There are many, many people in this town who will equate Wizards star Gilbert Arenas with disgruntled Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Both are easy targets, if only because of the amount of money they make.
But Arenas has differentiated himself from Haynesworth in one way: he's actually passed a conditioning test. According to Michael Lee of The Washington Post, Wizards coach Flip Saunders has decided to pull a Mike Shanahan and require his players to all pass a conditioning test this season. (Of course, Saunders' test is actually a test, unlike Shanahan's, but I digress). This test requires players to run four sets of 10 full-court sprints, with a two-and-a-half minute break between sets. Guards need to pass each set with an aggregate average of 57 seconds.
Arenas did much better than that.
Arenas may have been less than enthusiastic about playing for the Wizards several months ago, but guess who was the first player to complete the conditioning exam? Yep, Arenas. According to a league source, he finished the first set in 42 seconds.
Lee told me Arenas' final three sets were a bit slower, which is obviously to be expected. Still, he was well over the 57-second average, and 42 seconds on the first set is unbelievably impressive.
I realize we're in the middle of the Fourth Annual Get Excited About Gilbert Arenas Coming Back From Injury period, but it sounds like this could be for real this time. I'm rooting for the guy, and I'll always root for the guy. Hopefully, he comes through.