Updated: September 17, 2009, 10:10 AM ET
Arenas says he's ready to go
ESPN.com news services
Gilbert Arenas says he's back to his explosive self but is wondering if it's the Wizards' fault that it has taken him so long to get back to normal.
Arenas, who worked with trainer Tim Grover in Chicago this summer, told The Washington Times that his injuries are in the past.
"Nobody could guard me before, and can't nobody guard me now," Arenas told the newspaper. "If I hadn't come up here, I'd be starting off the season with a 95 percent chance that I'd be sitting out more games. ... [Tim Grover] saved my career."
Coming off three knee surgeries in 1½ years, Arenas played in only two games last season.
Grover painted a grim picture of Arenas' health when the Washington Wizards guard arrived at his training complex in Chicago this July.
"A lot of things weren't firing -- his glutes, his hips, thighs," Grover told the newspaper. "I wouldn't say his condition was the most severe, I wouldn't say it was the best. ... But if I were to classify it on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the most extreme, I'd say he was definitely in the seven, eight category."
Grover has several high-profile NBA clients, including Dwyane Wade, O.J. Mayo and Tracy McGrady. Arenas has resisted overtures to work with Grover in the past, but finally decided to give it a try this year.
While Arenas praised Grover for saving his career, he blamed the Wizards for giving him too much control over his failed comebacks from surgery the past two seasons.
"If you have a kid that loves basketball, that eats, sleeps, drinks and thinks basketball and all he knows is basketball and he gets hurt and he's your franchise player, you need to hold him back from himself," Arenas told the newspaper. "If I'm saying I feel good and you know it's supposed to take six months, instead of letting me at four months run ... they should have held me back. Rather than saying, 'Let's let this guy do what he wants and use him to sell tickets' -- sometimes you have to protect players from themselves. I don't feel like I got that type of protection. But, I don't judge them for that. Some things just happen. I told them I felt OK because I wanted to play, and they did what they did."
Arenas has worked hard this summer to try to get back on the court.
"It was a pretty extensive process," Grover told the newspaper. "We had to get his range of motion back in the leg, did a lot of acupuncture, a lot of work. We put a game plan together and attacked it from as many angles as we could. Gil would work with four or five individuals from my staff each day. ... It was, 'OK, Gil, you're going to be spending a good six to seven hours a day in here and a lot of treatment, and it's all pieces of the puzzle to putting you back together to being the player you were before -- and better.' "
Arenas averaged 27.7 points per game from 2004 until 2007, becoming one of the NBA's most dynamic players. But he has played just 15 games the past two seasons because of his injuries.
Arenas said his goal isn't to be an All-Star player this season. Instead, he has loftier goals.
"All-Star's not my goal. I never wanted to be an All-Star. All-Star is the 24 hottest players at that time. All-League? That's my goal," Arenas told the newspaper. "All-League is only 15 players. So All-League and to play as many games as possible. That's it."
This is good news for the Wizards. We saw what Grover did for Dwayne Wade last season. Arenas will play huge this season and have the Wizards in the hunt for the 4th or 5th seed in the playoffs.
Theyll be great in the first round maybe theyll win a game or 2....Wizards are inconsequential in the East
Good for him, I've always liked him as a player, I don't think anyone can shut him down, but I think Wade could guard him.
I hope he comes back strong. He was one of the most exciting players in the league before the injuries. I still remember him lighting Kobe up for 60, and even though Kobe is my favorite player i had to give respect when respect is due. Grover is a genious by the way. I think every NBA player should train with him in the off season
I'm sorry but I hate Arenas' attitude here. Has he got no self control? He says the Wizards should have protected him and held him back. Couldn't he judged that for himself and realised that, for the good of the team, he should have waited until he was fully healed. As the best player on that team he should show some responsibility and admit that he was (maybe) impatient. The Wizards aren't to blame in my opinion.
Team Adidas is almost BACK!
Tim Duncan! K.G!
Coming Soon - T-Mac and Agent Zero
I'm sure their are others, but I remember them from all the Commercials of
We Not Me and Impossible is Nothing
i actually think they could do some damage in the east, i think a healthy wizards team is better than atlanta and miami, remember when they kept pushing cleveland.
think about it, agent zero, caron, antawn, the ninja turtle branden haywood, and rotating blatche, javele mcgee, nick young, and deshawn stevenson out of the lineup, that team could cause matchup problems with some teams if they remain healthy and their younger players play up to there potential
i think if blatche or mcgee breakout they could easily upset someone(most likely the celtics) and go to the east finals
just think gil, caron, antawn, mcgee and blatche switching out at power forward, and haywood at center, that's a tough go for someone
especially with scoring from young, stevenson, and i forgot all about juan dixon
i am saying they will make it to at least the 2nd, i know someone is going to give me negative points, but it'll be cool, when May comes and I'm right.
the wizards are team I'm feeling real good about. I have them 4th in the east next year.
this team is stacked and if Arenas can stay healthy, they can compete with anybody in a 7 game series.
llperez22 i forgot all about mike miller and randy foye.....now that really supports my claims