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Gilbert Arenas (0) says he and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan (right) 'got everything straightened out' in a meeting.
BY JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON--In his unique way, Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas said yesterday that his verbal spat with coach Eddie Jordan was just a "little bump" for a team in need of a tuneup.
In other Gilbertology news, Arenas said he can't be a team leader because he's "a goof." He also revealed a plan to try to wear an Agent Zero jersey when he starts in the All-Star game this weekend.
Arenas criticized Jordan following Sunday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, saying the coach's overemphasis on defense contributed to the Wizards' fourth loss in five games. Arenas' remarks drew stern rebukes within the team and led to a players-only meeting Monday, plus a one-on-one meeting with Jordan in which the coach gave Arenas a tutorial in what was happening in the game.
"We talked about everything. It was like a tuneup," Arenas said. "It was a tuneup for the team. We've lost four out of five. We're going into the All-Star break. This is when teams get lackadaisical, from both sides. Coaching staff felt we were getting lackadaisical, and we felt they were getting lackadaisical. We had a meeting and we got everything straightened out."
Arenas said his criticisms of Jordan stemmed from frustration because the team has had trouble winning since team captain Antawn Jamison was sidelined with a knee injury. Arenas said his relationship with Jordan remains good.
"It was blown out of proportion. We had a little bump, and we can fix it now," Arenas said.
Jordan has said the team needs to find new sources of leadership during Jamison's absence. Arenas, who had an unsuccessful stint as a co-captain last season, said he is not the solution.
"I'm a goof. C'mon, everyone knows that," Arenas said. "I look at my elders as the leaders. I don't want nobody looking at me. How can I tell somebody 'Don't shoot that shot' when I'm out there chunking 'em?"
On Sunday, Arenas will start in the All-Star game for the first time, having played as a substitute the last two years. He's also going to be in the 3-point shootout again--he was the runner-up to Dirk Nowitzki last year--and said he has been practicing nightly to perfect his form.
"I'm not a runner-up this year," Arenas said.
As evidenced by his remarks about Jordan on Sunday, Arenas has trouble keeping things to himself. He let another cat out of the bag yesterday when he announced his jersey plans for the All-Star game.
Arenas will take to Las Vegas 100 All-Star jerseys with the word "Agent" instead of "Arenas" above his number zero on the back. He'll toss them to fans--similar to the way he tosses his own jersey into the crowd after Wizards games--and then plans to wear one when he takes the court for the game.
Arenas said he'll get away with it because he's starting the game.
"They won't know until the game starts," he said.
Oops. Now everyone knows. Besides, the way the NBA is these days, trying such a gimmick could draw a hefty fine.
"It's worth it," Arenas said. "It's worth getting fined for, because all those people who got the Arenas Zero jerseys are going to feel special."