Thursday, August 31, 2006

There's no I in 'Team USA'...

... but there are three of them in "Vindictive."

As I speculated two weeks ago, Gilbert Arenas' 'hamstring injury' that forced him to drop off of Team USA was really just the excuse they used to avoid actually having to cut the guy. Now Gil, class act that he is, has gone public with the story. It's never easy to figure out what this guy is thinking, but seriously, WHAT IS THIS GUY THINKING!?!?

He bad mouths Colangelo and the process ("They said it was a tryout, but they already had their team selected"), Krzyzewski ("I was the only person he didn't talk to the whole time we were out there")... he even gets in a dig at the Holy Trinity ("You've got LeBron being LeBron. You've got Carmelo being Carmelo. You've got D-Wade being D-Wade. Why can't I be me?") Then he promises to hold a grudge against the assistant coaches ("I can't wait to play the Suns and Portland. Against Portland, Nate McMillan, I'm going to try to score 100 in two games and against D'Antoni, I'm going to score 100 in two games.")

But here's the great part... he's hoping to make the team for Beijing '08! "I'm just going to keep working hard. I have two years to get ready for the Olympics. That's how I look at it." Nice start, Gil. I'm sure that Colangelo, Krzyzewski, McMillan and D'Antoni will give you a real shot next time around.

Isn't there some sort of saying about burning bridges? I forget. Oh well, let's make up a new saying, just for Gil: "If at first you don't succeed, trash everyone involved, and try again."

When the Clippers tried to sign Arenas to a big contract, I thought they were offering him way too much. In fact, at the time I wasn't convinced he was worth more than Andre Miller. I will be the first to admit that I was wrong about the guy's talent - he is a monster. But I was right about the person - he is a monster. Sam Cassell handing the baton to Shawn Livingston is a significantly better point guard solution than 6 years of Gilbert Arenas.

On a more serious note, it is already starting. I've said it before, and it's already starting. The process for picking the Beijing team could get UGLY. I still don't think you should cut, say, Shane Battier, to open up a spot for, say, Kobe Bryant - not if this team wins the Gold Medal. But what happens if Kobe wants a spot and you don't give it to him? If Gil plans to hang 100 in two games on these guys, Kobe will shoot for 100 per.