We may not know a lot about what role Gil Arenas will play with the Wiz this year, but I’ll tell you one thing, the storylines this year are going to keep it interesting. How about this one from the first home preseason game for the Wizards?
Washington coach Flip Saunders said before Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks that Arenas’ knee was bothering him. “His knee is acting up and is a little sore, and it looks like he’s going to sit this one out,” Saunders said.
But after the game, Arenas revealed his scheme to get Nick Young into the starting lineup.
“I told [Young] I’d sacrifice playing tonight so he can get some time in because I know he’s kind of frustrated he’s not getting a chance to crack the [small forward] position, especially since we’re going three guards,” Arenas said, smiling. “So I told him I’ll go and fake an injury or say something’s wrong with me so you can start.”
The plan worked, for both Young and the Wizards. Young started, played 31 minutes and scored a team-high 24 points to lead the Wizards to a 107-92 win.
Young was a first round draft pick for the Wiz in the 2007 draft, and while he has played plenty with the team (playing 75, 82, and 74 games in his first three season), his average minutes indicate that he played less than half the time and averaged just around nine points per game. In addition to looking for a place on the court to contribute, he also got into hot water with the Association for making light of the Arenas gun situation from last year during a pregame huddle.
Either way, a win’s a win, and it’s good to see that Young made the most of the chance Arenas gave him.
Update, 3:33 p.m. – SB Nation reports, “Flip Saunders said that Arenas has been fined for his comments. He didn’t disclose the amount of the fine, saying it was a personnel matter.”