The Washington Times - October 1, 2009, 08:49PM

    So far through camp Gilbert Arenas maintained his oath of silence, other than his brief comment this afternoon, “I’m not talking. I’ll see you guys media day next year.”

     And because reporters and cameras aren’t allowed in the gym until the last 30 minutes of practice, and because the player formerly known as Agent Zero has been held out of scrimmages the last two days (at least the scrimmages that media is allowed to see), we really don’t have a good idea of how he’s doing.

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     As I blogged earlier, he looked a little gimpy during sprints following the scrimmage this afternoon. And don’t just take my word for it. Ask Michael Lee from The Post and Mike Prada from BulletsForever. (Do we have enough Michael/Mike’s on the beat?)

     We do know that Zero’s dislocated left middle finger got banged yesterday and swole up and was taped last night and today. We know Flip said the finger, not knee, kept Arenas sidelined for the scrimmage, but that if it had been a game, he would’ve played.

     But what of the ginger movements? Arenas was sitting on the scorers table watching the scrimmage when the gym was opened to the media. No ice, no brace. Maybe he had iced it earlier and was just a little cold and stiff as the running was his first movement since? Maybe. Maybe it’s a little sore from five practices in three days? Maybe. Maybe he was just having a little fun? (He did  than glance up at the three Mikes after each jog up and down the court.) For now, we must continue to watch and wait.

     But as to how he’s doing behind closed gym doors? Flip says fine. His teammates do to. It’d be nice to hear straight from the horses mouth how the horse is progressing, but since we can’t for now …

     Antawn Jamison’s report: “[Gil’s] good. It’s something that 2-1/2 years we haven’t had. Let’s be honest, he’s the best player on this team. If we’re talking about contending for a championship, he’s the guy that’s gonna put us over the edge and take us to the next level. We have so many expectations the last couple seasons, but we didn’t have him. We didn’t have Brendan, we didn’t have other guys.

     “[Not having Arenas] is like having the Lakers without Kobe, or Cleveland without Lebron. He’s one of those guys. He makes the game easier, he makes the game fun. That’s what it’s about. We’ve got a guy on our team that can make a difference every night. And I expect that to happen from day 1. I dont expect him to gradually get into his roll 15, 20 games into the season. Knowing Gilbert, he’s gonna be out there proving to everybody he hasn’t lost a step at all.”

     Brendan Haywood’s report: “He’s looked pretty good. It’s been real early, so I can’t say, ‘Man, he looked like the same Gilbert Arenas!’ But he’s looked very good so far, and I’m happy what he’s done, and he’s being a leader on and off the court, and that’s something we need more than his 30 points a game. That leadership is key.

     “It’s good to see him back because he offers a dynamic we didn’t have last year. At any point in the game, you have a guy that can just basically come out and get his own shot, and that’s always a bonus. If you look at all the good teams, that’s what they do. They have guys who can get their own shots. Over course of the game, you know where the ball’s going. The Lakers are going to throw the ball to Kobe, he’s going to get his own shot. Paul Pierce will get the ball for the Celtics, Brandon Roy for Portland. We didn’t have that. Now we’ve got Gilbert back, things look a little bit different.”

     Randy Foye, who took Arenas on in a 3-point shooting contest after practice, said Gil’s confidence definitely isn’t lacking, and that the whole time, Arenas was talking trash.

    So, from the guys closest to him, there’s the 411. And, I guess that’s what Gilbert wanted: for others to do the talking for him now that his entertainment days are over. In the meantime, we’ll continue to monitor the knee and finger.