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Gilbert Arenas quotes on upcoming season

 


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| Oct. 5, 2006

Gilbert ArenasWashington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is the undisputed leader of the team, and his star power grows stronger with each season. Here's what Arenas said on media day:

On the teamís chemistry heading into the season: ďItís great. Thatís what youíre looking for when youíre trying to take that next step. You canít be in that rebuilding stage every year. We may have lost Jared (Jefferies), but we added DeShawn (Stevenson) and (Darius) Songaila, and I think thatís going to help out a lot. We going to help them make an easy transition and just keep going forward. We have some great pieces, defensively and offensively, and now itís just about getting it done.Ē

On getting to Ďthe next levelí: ďWe have to play defense, we know that. We have to become a better defensive team overall, every player. I know the NBA is built now for scoring, but your best teams in this league play defense.Ē

On being a team leader: ďIím going to take that challenge this year by stopping the best players. Like your Kevin Garnetts and your Shaqs -- they lead on both ends. Iím going to have to stick to the Kobes and the Tracy McGradys out there. If players are seeing me go out there, willing to take that challenge, they will do that with me. Itís about setting an example and leading with my play. Thatís what the best do. MJ did it on both ends; Kobe does it. Thatís whatís next for me.Ē

On his United Statesí National Team experience: ďI have totally forgotten about that experience. Itís in the past and I have ĎWizardsí on my chest now so thatís what Iím about now. I said some things, and I vented out against Phoenix and Portland, but those teams actually had nothing to do with anything. That was wrong of me. I really want to say sorry for it and I want to say sorry to Mike DíAntoni. That was the immature Gilbert two months ago. Iím growing as a person, and Iím ready to be a leader for the Washington Wizards.Ē

On his anxiousness for the season opener versus Cleveland: ďThatís a real good game right there. Itís going to be a lot of sweat and blood going into that game, I can say that now. Thereís going to be hard playing and Iím going to try to stick to LeBron (James). Itís going to be different; heís going to see a different player than he saw in the Playoffs.Ē

On the Ďdifferent playerí that heíll be this year: ďIím going to focus more on defense. Iím just going to harass players. Iím still going to score, that is my nature, but Iím going to be more of a defensive player. The best Kobe Bryant game I have seen is when he scored 40 and he held Tracy McGrady to 10 or 15 points. That is the kind of player I want to be like. I want to become a defensive person.Ē

On his missed free throws in the playoffs: ďI canít explain it. I donít know. I made the great shot and then I missed two free throws that could have helped us seal the game. I just look at it like it wasnít our time. They had a guy who played for 30 minutes in the whole series and he comes in and hits a game winning shot, and I missed two free throws. Well, I guess it wasnít our time. So all summer I got ready for this year.Ē

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