Gilbert Arenas is getting back into shape with help from Tim Grover

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I would say that Gilbert Arenas is running out of extra lives in the NBA, but the reality is that not many teams are willing to put a player of Gil’s pedigree and salary in Marbury-like exile. It was never going to be a realistic possibility for the Wizards to banish Arenas. Not with over $80 million owed to him over the next four seasons.

So it should come as a relief to the D.C. faithful that Gil’s at least trying to get his head screwed on straight and his body in shape. Since his joke(s) gone wrong left the Wizards in ruin, it seems as though Arenas, regardless of whether he’s legitimately apologetic for what he did or what happened as a result, is trying to make things right for the future.

That starts with making himself useful on the court again. 2009-2010 was a disappointment for Gil even before “Pick one.” He wasn’t exactly playing well with others, and as a post-surgery (or really, post-surgeries) Arenas struggled to grasp his own basketball mortality, he shot a dismal percentage, turned the ball over way too often, and generally looked to be the dim, gassy remains of the star he once was.

I’m not entirely convinced that Arenas’ game warrants he be put out to pasture just yet, and he’s making an effort to get back into NBA shape by training with the legendary Tim Grover (who has famously worked with both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant) this summer. From Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

I bumped into famed trainer Tim Grover at Staples Center before Game
7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday and he told me that Arenas has been at
his Attack Athletics training facility for the past two weeks getting
back in shape.

Grover, who earned his reputation working with Michael Jordan, told
me that since Arenas is healthy, he is doing a slightly different
program than last summer, when he decided to rehabilitate his
surgically repaired left knee. Grover said that Arenas will likely use
some of the same exercises and training techniques he used before.
Arenas is there primarily for “maintenance” of what he did last summer,
which was centered around weightlifting and strengthening the areas
around his knee, Grover said. Arenas is expected to stay in Chicago
throughout the summer.

Does working up an off-season sweat mean that Gil is back? Not even remotely. But he’s making an effort to be a productive basketball player again, which could go a long way toward re-inventing the Arenas brand.

Report: Carmelo Anthony’s camp ‘cautiously optimistic’ Knicks will trade him by Monday

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In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.

That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.

Yet…

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.

It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.

If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.

Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.

Rick Pitino predicts NBA draft will accept high schoolers within two years

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Once an advocate of increasing the age minimum and a willing accepter of one-and-done, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sounded more open about allowing high school players to declare for the NBA draft.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement left the issue open, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino predicts change is coming – relatively soon.

Pitino, via ESPN:

When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players, told me they were coming, and instead, they went to the pros out of high school. And by the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again.

I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.

Does Pitino know something? With decades of experience in the NBA and college, he could have many contacts with inside information. It’s certainly imperative for devising a recruiting strategy to know how this rule will change.

It’s also possible Pitino saw Silver’s comments, like any outsider could have, and is making a relatively blind guess.

But the possibility of inside information makes his comments more intriguing.

Warriors executive: Golden State rejected richer jersey-ad offers

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The Warriors are charging $60 million over three years for their jersey ads – about double what any other NBA team is getting.

Golden State chief marketing officer Chip Bowers, via Darren Rovell of ESPN:

“We actually had multiple finalists,” Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said. “This was not the biggest deal that we were offered.”

Bowers said the team felt it was important for the deal to be with a worldwide brand.

Light years ahead.

New Bulls advisor Doug Collins: ‘I am woke’

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The Bulls hired Doug Collins as an advisor.

Is Collins, who has coached only one winning season in the last 20 years and often sounds analytically disinclined, too behind the times?

Collins:

I’m old. Let me finish. But I’m not old school. I’ve got a young brain. And I think you get pigeonholed: That guy is old school because he’s old. Now, if being on time and working hard and doing all those things are old school, then yes, I’m old school. But I will match my wits with anybody in terms of young people, in terms of what’s going on now and what’s happening. So, I am woke.

Suddenly, Kyrie Irving‘s statement on ESPN – “Oh, if you’re very much woke, there’s no such thing as distractions” – has a challenger for the most awkward use of “woke” by NBA personnel this week.