Gilbert Arenas fined for faking injury
WASHINGTON -- Gilbert Arenas just can't seem to stay out of trouble.
Arenas was fined Wednesday for faking an injury to keep from playing in the Washington Wizards' home preseason opener.
I screwed up again, so I just want to say sorry. I wasn't really thinking that this was going to be another media outburst. It's like everything I do now, someone, tit for tat, tries to blow it out of proportion.” -- Gilbert Arenas
Coach Flip Saunders said Wednesday that Arenas was fined an undisclosed amount by the team for claiming to have a sore knee before the Wizards' game against Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com the league office did consult Wednesday with the Wizards during their internal review of Arenas' comments.
But Arenas is unlikely to be subjected to a league penalty in this instance, sources said, as long as the Wizards follow through with the undisclosed fine mentioned earlier Wednesday by Saunders. NBA rules preclude players from being punished twice for the same offense.
After Wednesday's practice, Arenas first said he wasn't talking, then appeared before reporters offering a halfhearted apology for his actions.
"I screwed up again, so I just want to say sorry," he said. "I wasn't really thinking that this was going to be another media outburst. It's like everything I do now, someone, tit for tat, tries to blow it out of proportion."
Arenas wasn't done there, going on to blame the media for publicizing the story.
"If I wouldn't [have] made any comments, you guys wouldn't have known, right?" Arenas said. "Right. So, let's just say I blew it again. You guys want somebody honest, but you don't want somebody honest. I messed up again. I'll never do it again.
"At the end of the day, you guys got to do your job. Even though it's not right that you guys are nitpicking everything I do, you've got a job to do and I've got a job to do."
Arenas said after the game Tuesday that he pretended to have a bum knee to give teammate Nick Young a chance to start.
"I told [Young] I'd sacrifice playing tonight so he can get some time in because I know he's kind of frustrated he's not getting a chance to crack the [small forward] position, especially since we're going three guards," Arenas said Tuesday, smiling. "So I told him I'll go and fake an injury or say something's wrong with me so you can start."
When asked how his knee is feeling, Arenas said, "I'm fine," The Washington Post reported.
Saunders, who has gone out of his way to defend Arenas this preseason, said he was shocked and disappointed with Arenas. He spoke to Arenas and the team about the situation.
"I was probably the most surprised," Saunders said. "I got a text late last night. When I talked to Gil at the shootaround, he indicated that his knee was a little bit sore and stiff and he didn't think he was going to play, and I said, 'Fine,' and I moved on.
"I said to him that I'm most disappointed personally. Because I believe in him. There's been a trust factor. I told him, 'You're going to have to be honest with me.' It's just like dealing with your kids. Your kids make mistakes and you deal with them. It doesn't mean you love them any less."
For his part, Young feigned innocence about the entire situation, but was more than happy to take advantage of it, scoring a team-high 24 points in Washington's win.
"I didn't know nothing about it," he said. "I heard this morning -- I saw it on TV. That's just Gil doing Gil. I don't even know what was going on. I just went out there and played my game."
Arenas said he would play in the Wizards' game Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks, according to The Post.
It would have been Arenas' first game at home since his 50-game suspension and felony conviction for bringing guns into the locker room last season.
Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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