WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is ready to do almost anything to make the U.S. national team -- starting with mastering the shorter 3-point shot.
"I've been working out on the international 3 -- it's like a free throw now," Arenas said Tuesday at an open workout before leaving for next week's training camp. "I'm accustomed to that line, and I know it's hard for NBA players to shoot from that line. We don't practice it. It's either shoot an NBA 3 or drive into the lane, it seems like there is no in-between, so I've been working on it and I've forgotten about the NBA line."
Arenas and 22 other invitees will train at the camp run by U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski in Las Vegas from July 19-25. Those who make the final roster will play in this year's world championship in Japan.
"I'm excited, a little nervous," said Arenas, who averaged 29.3 points last season and made the All-Star game for the second straight year. "It's just like when you see rookies come in and they are trying to make a squad. That is how I feel going out there."
Arenas lobbied to be selected for the roster in part because he doesn't mind the year-round commitment. Arenas works out through the summer anyway, rarely taking a vacation from the gym.
To reinforce his desire, he gave Krzyzewski a call last week and spoke to the coach for about a half hour.
"He said he likes my speed and that I can shoot," Arenas said. "He wants to see me play defense -- to get out there and pick them up full court -- and I am willing to do anything to make this team.
"I told him, 'You don't have to worry about me. I'm not one of the egotistic players. If you want me to dive on the floor and run into walls, I'll do it.' He can worry about someone else because he won't have to worry about me."
Even if he makes the team, Arenas realizes the competition for points and playing time will be tough on a squad that could include LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.
"We have scorers; they don't need that from me," Arenas said. "All they need from me is to run the team, run the defense, be athletic and take open shots -- and I am willing to do that."
I like this from Gilbert!!! It shows he knows what the team needs which is Defense. I would have him on my team as a PG. What does everyone else think???
i saw chris paul and gilbert arenas as rotating pg. my take is chris paul gets first rotation since he still (maybe) has some college bground in him that coach k can work with still and comprehend better.
I expect Wade to play some minutes at the point too but yeah Arenas will definitely be an important player.
There are the type of players Team USA needs: the non egotistical ones.
"No hay poder en el mundo que pueda cambiar el destino"