Gilbert Arenas is doing his best impression of a lightning rod these days. He's managed to commit a crime, violate league rules, and make an all-around fool of himself in a matter of days. He began the season trying to avoid media attention, and now he has the eye of the media centered squarely upon his most recent antics.
Before, Arenas let his blog do the talking. Now, he's embraced Twitter as his new avenue for immaturity. Oddly enough, when he was trying to dodge the media, he said he wouldn't post anything on his account until he reached one million followers. To date he has a little over 22,000, and has been tweeting since this past December.
His first post, ironically, included "votegilbertordie/followgilbertordie." Pending further investigation, Arenas will be suspended indefinitely without pay. In the meantime, the Wizards are still on the wrong side of .500 and among the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are 11-21, owning victories over only the worst teams the NBA has to offer. They have just four wins over winning teams this season, which is not the resume of a championship contender. Now they'll have to move on without their "star" in an effort to salvage a seemingly lost season. Here's a stat for you, only two players on the roster right now have been healthy for every game this season. Andray Blatche and Arenas.
The top three teams in the East (Orlando, Boston, Cleveland) have four players that have appeared in every game. Antawn Jamison missed nine games to start the season, Caron Butler missed two games with a sprain, Mike Miller has missed all but nine games, Brendan Haywood missed a game due to illness. That adds up to 1118 minutes of play from their starters that they Wizards have lost. Interestingly enough, those minutes amount to 23 games missed. The Wizards have lost 21 games this season. So how do the Wizards move forward with their season? No one knows how long Arenas will be out.
Miller is supposedly returning against Orlando on Friday. And a myriad of injuries could strike this team at any given time if history has told us anything. Any typical franchise would look to change things up a bit, and not just with the line-ups as coach Flip Saunders has recently done. A franchise facing the circumstances the Wizards are in right now look to purge their roster and look towards the future. Agent Zero strikes again, because his suspension and exorbitant contract make moving him a pipe dream. Washington has made it an unofficial fact that Jamison and Butler are on the trading block, as they are the most valuable players the Wizards can offer to anyone. Instead of looking for a big name in return, the Wizards should seek expiring contracts, cheap young players and/or picks. Blow it up and look to rebuild. Anything less than a complete roster overhaul is a failure from where the fans are sitting.
The Wizards were supposed to be healthy this season, supposed to be good. They got half of the equation right, with some notable exceptions, but they still aren't good. This team looks to be comparable to the 19-63 squad from last year and they have more talent. It should be noted that no team should be expected to turn around in a year following a coaching change and the addition of returning players and new faces. Still, that doesn't change the fact that the Wizards are grasping at opportunities that passed them by four years ago. The Wizards are going to be facing some serious changes before the season is over, make no doubt about it. Don't be surprised to see two familiar faces in different uniforms or the team finding a way to part ways with Arenas. Of course now, there are an number of jokes coming out referring to the Bullets name, the term "shooting" in basketball, nicknames like AK-47, Pistol Pete, AmMo. Thank you Gilbert Arenas for making the league a mockery and setting the image of the NBA back another 5-10 years.
New year, new direction. The Wizards have no future as they are and won't be successful with players like Arenas causing problems. Good riddance to old problems and distractions.