Posts Tagged ‘Gilbert Arenas’

Has Arenas Found The Perfect Home?

SAN ANTONIO – As soon as Gilbert Arenas stood up and walked to the scorer’s table late in the first quarter, the knucklehead in the stands at the AT&T Center yelled, “Hey ref, check Arenas! I think he’s got a gun!”

It wasn’t funny because it was hardly original and not something Arenas hasn’t already heard dozens of times in the three weeks he’s been back in the league with the Grizzlies.

Of course, the other thing he’s heard is how it might be difficult for a guy with two bad knees and a reputation to fit in on a Memphis team that has spent the past year developing a good sense of chemistry.

“Gilbert’s fine,” said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. “I don’t know why anybody thought he wouldn’t fit in. Gil is a good player. He’s had some tough times with injuries. He can really shoot the ball. He and O.J. (Mayo) play well together. They both can handle the ball and play in the pick and roll. He can also spot up and come off screens and he’s a veteran who gives us poise with that group as well. I think I like his versatility and that poise part the most and his ability to shoot.”

There had been talked of him joining up with Kobe Bryant & Co. and he had a private workout for the Lakers before the trade deadline back in February. But now he’s averaged 5.4 points in 14.5 minutes a night in his first 10 games with the Grizzlies and is slowly finding his shooting stroke and confidence.

When he came up with a loose ball, drove the length of the court and went straight in for a layup over a helpless Manu Ginobili in the second quarter, there wasn’t another one of the Grizzlies players who looked more comfortable in his skin.

Could it be that by hooking on with a lower profile team in a smaller market and away from the limelight that the erstwhile Agent Zero has found the perfect place to make something out of nothing?

Grizz Show Bite At Just The Right Time





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — As we lurch toward the playoffs, no more voting, please.

We have a winner. We have the proverbial Team Nobody Wants To Face.

Drum roll?

We present the Memphis Grizzlies for your strong consideration. Right here and now, the Grizzlies are top-five in the NBA, in terms of the sizzle factor (they’ve won eight of 10), the coach factor (Lionel Hollins, one of my personal faves, is in the discussion for Coach of the Year) and the X-factor (Zach Randolph is still on the mend and … Gilbert Arenas?).

This team is peaking at the right time and is showing few if any signs of breaking down or being a tease. The goal for the Grizzlies is simple: Do a repeat of last year’s surprising playoff run, but this time, win Game 7 against the Thunder (or whomever) in the West semifinals.

Does that sound reasonable? Doable? Inevitable? Maybe all of the above. (more…)

The Best Bargain Of This NBA Season





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The first victim of the amnesty clause in the new collective bargaining agreement will have yet another distinction before this NBA seasons ends.

And we’re calling it right now: Gilbert Arenas will be the best bargain of this NBA season. After signing with the Grizzlies, Arenas is being welcomed into the Hang Time family with open arms. And it makes it even easier to show him love when you realize that the Grizzlies are paying him $300,000 for the remainder of this season.

That’s a minimal investment (by NBA standards) with the potential for some ridiculous rewards, if Arenas still has some of that old Agent Zero magic left in him.

He certainly fills a glaring need for the Grizzlies, as Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal points out:

It’s a move that was called a win-win proposition for both parties as the Griz prepared to face the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night in the Power Balance Pavilion.

“We need shooting and that’s something he’s been able to do throughout his career,” forward Rudy Gay said. “He’s somebody that’s battle tested who can help us out.”

Reserve guard O.J. Mayo worked out with Arenas in Chicago about two years ago. Mayo learned two things about the 30-year-old Arenas.

“He’s a hard worker and he wants to win,” Mayo said.

The Griz are also confident that Arenas understands the situation. He’s being added to spell backup point guard Mike Conley and occasionally play shooting guard off the bench.

Arenas, a 10-year veteran and three-time All-Star, expressed a willingness to play a limited role. And there is no fear in the Griz front office, on their bench or in the locker room that Arenas will balk at being a reserve.

If Arenas is willing to be a role player, he’ll be one of the few capable of the exploits he’s shown he can accomplish throughout his career. And for a playoff team — any playoff team — to have a lethal scorer coming off the bench whenever they need him, that’s a luxury everyone wants.

