn’t because Gil is my favorite player. I’m definitely glad that John Wall is part of the team, but I hate it when people create a certain hype around players that haven’t even played a game yet (ala Lebron). But anyway, I’m really excited for the following season and I think that the Wizards are in good position.

    Btw, I think that “no pun intended” should be written beneath Gilbert’s jersey number, lol. A Nine Gilbertmetar may not be such a bad nickname though, haha.

  • JAY

    Hey Macacluso,
    Is it possible to email you?

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ JAY

    Feel free man. andrewmacaluso3@gmail.com

    @ Dime Fans

    Yes his number is 9. I put 9 at the very first paragraph but I realize that I had 6 at the bottom of the article which is a typo, I apologize for the confusion.

  • Sacto_J

    I’m a big fan of Gil’s and hope he can return to form, but the only thing besides the gun charge I can remember from the last couple of years is when Tyreke picked him clean and shut him down last year. Ya’ll remember that, right…..?

  • jason

    also dont forget that this past year, when he was clearly not himself yet, he still dropped 45 on the warriors…granted its the warriors, but dropping over 40 points on anyone is pretty good

  • jason

    and his per was better than d rose and paul pierce this year…and thats when he wasnt himself…now with some time off, he probably has strengthened his legs even more…i’m expecting big things out of him…biggest adjustment for him will be learning how to catch and shoot vs shooting off the dribble, although he did catch and shoot well when larry hughes would play point at times

  • http://mail.google.com Jayo27

    Trade Gil to Detroit!!! And Hinrich too! The Wiz can get Charlie, Rip and Stuckey!

  • ribbone

    I like Gilbert a lot, I’ve always thought that he was a clutch player. However John Wall is a true PG and the ball belongs in his hands and if Gilbert can get with that I think this team will surprise a lot of people! I mean a lot of people!!