Flip Saunders wants to put the idea that Gilbert Arenas conned him and lied to him so Nick Young could get a little more burn.
That’s not how it went down, Saunders told ESPN Radio 980 in the nation’s capital (via Sports Radio Interviews).
I talked to Gilbert at shootaround, he said his knee was sore, and I told him at that point that he was not going to play. Whatever comments beyond that that Gilbert made, those are untrue comments. He might think that and I know he’s very close to Nick and that, but as I told him and the rest of our team, those guys don’t determine even if Gilbert doesn’t play, who does play. That’s what I do as far as determine. We’ve dealt with it internally, Gilbert is going to be fined for it, and we move on.”
Saunders also stuck up for Arenas as very coachable.
As I said last night, believe it or not, Gilbert has been in my two years here, coaching wise, he’s been the easiest guy that I’ve had to coach. From when I ask him to do something, he has done everything I’ve asked him to do from a players standpoint. Gilbert can be his own worst enemy as far as talking too much and I really believe this, he looks at himself as being Nick’s mentor. He likes to see Nick do good, but for him to make those comments, those are unjustified type comments.”
Saunders tried, but this really doesn’t change anything. If Arenas went to Saunders and said he had soreness in his knee — a knee that has cost him more games and caused more trouble the last three years than any guns — when that was not the case, then Arenas was in the wrong. If Arenas did have soreness in his knee (which is understandable, frankly) then tried to spin it as something else to the press, then Arenas was wrong. Gilbert may see that as a Catch-22, but it is the reality. Stick with the truth, whatever that may be.
Fine him and move on. The Wizards need to be focusing on the future and John Wall, anyway.