Wednesday, January 13, 2010
More Washington Wizards speak to authorities about Gilbert Arenas gun case
By Seattle Times news services
WASHINGTON — With various players missing for various reasons, including some who had to talk to authorities about the Gilbert Arenas gun investigation, only eight members of the Washington Wizards were warming up on court Tuesday as coach Flip Saunders spoke nearby.
"Right now, there is definitely going to be discipline," Saunders intoned, "whether they like it or not."
Clearly, Saunders has his hands full at the moment. He is in his first year with a team dealing with far more serious matters than its 12-24 record.
Saunders said getting his team to focus on basketball has been difficult the past few weeks. "With all the outside distractions, the one thing that's normal is when you step on the court," he said. "I've tried to use that as a selling point. 'Use the frustrations or distractions and try to use the court, being on there, as a calming effect for you.' "
At least two Wizards, JaVale McGee and Mike Miller, were absent from the morning shoot-around because they were going to be questioned about what happened with Arenas, who was suspended indefinitely by the NBA last week.
A third player, Andray Blatche, also was slated to be speaking about the Arenas case — and he was barred from practicing anyway Tuesday, having been suspended for the Pistons game for conduct detrimental to the team. Nearly all traces of Arenas have been purged from Washington's arena, including a banner that used to hang outside.
"He said, 'Well, I didn't get a shot in a game.' If you're 6-10, 6-11, you can get a shot by getting an offensive rebound and getting shots. Anybody, whether it's him or anybody, that thinks a coach has to run plays to get you shots — that's the sign of a team that's not going to be a very good team," Saunders said.
"I hope it impacts him. I hope he comes back energized. I hope he comes back with a focus. I hope he understands what it takes to win," Saunders added.