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Arenas Says He Got a Foul Call

Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas says he plans on making Blazers Coach Nate McMillan and Suns Coach Mike D'Antoni pay next season for their roles in his demise with Team USA. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)

"The disappointing part was talking to Colangelo and he said, 'I heard you want to go home,' " Arenas said. "I told him that I was hurt but I didn't know how serious it was and that I didn't want to hold up a spot for somebody else. He told me, 'I've been talking to the coaches and you're on the bubble anyway, so you can go if you want.' I was like, all right."

Team USA faces Greece in a semifinal game tomorrow morning.

"Even though it was disappointing for me, I had a good time over there and I hope they win it," Arenas said. "I told the team when I was leaving that I can't wait for them to win the gold so me and Antawn can share it. I'm just going to keep working hard. I have two years to get ready for the Olympics. That's how I look at it."

Arenas's frustration over what happened this summer stands in stark contrast to the enthusiasm he showed when Colangelo selected him as one of the 22 national team candidates in February.

Arenas, who campaigned for an invitation, called his selection one of the highlights of his career and spent the early part of the summer preparing for training camp in Las Vegas, which opened July 19.

In the past, Arenas has used slights -- real or imagined -- to motivate him and said this latest experience will only make him a more determined player heading into his sixth NBA season.

"I just hope people start looking at my basketball talent and stop prejudging me," Arenas said. "Whether it was barely getting a scholarship out of high school or going in the second round in the draft or almost not making the all-star game last year, it just always seems like people don't want to give me what I've earned. It's frustrating. I guess I just have to keep working on my game so people have no choice but to recognize me."

Arenas said he plans on reserving a little extra effort for two Team USA assistant coaches: Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan and Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni.

"I'm going to be the silent assassin this year," he said. "I can't wait to play the Suns and Portland. Against Portland, Nate McMillan, I'm going to try to score 100 in two games and against D'Antoni, I'm going to score 100 in two games. I'm going to try."

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