With Gilbert still recovering from knee surgery and the Wizards nowhere near playoff contention, it was only a matter of time before people started questioning whether or not he would return this season. Here’s what Ivan Carter had to say on the subject after last night’s game:
They are only whispers but I’m hearing chatter that Gilbert Arenas and the team is seriously pondering whether to bring him back at all this season. He originally targeted Dec. 1 as a possible comeback date and certainly expected to be in uniform last night but remains on the shelf with not clear date in sight.
When you add that together with Ed Tapscott mentioning a few weeks ago that there’s no timetable for Arenas’ return and it doesn’t take much to come to the conclusion that there’s probably at least been some discussions at Wizards headquarters about the subject, if nothing else.
Fanhouse’s Tom Ziller has penned the argument for the Sit Gilbert camp. Like all of Ziller’s work, it deserves your attention and consideration. I get the feeling that my argument for Gilbert’s return this season won’t be nearly as well put, but I feel compelled to argue the other side, so here’ goes nothing. Here are the reasons (in no particular order) why Gilbert should play this season if he’s 100% healthy:
- Many have expressed fear that all of Gilbert’s knee surgeries have robbed him of his talent and turned him into Penny Hardaway 2.0. The only way we’ll be able to find out if that’s happened is to get him out on the court and see how well he performs. If the knee surgeries have robbed him of his abilities it would be a devastating blow, but at least both sides would know what they have and they could adjust their plans moving forward, which would be big since the Wizards will probably have a high draft pick this summer. Even if they just brought him back for a few games late in the season long after everything has been decided (think Elton Brand last season), it would go a long way in making decisions easier this off-season.
- Remember what happened last year when the team kept pushing Gilbert’s return back farther and farther? The most disturbing line from that incident for me was when he said “Now, they are messing with my mind.” While it seems to be more of a mutual decision this time around, you have to wonder if all of this time on the bench will play more games with his mind as he starts to question whether or not he’s ever going to get healthy. And if there’s one player in the NBA that you don’t want playing head games with himself, it’s probably Gilbert Arenas.
- It’s hard to write a blog about a guy that’s played less than 30 games in the last 2 years. I can only show those buzzer beaters so many times before they get boring.