It’s only fitting that the stance on Gilbert’s return flip-flops more often than a politician on Capitol Hill. Caron Butler, how do you feel about Gilbert’s chances of coming back this season?
You may have heard Caron on the John Thompson Show on ESPN-980 yesterday, when he said that he didn’t think Gilbert Arenas is coming back this year. I was confused when I heard it because I had heard this take from Butler before, but on Monday, he and Jamison were both optimistic that Arenas will come back. So I asked him tonight, what gives? What was the change from Monday to Thursday?
His answer: “What happened?” Butler chuckled. “The truth. Man, the truth happened. I really don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
For what it’s worth, since Monday (when Caron said that he thought Gilbert would be back) the team has dropped three straight and they’ve come out flat all three times. Could this be tied into “truth” happening? And what exactly is this truth that Caron is talking about? Did Ernie Grunfeld send out a team wide e-mail saying Gilbert wasn’t coming back? Has Gilbert confided with the team that he doesn’t think he’ll be ready to go this year? Did Paul Pierce club him in the leg? Well, here’s what Gilbert had to say to Mike Jones:
So I stepped out the locker room and there standing is Gilbert, so I asked him what the real deal was. At first he said “Well, Ernie [Grunfeld] said I’m coming back, so …” But I pressed him a bit further and he admitted he is in fact going back and forth on whether or not he should come back. “I mean, seven wins? Would you?” He asked me. He went on to say, “Right now, I’m not even close. It’s a matter of recovery. It’s taking a good two or three days to recover depending on how hard I go when playing 2-on-2. So, I’m not even sure. What am I gonna do, play a game here, play five minutes a game there?”
You don’t have to do a lot of reading between the lines to see that it looks like he’s leaning more towards not coming back this season, but it also seems to me like he hasn’t shut the door on playing this season either. But on an interesting side note, Gilbert mentioned that he plans on playing in the summer league this year to “get his rhythm back.” That should make for some interesting mid-summer entertainment.