Friday, February 24, 2012

Gilbert Arenas's Next (Probably Not Last) Chance

I want to highlight an excellent interview (Part I, Part II) with ex-Orlando guard Gilbert Arenas, published earlier this week on Arenas actually sounds like a wise, introspective guy herein, although it is hard to square these comments with the stupidity of his gun incident and his misogynistic Twitter posts from last summer. If Arenas has actually matured and semi-cured his knee problems, he could be a deadly contributor to a team with perimeter needs. At his best, five and six seasons ago, Arenas averaged nearly 30 points and exactly 6 assists, leading the Wizards to two memorable playoff series (which I reviewed in this 2009 post) against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, he has not been a top player since April of 2007. Arenas foolishly came back too early in the fall of 2007 from his initial spring '07 surgery, leading to two more surgeries, two full missed seasons, and a ruined career. He then halted his 2009-10 campaign by bringing several guns into his Wizards locker room, leading to the demolition of the Butler-Jamison-Haywood-Arenas roster and Arenas's eventual release by Orlando two months ago.

Reportedly, the Lakers invited Arenas earlier this month to visit their team for a workout, and Kobe Bryant supported his possible signing. With Rasheed Wallace leaving retirement to join L.A. and Arenas possibly following (he says in the interview that he would like to join a team after the All-Star break), the Lakers could add some money-making talent to their squad, filling in the athletic point guard and "stretch 4" holes that have weakened the team all season. Or the two guys might just be dead weight that fizzles.

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