Rick’s Tips: Waiver Watching





It’s time to hit up the waiver wire during the best part of the fantasy season as the playoffs are upon us. I haven’t been with y’all for a couple weeks, so I’m doubling your pleasure with 10 names that could come to the rescue for your team.

Ramon Sessions

In separate moves on deadline day, the Lakers shipped Derek Fisher to Houston and brought in Ramon Sessions from the Cavaliers to solidify the point guard position.

Ramon isn’t starting yet, but he averaged 8.5 points and 5.5 assists in 22 minutes in his first two games in Purple and Gold. Lakers coach Mike Brown recently told reporters Steve Blake may keep the starting job for the remainder of the season, but I’m not buying it. You don’t ship out Five-Ring Fisher and then not start his replacement. It may take another week or two, but when Sessions gets promoted, he’ll flirt with double-doubles on a nightly basis.

Klay Thompson

As soon as the Warriors selected this sharp-shooting two-guard with the 11th pick in the 2011 draft, the writing was on the wall regarding Monta Ellis’ future in Oakland. It was only a matter of time before Monta was dealt, which happened last Tuesday, opening the starting gig for Thompson.

In five games as a starter, Thompson is averaging 18.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.2 3s in 36.2 minutes. The rookie is light on rebounds and steals, and he’s shooting just 40 percent since the promotion, but the points and 3s are a nice boost this late in the season. (more…)

Arenas On Grizzlies’ Radar





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In their season-long pursuit of another long-range shooter, the Memphis Grizzlies have turned their attention to free agent option Gilbert Arenas, according to the Commercial Appeal.

They also need a quality backup point guard. And Arenas could potentially fill both roles, if he’s in game-ready shape (or close to it) right now. More from the Commercial Appeal:

Arenas, 30, remains unemployed after the Orlando Magic made him one of the first casualties of the amnesty clause provided in the NBA’s latest collective bargaining agreement. The Grizzlies can add Arenas because they employ a 14-man roster. Teams can carry 15 players.

A source said the Grizzlies are in a conditional pursuit of Arenas. Memphis wants to see Arenas in a private workout before making a decision. The Griz originally sought to sign Arenas to a 10-day contract but the veteran combo guard is looking for a guaranteed deal for the rest of the season.

Arenas Ready For The Comeback?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We asked a last week if it was time for the Los Angeles Lakers to consider signing Gilbert Arenas to help shore up their point guard deficiencies and the response was overwhelmingly (84 percent) in favor of the Lakers doing exactly that.

But other than the reports that Arenas was in Los Angeles for a workout that was attended by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchack, among others, we had no idea what the full scope of a potential comeback attempt by Arenas entailed.

We have a much better idea now after reading this detailed interview with Arenas, courtesy of our main man Sam Amick of SI.com, who delves deep into the psyche of the man formerly known as Agent Zero.

Arenas goes places in the interview that he hasn’t publicly in the past, delving into his time in Washington and later Orlando, and also detailing some of the issues that led to his infamous beard and explores the factors that contributed to his fall from grace. He also talked plenty of basketball and whether or not he’s ready for a reunion with the NBA game.

(more…)

Blogtable: Trade Deadline

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

A month to the trade deadline: Which team in the East most likely will make a big move? In the West?

Steve Aschburner: With so much expected action in outright signings – J.R. Smith, Gilbert Arenas, Kenyon Martin already – I’m thinking fewer trades this year at the deadline. But that window between All-Star Weekend and the deadline cries out for a Dwight Howard deal, so Orlando rates as my East pick. If the team acquiring him is out West – Golden State? L.A. Lakers? – then I’m covered for a West prediction too. Otherwise, it’s Phoenix being good guys and moving Steve Nash to a contender.

