- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

Two league sources confirmed a report last night that Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was not named as an Eastern Conference reserve for the All-Star Game in Houston on Feb. 19.

Arenas, who made the team last season for the first time along with Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, was expected by many to be named to the team. Reserves for the team will be announced tonight.

“How will he react?” coach Eddie Jordan said before last night’s 129-124 victory over Golden State at MCI Center. “Will he be focused to lead this team the right way to as many victories as we can get? Will he sulk for three weeks? My belief is that he’ll be a focused assassin — a focused basketball player to get the job done and lead this team to a good playoff position.”

Arenas’ exclusion from the team is somewhat of a surprise considering the season he is having. He is fourth in the league with 27.9 points a game, averages 5.9 assists and is ninth in the league with 1.78 steals a game.

Of the top six scorers in the league, Arenas is the only player who will not be making the trip to Houston.

“You know, it happens,” Arenas said after scoring 45 points and handing out seven assists. “I’m playing like an All Star, and I know I’m one of the elite players, so if I don’t get picked, in my mind I’m still one of them. If I don’t go, then I get to work out.”

Arenas could be named to the team as a replacement player for Indiana’s injured forward Jermaine O’Neal, who was voted in as a starter but will be unavailable to play because of an injury.

Last season both Arenas and Jamison were selected for the game, marking the first time Washington sent a pair of players since Jeff Malone and Moses Malone represented Washington in 1987.

Jamison, who was considered a less likely possibility than Arenas, is averaging 19.3 points and 10.0 rebounds and is one of seven players in the league averaging a double-double.

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