What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes
December 12, 2011, 4:10 am
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It was almost a year ago to the day that the Wizards traded their one-time face of the franchise, Gilbert Arenas, to Orlando for forward Rashard Lewis.

At the time it was two bloated contracts swapped out for each other with Orlando crossing its fingers that Arenas still had some game, while the Wizards were just happy to unload the mercurial guard and pave the way for John Wall to blossom. Lewis was almost an afterthought in the deal.

Fast forward to today and Arenas's career might be over after he was amnestied by the Magic and Lewis is still a Wizard who is trying to make an impact as training camp wrapped up day three at Verizon Center Sunday night.

"I think in particular Rashard has been unbelievable. I mean he's been extremely vocal with the young guys," Saunders said.

"A lot of people think it's out of his nature a little bit to be that vocal, but he's been that way since day one."

Lewis, entering his 14th NBA season, at 32 is the oldest player on a very young Wizards team.

"In practice he has been pushing guys really hard and talking a lot to the younger guys, explaining to them what's going on," Saunders said.

Lewis missed several games last season with tendinitis, but he is back to 100 percent and is penciled in to start at the small forward spot.

"Feels like new energy when I was a young guy in Seattle," Lewis said. "Everybody is working hard and you got to keep up with the young guys, so it's exciting more than anything."

In just over a year, Arenas has been moved out and almost half the roster is new with rookies Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack and second year player Jordan Crawford now on board with Lewis trying to help show them the way.

Times have changed. Now let's see if the record does.