Arenas spurns 'hibachi' in response to Kobe's beef

Updated: December 25, 2006, 9:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Gilbert Arenas has a new mantra.

Point Guard
Washington Wizards

Profile
2007 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
26 30.1 4.3 6.3 .436 .818

The Washington Wizards guard, who used to say "hibachi" when his jump shot was in mid-flight, has started saying something different since his 60-point game in a 147-141 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Lakers last week.

"Ever since Kobe [Bryant] said I was lucky, I say 'quality shots,'" Arenas told the Washington Post on Saturday. "Maybe Kobe would say that was luck. It's luck when you score 30 or 40, but luck can't get you 50 or 60. Every game before the game, I make 10 3s from 10 spots on the court. That's 100 3s."

Following the Lakers' loss to the Wizards on Dec. 17, Bryant said, "First of all, he shot 27 free throws. We as a team shot 30. Think about that."

Arenas came close to 60 again Friday, finishing with 54 points as the Wizards ended the Phoenix Suns' 15-game winning streak with a 144-139 OT win.

"When you are on fire, you are on fire," Arenas told the Post.

Arenas denied that his performance Friday was directed at Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, who was on the Team USA staff that asked Arenas, who reportedly had a groin injury, to leave training camp this summer. Arenas had previously vowed to score 100 points against Phoenix and the Portland Trail Blazers, whose coach, Nate McMillan, was also on the Team USA staff.

"I wasn't mad at D'Antoni or Nate McMillan," Arenas told the Post. "They didn't have a part in [picking the roster]. I know if they did, I would have been on it. But I knew I had to back up what I said."

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan also denied that Arenas had extra motivation against the Suns.

"He is motivated all the time," Jordan told the Post. "He got 60 against the Lakers, and nothing happened there. It wasn't about this summer. He wants to win. This is one of his great games."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.