Wiz guard's antics have familiar ring

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:43 PM ET

The Raptors have some recent experience dealing with a volatile point guard. So it was amusing to watch volatile Washington Wizards point man Gilbert Arenas get himself tossed out of the game last night at the ACC.

Late in the third quarter, Arenas was given a technical foul for complaining to referee Bob Delaney. A disgusted Arenas then bounce-passed the ball a little too hard off Delaney's leg. Bad decision.

A second technical was assessed and Arenas was gone. One only can imagine how enraged he might have become had his Wizards not been winning by 15 points at the time of his ejection.

Predictably, the Wizards sputtered without their sparkplug. And in Arenas' absence, Raptors point man Rafer Alston caught fire as he returned to the lineup after being suspended for two games by his own club for going AWOL at a practice last weekend.

The end result was a dramatic 22-point comeback for the Raptors and a 103-100 victory that was as exciting as it was unexpected.

"Excuse my French, but we were beating the (bleep) out of them," said Arenas, who had scored 21 points before he got tossed. "Off my ejection, they (the Raptors) got energy, and now they want to become a team and start playing."

Arenas professed to be puzzled not only by the ejection, but also by the first technical foul he received.

"I got fouled earlier and I asked (Delaney) what happened," Arenas said. "He said: 'It's only one call.' I said: 'One turns into two, then two turns into three.' Then we came down the floor, I slapped the ball and he gave me a tech. And then his back was turned, so I just passed the ball (to him).

"I was shocked I got (the first) tech, especially when (Raptors guard) Jalen Rose, before the half, he was cussing the ref out. At least let me say one bad word. I can do that. Don't give me a tech for slapping the ball hard. That has nothing to do with you. That's part of my play-calling."

Well, that's Arenas' version of events, anyway.

Regardless, the Wizards had manhandled the Raptors in three previous games this season, and were on their way to No. 4 before this incident.

With Arenas gone, Wizards forward Antawn Jamison tried to keep his club on the straight and narrow. But his 30-point, 11-rebound effort was not enough.

Before the game, Jamison took the time to ponder how the world might be different had one less trade occurred in 1998. Toronto would have been spared the Vince Carter experience.

And Jamison, who originally was drafted by Toronto but immediately was dealt for Carter, still might be a Raptor.

"I was talking to somebody the other day and they were saying that," said Jamison, who last night produced his 18th double-double of the season. "Yeah, you never know. I might still be here.

"I like Toronto a lot and I've been here quite a bit in the summer. This is a fun city. I love it here. It's funny how things work out."

Last night nothing turned out funny for the Wizards, who have lost four games in a row. They still are one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season and, at 26-19, they appear to be headed for the playoffs in the mediocre East.

If the Wizards do reach the post-season, Jamison and Arenas will be the main reasons why.

As long as Arenas, the talented but high-strung point man, can keep his emotions in check, that is.

Sound familiar?


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