Just Call Wiz's Stevenson 'Mr. 50'

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By JOSEPH WHITE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 21, 2007; 7:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- It was tough enough for DeShawn Stevenson to accept a minimum wage contract to play for the Washington Wizards. What he didn't expect as part of the bargain was second-banana billing to Gilbert Arenas in a hit video on YouTube.

With both of those facts in mind, Stevenson had a good all-around night in the Wizards' first game following the All-Star break. Not only did he score a season-high 23 points in Tuesday's 112-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he managed a nice return salvo at Arenas by publicly needling the point guard over his shooting percentage.

"He's 'Hibachi,' but I'm 'Mr. Fifty,'" said Stevenson, who raised his average to 50.1 percent _ well ahead of Arenas' 42. "Put that in the newspaper so he'll get mad."

His comments quickly got back to Arenas, who brought them up when the two players resumed their playful bickering at practice on Wednesday.

"He was kind of ticked off about it," Stevenson said. "But, you know, Gilbert and I go back and forth."

The pair really went back and forth after a practice a few weeks ago when they staged an ad hoc 3-point shooting competition. The video of the contest _ which has more than 350,000 views on YouTube _ shows Arenas doing everything he can to distract Stevenson, including a break dance. The loser was supposed to pay the winner $20,000, but Arenas didn't collect after a narrow victory.

"He knew he cheated," Stevenson said. "But he liked the simple fact that everybody said he won."

Stevenson has received more attention for the video than for any shot he's made this season.

"I got crazy feedback," Stevenson said. "That's what happens when you're on a winning team, things will happen. And you've got a talented guy like Gilbert that's got everybody's ear."

Arenas usually likes to get the last word when someone takes a public swipe at him, but he was mum on the "Mr. Fifty" jab Wednesday, avoiding reporters by leaving the locker room through a back exit.

Meanwhile, Stevenson talked up the idea of a 3-point rematch.

"I think there will be," Stevenson said. "Me and Gilbert, we're so competitive. Something's going to happen. When it does, it's going to be fun. I feel if he doesn't distract me, I'd win."


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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