Continued from page 1

It is true the center by committee of Brendan Haywood and the Poet is no longer tolerable.

Even so, Arenas and the Wizards must know they were not leading the conference at the All-Star break by accident.

If Arenas opts out of his contract and leaves the Wizards next summer, what he really will be saying is, “I am not good enough to lead a team deep into the playoffs.”

Otherwise, his recent pronouncement contradicts his past comments of wanting to spend the rest of his career here and one day seeing his jersey hanging from the rafters and claiming not to want a maximum contract because of the limitation it puts on a franchise in landing top-level personnel.

Arenas either accepts the challenge of being the franchise player of the Wizards or doesn’t.

If he goes elsewhere, it will be as a nice regular-season player who could not get it done in the postseason with the Wizards.