As is happening all over the nation right now, there was a high-level pickup game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. last night. Some NBA guys, some borderline NBA guys, probably some college guys, all getting together for a little run that makes your weekly YMCA game look woefully unathletic.
New Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was hanging out in the building last night — he owns it, he can hang out whenever he wants, thank you very much — and stumbled on said pickup game.
Where Gilbert Arenas was playing. This is what Leonsis said on his blog:
Gilbert Arenas played last night. It was a very good evening of basketball. Gil – our All-Star – matched up against another NBA All-Star. It was quite a show and quite a display of talent.
I won’t comment yet on Gilbert or who was in the gym last night but suffice to say Gilbert looked trim, fit and explosive. His shot was sweet and he did one left handed dunk that was something to see. It had everyone talking. I was impressed and am happy.
Clearly Leonsis is not a scout and he has a vested interest in pumping up Gil and his game. Still…
Among the things I most look forward to seeing this season is how Arenas and John Wall mesh. With a healthy and focused Arenas and it potentially is one of the best backcourts in the game. Or it could go south, Tierra del Fuego south. Who knows? But it will be fun to watch.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.