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What’s eating Gilbert Arenas?

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I cannot believe that it took us until now to pick up on this story. According to today's Free Press, Bullets guard Gilbert Arenas has stated that he'd like to play the Pistons in the first round of the NBA playoffs in order to exact revenge on Flip Saunders.

"What g*damned reason could anyone have to dislike an upstanding individual like Flip Saunders," you might ask? Here's Flip to sort out the mess:

"Yeah, because we only played him nine minutes" in the All-Star game, coach Flip Saunders said with a smile after Thursday's Pistons practice, repeating what he had heard Arenas say.

Saunders mentioned he played Pistons guard Rip Hamilton just over 13 minutes in the Feb. 19 game. "Maybe Rip doesn't want to play for me anymore, I don't know."

Anyone with knowledge of Arenas' primadonna tendacies knows that this is not out of character for the talented 'Zards guard. His bizarre mood swings are mostly ignored in these parts, mind you, I've been based in D.C. for the past four years and have had occasion to witness a few since he's the closest thing to a star this sports-starved town can lay claim to.Apologies to Clinton Portis. So if you are Rip Hamilton or Chauncey Billups D'ing up Arenas at the Verizon Center on Saturday, you may not want to include the perceived All-Star snub in your trash-talking repetoire, lest you unleash the fury of a thousand hysterical, open-handed smacks. And no one wants to see that.

Mr. Billups goes to Washington

Saturday is the Pistons' lone trip to D.C. this season and, thus, my only opportunity to see the Boys in Blue live this season .Obviously, like Gilbert, I am rooting for a first round Pistons/Bullets matchup. As it happens, Matt was able to sneak away from Michigan to join our group attending the game. Hopefully we'll each have some entertaining insights from witnessing the game live (that we'll post on Sunday or Monday, to avoid the all the word-slurring).

Remember, only one team has beaten the Pistons more than once this season--the Memo-led mighty Jazz of Utah. That the Wizards/Zards/Bullets pulled out a double-OT win over the Pistons the last time the two teams met should spell their doom on Saturday.

Wizards' Arenas: Bring on Pistons [Detroit Free Press]
Wizards 120, Pistons 114 box score [ESPN]