By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 11, 2007
Even though the best season of his six-year career was cut short by an injury, Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas has been rewarded by being named to the all-NBA second team.
Arenas, who made his third consecutive all-star team and averaged 28.4 points per game, tore the meniscus in his left knee in a game against Charlotte on April 4 and underwent season-ending surgery the next day.
Arenas expects to make a full recovery by early August and be ready for the start of training camp in early October. Arenas was named third-team all-NBA following the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons. He joins Elvin Hayes (1972-73 through 1976-77) as the only players in franchise history to be named to the all-NBA team in three consecutive seasons.
This season's first team consists of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Amare Stoudemire. Arenas is joined on the second team by Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Yao Ming; and the third team includes Dwyane Wade, Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.
"Twenty four players get picked for the all-star game, and that's a great honor," Arenas said. "But even fewer get picked for this, so it's a real accomplishment, and a lot of credit has to go to my teammates."
The high point of Arenas's season came in December when he was named Eastern Conference player of the week three times while helping the Wizards post the best record in the conference. Arenas, who finished third in scoring behind Bryant and Anthony, scored a career-high 60 points in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 17 and poured in 54 points in a win at Phoenix on Dec. 22.
The season also was highlighted by game-winning shots or free throws Arenas made to beat Milwaukee, Utah, Seattle and Golden State.
Arenas has been rehabilitating his left knee during workouts at Verizon Center and has vowed to be even better next season.
"The doctors told me that the knee actually will be stronger than ever," Arenas said. "With the strength work we are doing, I should be able to jump and dunk like I did back in college. What happened to me and to our team this year is only going to make us stronger next year."