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Gilbert Arenas: Still faking it when it's time to get real

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The Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas talks about the reason he faked a sore knee in Tuesday's preseason win against the Atlanta Hawks.

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Saunders is supposed to determine the starting lineup, not Arenas, whose actions may have made Nick Young happy for one night. But by then blabbing about it, he also threw an unpleasant spotlight on Young. Who wants this kind of help?

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And while Young scored 24 points, Saunders was quick to point out that the guard also registered no rebounds and no assists. Perhaps, in fact, that's the reason Saunders hadn't started Young. Perhaps Saunders was trying to send a message to Young that he needs to do more than score. Perhaps Young needs to earn his own starts. And perhaps Arenas isn't quite ready to coach an NBA team just yet.

I can guarantee Arenas didn't make his other teammates happy. Just as the Redskins got heartily sick of answering Albert Haynesworth questions, so will the Wizards grow tired of the Arenas Follies.

But I'm forgetting, of course, that that's the fault of the media. One thing I'll say for Arenas: He never tried to blame the gun incident on anyone but himself. Apparently he had time in the halfway house to plot his new strategy, which is to blame the media for everything. He referred to the reaction to his statement that he faked the injury as a "media outburst." Really? When a player tells reporters after the game that he faked an injury, are they supposed to ignore it? Thumbscrews weren't involved here.

And for Arenas to blame his myriad problems on the media, well, that takes the cake. I've never seen an athlete so desperately crave attention. In some ways he's a flower that blooms in the spotlight; when his career is over he may end up renting a room from Norma Desmond.

I have no idea how the Wizards can easily solve this problem, and it is a problem. Arenas had already made himself virtually untradeable with his actions last season. Faking an injury and lying to his coach means President Ernie Grunfeld's phone isn't going to ring any time soon.

Fining Arenas is a joke. He's still owed $80 million, so unless they fine him $79.5 million, I doubt they'll get his attention. And because of that, cutting him is not an attractive option. Neither is putting him on the inactive list - or even the fake inactive list - because then you're paying him to do absolutely nothing.

The sad truth, for Arenas, is that he needs the Wizards far more than they need him. Arenas himself admitted the Wizards are "guard-loaded." He may think he's being asked to bring John Wall along - playing Robin to Wall's Batman, in the Arenas lexicon - but the team surely hopes Kirk Hinrich will be the one filling the Batman role. Leaving Arenas, as always, to play the Joker.


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