Arenas has been fined by the Wizards for faking a knee injury that prevented him from playing in the preseason home opener on Tuesday. According to a report by ESPN.com, head coach Flip Saunders announced that the team has fined Arenas an undisclosed amount for claiming his knee was sore and needed to sit out during the matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.
According to the report, Arenas wanted to give shooting guard Nick Young a chance to start, since the three-year veteran has been struggling for playing time in the guard-heavy Wizards’ roster. Once the game was over, Arenas admitted to faking the injury and said that his knee was “fine.”
“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,” Arenas said. “Especially since we’re going three guards.”
Still reeling from his 2009-10 suspension for storing unlicensed firearms in the Wizards’ locker room, Arenas went on the defensive when talking to the media after practice on Wednesday.
“If I wouldn’t [have] made any comments, you guys wouldn’t have known, right?” Arenas said. “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.”
While fans were left disappointed that they had to wait one more game to see Arenas return to the court, there was a silver lining to the fake injury. Young scored a team-high 24 points in the preseason victory. Rookie John Wall also notched 19 points in his home debut.
Arenas told reporters that he will be playing in Thursday’s preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks. It will be his first game back since his 50-game suspension for the felony charges.