Imploring Gilbert Arenas To Be Himself | Wizards Blog Truth About

Imploring Gilbert Arenas To Be Himself

Updated: December 1, 2009
{trustworthy gilbert arenas}

{trustworthy gilbert arenas}

Yesterday, reports surfaced that Antawn Jamison was emphatic about his advice for Gilbert Arenas to stop listening to everyone and just play his game. The implication is that there’s a dire need for Arenas to do something, anything different than what he’s doing now. As the worn-out, but valid, saying dictates, “So goes Gilbert Arenas, so goes the Washington Wizards.”

Ok, so Gil just needs to be Gil … comfortable with himself on the court, alongside trusted teammates with whom he has played before. “That’s what I tell him, ‘Don’t listen to me. Coach says this, don’t listen. You play your game,” said Jamison.

But wait, Antawn is telling Arenas not to listen to Flip Saunders? Well, not really. Jamison knows the fastest route to Gilbert returning to suitable form is for him to stop letting his game be pulled in different directions by the advice of others. As soon as Arenas finds confidence in himself, by himself, the rest of the team will develop a comfort zone around him. But he still needs to follow Flip’s game-plan in the meantime.

Such encouragement of patience from a team leader to a supposed co-leader seems nice, but it doesn’t necessarily come out smelling like roses. The message seems to scrap the goal of transforming Arenas into a game manager, while maintaining a supreme offensive threat (a feat Arenas has clearly been unable to grasp thus far). The advice reeks of 5-10 desperation and entrenches the franchise in a grand hope that the team will be all good once Gilbert is all good. But no one knows what the definition of “good” will ultimately be and when it will arrive.

Jamison’s leadership is sensible. Make Gil a player again before giving him the executive decision responsibilities that Flip intended to give him before the season. Still, starting over at an earlier square (not necessarily square one), fifteen games into the season is far from ideal. For fans, it’s like eating the same stale bread they’ve lived off for the past couple of years. But they don’t have a choice and need to practice patience just like Gil. Because at this point, it’s all the Wizards got.

{Monday Practice Reports}

[Mike Jones – Wizards Outlet, Washington Times]

Jamison said that he believes one of Arenas’ problem is that he’s thinking too much and listening too much to what is being said about his play. He said no one should tell the guard how to play, because only Arenas knows what he’s capable of and when he’s capable of doing it.

“That’s that guy. That’s like you guys telling me don’t shoot the whatever shots I do shoot. I can’t tell him how to play his game. That’s his game. I can’t tell him to be aggressive when he’s not there yet. I can’t tell him not to be aggressive when he’s there. … When you start listening, and ‘Oh, my girlfriend said I should do this, or media said I should do this, and my little son says, Daddy you should do this.’ That’s when you need to take your eye off the outside distractions, focus in and play your game.

[Mike Prada – Bullets Forever]

Jamison’s entire response took over two minutes, and I’ve rarely seen him more worked up than he was then. That’s not to say he was angry, but clearly, he had a message he wanted to get across and he wanted it to be emphatic.

For his part, Flip Saunders said point blank that Arenas has no confidence right now and that he needs to be more aggressive and stop passing up open shots. He, of course, said it in a much more measured way than Jamison did.

As for Arenas? He wasn’t there when I got there. A Wizards PR director told me Arenas was getting his passport renewed in preparation for tomorrow’s trip to Toronto. I’m not sure whether he left early before the media got there or didn’t practice altogether.

[Michael Lee – Wizards Insider, Washington Post]

Saunders said he is willing to wait for everything to start clicking again with Arenas, but in the meantime, he would have to come up with a plan to either give him shorter stints on the floor and on the bench so that his left knee doesn’t stiffen up.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.