UPDATE: A podcast of the interview is up. It starts at around the 4:35 mark. Click here to listen to it.
It wouldn't feel like playoffs in Washington without Gilbert Arenas getting in on some of the fun. Luckily for us, he decided to stop by 106.7 The Fan today and talk about the Wizards of his day, the Wizards of today, and his hopes for a comeback.
On Wall and Beal:
"John Wall and Brad Beal remind me of when me and Larry [Hughes] got together. You stop one, the other's going to shine." -Gilbert Arenas— Amin Vafa (@AminNBA) April 24, 2014
I can see the similarity, but Arenas and Larry Hughes were both combo guards who could pass, but they both had a predilection to shoot first. Wall is a more traditional point guard who has developed a reliable jumpshot, and Beal is a more traditional shooting guard who has developed a ball-handling ability.
At one point in the conversation, the hosts asked Arenas about Grunfeld's tenure and addressed it as more bad than good. At that point, Arenas took offense, dug in his heels, and defended Ernie.
Wow. Gilbert Arenas is VEHEMENTLY defending Grunfeld's tenure.— Amin Vafa (@AminNBA) April 24, 2014
Most Wizards fans, like me, would have been pretty shocked to hear that. But a sensible reality check:
@AminNBA Well, he did get quite a bit of money out of it, so…— Caleb Nordgren (@chisportsguy41) April 24, 2014
Oh, right. Yeah. That makes a lot more sense.
My favorite part of the interview was when they talked about Nick Young!
On DC sports radio 106.7, Gilbert Arenas said he went over Nick Young's house to make fun of him for terrible first pitch at Dodgers game.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) April 24, 2014
"I was talking to Nick Young last night. I was at his house." NICKY AND GIL STILL HANGIN OUT— Amin Vafa (@AminNBA) April 24, 2014
I often think about how each of Nick Young, DeShawn Stevenson, and Andray Blatche changed their jersey number to 0 after they landed on their new teams. Sometimes, I feel like we don't really know how big of a deal Arenas was to everyone on this team. Even with all the love he still gives the city and the city gives him back, I don't know if that's something we'll ever know.
Oh, and lest we forget about his current... financial arrangement
Gil's the best RT @AminNBA: "I'm still getting paid until 2016." Arenas corrects the radio hosts on how many years he continues to get money— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) April 24, 2014
Arenas went delved more into his financial situation:
"No, when they did the amnesty [clause], when the amnesty came in, I think it was two years ago, what they did was, instead of me getting paid $20 [million] a year, they extended the years and dropped the money down. So instead of getting 20 I was getting 12 for a longer period of time. So I'm still getting paid until 2016."
For those worried about the Wizards spending all kinds of amnesty money, don't worry. Arenas's contract was amnestied by the Orlando Magic. The Wizards just CREATED the contract. It sounds like the money ain't enough. Seems like he's hard at work for a potential comeback.
Unfortunately, for ball-dominant guards like Arenas, twilight years haven't traditionally been too kind. We all saw Allen Iverson go out unceremoniously, and sometimes I fear that it's too late in Arenas's career to learn how to play low minutes and still be effective. He played off the bench for the Magic and the Grizzlies, and I think it's possible for him to make an impact, but history has pointed to a different fate.
Regardless, I hope Arenas does make a comeback and help out a team.