However, bringing this up kind of underscores the real issue here. The Wizards know that Gilbert Arenas is not a totally rational actor in the same way most NBA players are. They knew back in 2008, when they offered him a max contract in hopes he would take back less because they were worried he’d flip out if he was offered less and go sign somewhere else for the mid-level exception. Let’s assuming the goal here is an amicable breakup that allows the Wizards to move on as quietly as possible (if that wasn’t the goal, then the Wizards messed up far worse than this). Knowing that you were so worried about “threatening” him in that situation, why would you threaten him like this in this one right off the bat? What incentive does Gil have now to make your life easier?
I was reading Prada’s exposition on what the Wizards have done wrong with skepticism. After all, I think that pinning criticism on anyone else but Arenas and Critt for what happened is diffusing the issue, which I’ve pointed out before. And so when I was nodding along and found this paragraph, I stopped and said “Ah ha! There’s where he goes wrong! We should be able to expect Arenas to act as a rational being! I have him!” and then I reread it and read the rest of the piece and said “Zounds. He’s bested me again, that dastardly Michael! I guess the devil really does…” No, I will not finish that joke.
Prada nails this. By reacting in such a public and dramatic way, the Wizards aren’t closing the issue or making a statement, they’re putting themselves in the little sidewalk play. Handle your behavior carefully and with measure, not by dragging out the cane and whacking whatever moves.