Is Gilbert Arenas a $100 million-dollar man?
That's what the Wizards will decide and for all we know, may have already decided.
(Arenas left for China this morning on a promotional tour for his shoe company. Word has it,he won't be negotiating during the trip, or rather, word has it that Arenas is such an oddball he may sign a one-year deal with the Clippers during that time.)
The issues is there are two sides to this coin, courtesy of the Washington Post's Ivan Carter.
He has this quote from an anonymous Eastern Conference executive:
"Why would you max him out?" the executive said. "I think one of the biggest reasons you see teams go to the second round of the playoffs, then fall out of the playoffs, is because they max out players that are not max players. The reason you see some teams sustain themselves, at least in the conference finals or the Finals mix, is because they've maxed out the right players. I can't max him out. I don't want to be one of those teams that's one and out, two and out."
Then there's this quote, from a Western Conference executive:
"I'm not saying you give Gilbert Arenas max money just to do it, but I do look at it this way: If there is a team that he's a max-type player for, it's the Wizards, as long as he comes back from the knee problems," said the executive, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. "He's one of those rare guys in this league who can score the basketball, he hits game-winning shots and he can put butts in the seats. What's the value in that? Another key is going to be how his contract impacts that franchise going forward. Will they still be able to sign Jamison? And, will they be able to make the moves going forward they need to make if they want to make that next step? It's an interesting situation."
Then there's this quote from Buzz Bissinger:
"I hate Gilbert Arenas. I think he represents everything that's wrong with blogs and the NBA because he's snarky, malicious, mean spirited and vaguely filled with invectives–in particular when it comes to the comments."
Two solid points, Buzz aside, I'd reckon.
I say you do it. because making the big splash is always fun. And because it's easier to find the right role layers to play with superstars than it is to find the right superstars to play with role players. The reason this team hasn't advanced in the playoffs isn't because of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler or Antwan Jamison. It's because they have charismatic, yet horrible role players who blind perception.
Get them a Leon Powe or Carl Landry instead of an Andray Blatche and that's probably a three-win differential just off grit, rebounding and hustle. Get them a true backup point guard, not an Antonio Daniels and the team's offense probably works a bit smoother in key situations. The Wizards have a nice car with their Big Three powered engine, they just haven't configured it the right way.
Plus, keeping Arenas means the Phone Booth now has two of the most charismatic and talented players in sports playing almost everday of the fall/winter season. That's worth $250 million between two owners, right?
Ice Road Truckers
Didn't get to watch it last night, but I have it DVRd and will have my take tomorrow
Box office recap
Who the hell saw Wanted pulling in $50-plus million? A rated-R action flick getting that sort of haul? I grossly underestimated the power of Common. Took in WALL-E last night and it doesn't even pretend to be a kid's movie, which is the nicest thing you can say about a kid's movie, in my opinion.
Once again, the final tallies:
1 WALL·E (2008) $62.5M $62.5M
2 Wanted (2008) $51.1M $51.1M
3 Get Smart (2008) $20M $77.3M
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Jaromir Jagr is contemplating joining the Continental Hockey League in Russia. Just Another Sports Blog got a hold of the story, and doesn't like the words coming out of Jagr's mouth.
"Will take a rebound if someone carefully faces up to him and places the ball in both his hands with both of their hands."
Dan, Harry and Bull continue their quest to win What's On My Mind's Best Shows in TV History (comedy bracket).
Klick of the Day
See ya next year at Wimbledon Bethanie Mattek, but don't ever stop pleasing the employees (from last year).