Monday September 27, 2010 5:15 p.m.
By Frank HanrahanCSNwashington.com
The former face of the franchise did not put on a happy one for the Washington Wizards on media day. In fact, Gilbert Arenas, didn't crack one smile during photo ops for the cameras and when he addressed the media for a brief three minutes, his tone was depressingly monotone. "The only place I want to smile is on the court. That's where my job is. That's where my love is. That's the only time I need to smile now," Arenas said,
Speaking publicly for the first time since he spent 30 days in a half way house on gun charges, Arenas delivered emotionless responses to questions. One reporter had to ask the inevitable question that certainly was on my mind. "Gil, Are you happy? You don't look happy?" To which Arenas responded, "Yeah I'm very happy. In the past I used to show happiness on the outside. There is no need to do that anymore."
Is Arenas bitter? Angry towards the team? What is it? No one really can point a finger on it. But that's the way it always has been with Arenas who not too long ago called himself a 'goof.' Wizards second year coach Flip Saunders doesn't think Arenas is playing around. "I know he wants to go out and prove a lot of things. I think he is taking the right approach, as far as a very serious approach. That's what we have to do as a team," Saunders said.
Wizards forward Andray Blatche thinks he will see Arenas in a better mood again but it will take some time. "At this point of his career after all he has been through, the attitude he has now of being more serious is a good attitude. We have seen the old Gil and I think a new Gil would be better for us right now," Blatche said. "It takes time to get his trust back in people, its a process that will happen."
Arenas hasn't been a part of the Wizards team for nine months after he was suspended by the league for the last 50 games for bringing guns into the Verizon Center locker room. Has the former all star guard learned anything in that time? "I am more to myself, you get older so you just automatically grow, just another year. year 10," Arenas said.
For John Wall, his rookie season begins. The ballyhooed number one pick out of Kentucky wanted to make it clear today he will need some help. "I just want people to know it's just not me it's us as a team. I don't want to be treated any differently. I might get extra media attention, extra photo shoots and all that but I just want to be treated all the other teammates."
Wall will likely be paired in the back court with Arenas and they have been playing pickup together a lot in preparation for the upcoming season. "He can score in different ways from the outside and the perimeter but he makes it look so effortless and he has so many different moves and he makes it look so easy." Wall said.
Wall added he is looking forward to training camp which gets underway tonight with a "Midnight Madness" themed practice at George Mason. Say cheese.