WASHINGTON (AP) -Gilbert Arenas is finally speaking again. He sounds like the same ol' Agent Zero.
``I'm an assassin. I get buckets,'' the Washington Wizards guard said after Friday's practice. ``I know I haven't played in a long time, but the shot is still there, so when I come off that bench, there is going to be some trouble.''
Arenas, usually a master of self-promotion, began a media boycott when he returned from a 66-game absence on April 2. Except for a couple of entries in his blog - one of which added trash-talking fuel to Washington's first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers - he steered cleared of the cameras and scribes until the regular season was over.
``I just didn't want to hear 'How's your knee?' 'How does it feel to be back?' 'Are you going to still opt out?' Same old, same old,'' Arenas said. ``Let's worry about the playoffs and wait until we get to the playoffs and then I'll be back at it.''
As if on cue, a reporter then asked Arenas if he going to opt out of his contract this summer, as expected.
Arenas chuckled and answered rather shyly: ``I don't know.''
Since returning from knee surgery, Arenas has been used as a sixth man. He has been limited by doctors to 25 minutes or so per game and sat out the final two regular-season games as a precaution. Coach Eddie Jordan is hoping Arenas will be able to play more in the postseason.
As for the series against the Cavaliers, which starts Saturday in Cleveland, Arenas helped stoke the back-and-forth between the teams in his blog. Among his comments: ``I think everybody wants Cleveland in that first round'' and ``We don't think they can beat us in the playoffs three years straight.''
``The funny part is I don't talk trash on the court, just around the court, before I step into those lines,'' Arenas said. ``That was the same team that was talking trash when I shot the free throw (in Game 6 of the 2006 playoffs). Now it's revenge time. I don't know what the hoopla is about. When they were talking trash, it was no biggie, but now when we talk trash it's a big old problem. We get crucified for it.''
The Cavaliers have played barely better than .500 since acquiring Ben Wallace, Delonte West, Joe Smith and Wally Szczerbiak in February, and that hasn't escaped Arenas' notice.
``Ever since they made that trade, they really haven't found how to play with each other and that's what we are banking on,'' Arenas said. ``It's not the same team that we played two years ago.''
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