The Washington Times - September 27, 2008, 02:23PM

The Wizards just concluded interviews following their first practice of the preseason, and coach Eddie Jordan said he was pleased with the tempo his players brought and the maturity and focus of his younger players.

A few highlights:


> Gilbert Arenas may be sidelined, but made a point to remain involved, taking a group of nine players, mostly younger teammates, over to the arena for shots at 8 a.m. Each player had to make 300 shots. Late in practice he was coaching newer Wizards JaVale McGee, Dee Brown, DerMarr Johnson, Linton Johnson and Taj McCullough, who were running full-court drills. Afterwards, he was giving tips on post moves to McCullough and McGee.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan joked that he hopes Gil doesn’t take too much of a liking to coaching and decide to retire as a player.

Gil said, “Oh, no. I don’t wanna coach, deal with players.”


On his active role, Agent Zero said: “You’ve just got to be a presense. You know you’re not playing, but you’ve gotta be a part of the team. The young guys need guidance, and some of the veterans, they’re trying to get their thing back, but somebody’s gotta talk to the young guys. And since I’m available, I might as well do it. It’s easy for me to do it.”

On his rehab: “Slow, feels like usual. I’d rather be playing than rehabbing. The frustrating part is showing signs of coming back, and then you get set back further, then you get debris cleaned out. I’m just like, ‘When is this ever going ot be over so I can get back to playing?’”

On why he didn’t talk yesterday: “By the time I got done with rehab, I just didn’t feel like it. And I figured that since I’m not playing in camp, and for me to come out there and take all the attention, that brings everybody else down.”

More from training camp coming later …