Fran Blinebury: Despite their bold talk, I still think Orlando will have to trade Dwight Howard and all of his inconsistencies and insecurities.  He seems to be burning his bridge one match at a time.  In the West, the Lakers have to do something, anything, if they hope to be playing the Clippers, not watching them, after the first round of the playoffs.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Still going with the Magic. They can’t want this game of chicken with Dwight Howard. Unless Howard specifically gives them reason for optimism about a new contract, as opposed to him toning down the rumbles about wanting to leave, Orlando has to make the big move. In the West, it’s the Lakers. A decent-size trade exception, needing an infusion, unable to be patient – that’s a team wanting to make a move. (more…)

Arenas The Answer For Lakers?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Los Angeles Lakers’ search for a spark this season has led them to an interesting crossroads. Do they explore the depths of the trade market and risk giving up yet another valuable asset (remember the Lamar Odom deal) or do they take a chance on adding Gilbert Arenas to the mix in the hopes that he can rekindle some of his old magic in purple and gold?

They’ve already worked Arenas out, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Lakers are clearly in need of something more than they have on the current roster to get them cranked up again. But Arenas?

He’s prepared himself for the possibility, according to the report:

Arenas, who turned 30 last month, looked “slimmed down” and “explosive,” according to a source with knowledge of the workout, but no signing is necessarily imminent as the guard flew back to his home in Orlando, Fla., from Los Angeles on Sunday night.

(more…)

Flip Flops, Takes Fall For Grunfeld





There were no Cadillac Eldorados or steak knives to be had, a la “Glengarry Glen Ross.” In the ruthless world of the NBA, at least as it pertained to the woeful Washington Wizards Tuesday morning, there was only third prize: You’re fired.

Oh, and fourth prize: You’re hired. As the interim replacement for coach Flip Saunders, terminated after a 2-15 start in his third season with Washington. Assistant Randy Wittman will take over for the rest of the season in a move that figures to bring more aggravation to Wittman than change to the Wizards’ failing, flailing culture.

This move was, of course, only a matter of time in coming. When I wrote this earlier this month about Saunders and the dysfunctional team that soon would cost him his job, I didn’t even have the confidence to wait for Washington to come to me in Chicago; I jumped on it a day early because the ax seemed that ready to fall. Two weeks later, it did, a 2-7 mark since then and looking little different from the disarray, lack of purpose and absence of development that preceded it.

The Wizards — especially Andray Blatche, Nick Young, JaVale McGee and increasingly John Wall — seem like raw, incorrigible talent, oblivious to the value of coaching, committed only to their knucklehead ways. They knew that Saunders was a dead man walking, whether he stayed or went, because they had tuned him out. There are no old heads on the roster, no veterans both respected enough and involved enough to act as the coaches’ trustees in that locker room. (more…)

Flip Out In Washington, Wittman In

An NBA source confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the Washington Wizards have fired Flip Saunders as coach, and are expected to name assistant Randy Wittman as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Wizards, who have the NBA’s worst record at 2-15, were coming off another desultory performance Monday, one in which they trailed the 76ers by 30 points at halftime and wound up losing by 20. That has been the norm for Washington much of this season, surrounding occasional performances like last week’s win over Oklahoma City in which the team played with passion and purpose. Only recently had second-year guard John Wall, around whom the Wizards hope to build a contending team, begun playing with much fire. Saunders never was able to get players like Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee to perform consistently.

Saunders was 51-130 in his two-plus seasons in Washington.

Saunders was in the third year of a four-year deal that paid him approximately $4 million per season. He was hired in 2009 after Washington had gone 19-63 the previous season, during which time the Wizards had fired their previous coach, Eddie Jordan.

At the time, Saunders was joining a veteran team that had made the playoffs in four of the previous five seasons around a core group featuring Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood. But Arenas’ role in an incident in December of 2009 in which he brought guns into the Wizards’ locker room as part of a confrontation with guard Javaris Crittenton resulted in Arenas being suspended by NBA Commissioner David Stern in January of 2010 without pay for the remainder of the season. The Wizards cratered again, going 26-56, and made the decision to blow up the old roster and start anew after winning the Draft lottery in 2010 and selecting Wall with the first overall pick.

Washington traded Arenas in December of 2010 to Orlando in a deal that brought forward Rashard Lewis from the Magic. In early 2010, the Wizards sent Butler and Haywood to Dallas and Jamison to Cleveland. The Wizards quickly got much younger, but Saunders failed to get his team to play hard consistently through last season and the start of this season.

Yahoo! Sports first reported Saunders’ firing.