- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2007

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said that today’s game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers might feature the debut of long-injured forward Darius Songaila. Songaila has missed the entire season following back surgery.

“It looks like he is ready to get some spot minutes,” Jordan said. “After shoot around we’ll pretty much know. He had a tough practice today, he was physical and he ran more. But if he does [play] it will be very limited minutes.”

Whether the Wizards would have continued to sit Songaila had Antawn Jamison not sprained his left knee in a win over the Pistons Tuesday night is uncertain. But Songaila, who signed a five-year, $23 million deal has been practicing with the team for a little more than a week.

Yesterday following another intense workout, Songaila agreed with Jordan that he might play tonight.

“We had the idea of sometime in February and now February is here,” Songaila said. “I’m day-to-day now. We’ll go to shoot around tomorrow and we’ll see how it feels. If it’s OK, we’ll see.”

Meantime, Jordan said that Calvin Booth, who filled in after Jamison’s exit on Tuesday, will not start tonight against the Lakers. Instead, Jordan will go with Jarvis Hayes alongside Butler and Brendan Haywood in the frontcourt.

No hard feelings

It was against these same Lakers in December that Arenas went for a franchise record 60 points in Washington’s 147-141 overtime victory.

In the aftermath of the game, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said that Arenas “doesn’t seem to have much of a conscience,” and made reference to his counterpart “just chucking it up there.”

Arenas, a huge Bryant fan, responded to Bryant’s statements following the Wizards’ loss to Toronto on Wednesday, indicating that there was no bad blood between the two.

“Kobe and I have been friends since I came into this league, and I didn’t take offense to it,” Arenas said. “At the end of the day he’s my idol. That’s who I grew up watching, and that’s who I grew up trying to be like. So as far as I’m concerned the blood is still good between me and him.”

However, when the game tips tonight don’t expect Arenas to sit back and assume a humble posture.

“I didn’t say I’m not going to be in attack mode,” Arenas said. “I’m going to be in attack mode, you can believe that. He has a reputation that he’s trying to uphold and everyone is wondering, ‘What is Gil going to do?’ And I’m going to do what I do, I’m going to attack him.”

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