Gilbert Arenas, who is having a spectacular year playing for the Washington Wizards, is mad at Coach K for cutting him from the USA team that will play in the olympics. He told ESPN that he’s driven to get back at anyone connected to the decision, which is why he dropped 54 points on Phoenix last month, because their coach is an assistant coach on the USA team. He says he’s gonna do it to Portland and coach Nate McMillan soon too. But what he really wants is to play Duke:
“He’d like to see what I’m going to do against Duke,” Arenas wrote in a posting this week on his nba.com blog. “I thought it was funny because if I have the chance to go back to college, I’ll give up one NBA season to play against Duke.
“One college game that’s five fouls, right? … 40-minute game at Duke, they got soft rims I’d probably score 84 or 85. I wouldn’t pass the ball. I wouldn’t even think about passing it. It would be like a NBA Live or an NBA 2K7 game, you just shoot with one person,” he wrote.
Arenas is a great player, and I understand that he’s using being cut to motivate himself, but this is quite absurd. Sure, you can take any good NBA player and put them back in college after several years of playing against the pros and they’re gonna light up even a good college team. Imagine Lebron James playing a college team today, or Shaquille O’Neal in his prime doing so. That’s an absurdly unfair comparison.
But the article doesn’t mention that when Arenas was in college, he had his shot against Duke. He had it on the biggest stage of all, in the NCAA championship game in 2001. Duke won 82-72 for Coach K’s third national championship. And Arenas was the major reason Arizona lost, shooting a dismal 4 for 17 from the field to erase a night when all three frontline players shot over 50%. So quite frankly, Arenas should be quiet on that particular subject.
The article also doesn’t bother to analyze whether Coach K was right to cut him from the team or not. Arenas is a great player, and a great story since he was a second round pick who has turned into a serious MVP candidate in the NBA, but who should Coach K have cut to keep him? He plays shooting guard, the same position played by Dwayne Wade and Kobe Bryant, and as great as Arenas is as a player he’s not better than those two.
And while we’re on the subject of Duke basketball, they are justifiably taking some heat for their win at Clemson on Thursday. For those who didn’t see it, Duke blew a 5 point lead in the final 10 seconds when Josh McRoberts threw a pass directly to a Clemson player, who hit a 3 pointer to tie the game. The refs put 4.4 seconds back on the clock and Duke made it downcourt and hit a shot at the buzzer by David McClure.
I was watching the game and the critics are absolutely right, there was no way that much time should have been on the clock. 2.5 seconds tops, which would have not given them time to make that last shot. The game should have gone in to overtime, where the Blue Devils likely would have won, but at least then it would have been settled on the court rather than with a ref’s mistake. An ugly way to win, and a game they probably deserved to lose. The ACC has now admitted that a timing error was made.