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.