by Jeremy Bauman / @JBauman13
As you probably know, after starting out their careers in Golden State, Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson were reunited in Orlando a little more than a month ago. Each was traded in a separate situation, but basically neither one of them could be more pleased than they are right now with the Magic.
“I mean it felt great,” Arenas said about the initial feeling of being traded. “I didn’t have any time to react because I ended up leaving so fast so that the trade couldn’t be reversed. I’m just happy to be around somebody who actually wants me. Sometimes that’s the most important thing: to be wanted by somebody.”
When asked whether he felt wanted in Washington, Arenas stated “Na. They were moving in a different direction and I understood that my days came and went, you know? It was just time for me to move on.”
Although Richardson wasn’t in anything near the situation that Gilby was in, he values the time he spent with the Suns and is excited for his future in Orlando.
“I was excited for this opportunity,” said Richardson. “I made some good relationships in Phoenix, loved my teammates out there, and it was a great group of guys but it was just time for a change. I’m excited about the opportunity to come here to actually play for a contender, a dominant big man like Dwight, and to reunite with Gilbert. It definitely was a good thing for me.”
And at this point both Arenas and Richardson both have similar yet contrasting viewpoints of where their team stands right now.
“We’re just adjusting to everything, adjusting to each other,” stated Arenas. “Our defensive schemes, our offensive schemes and we’re adjusting on the fly. It’s just amazing to see the things we could do. We still haven’t put a whole game together. It’s like three minutes here, four minutes there but we’re an offensive juggernaut and we just haven’t all came together yet and it’s great because nobody really knows who we are. So I’d rather us hit that peak in March or April when it’s Playoff time. It’s kinda cool that we’re still the underdog type.”
While Arenas discussed primarily the offensive end, Richardson emphasized the importance of the defensive end.
“We’re still learning on the fly and it’s tough to get adjusted to each other midway through the season almost,” said Richardson. “We’re still learning on the fly and we still haven’t hit our ceiling yet and we got a ways to get there, but once we get there we can be a very dangerous team. It’s all about getting on the same page on the defensive end, it’s not the offensive end. You saw tonight Ryan [Anderson] led us in scoring at halftime and then everybody else just followed him. We got the scoring but it’s at the defensive end that, if we trust in each other, we can be a very dangerous team.”
The Magic have certainly added some potency on the offensive end but as Richardson said, Orlando will be at its best when its defense is clicking on all cylinders.