Byline: John N. Mitchell, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Kwame Brown called Gilbert Arenas to say his words had been "misconstrued" - an excuse that should be giving Brown's new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, fits.
Brown skipped practice after Game 3 of the Wizards' first-round playoff victory over the Bulls last season, an absence reported the next day in The Washington Times.
But, Brown was quoted in an article in The Washington Post this week saying he skipped the workout because if he attended he was going to slap Arenas, whom Brown accused of telling coach Eddie Jordan to bench him.
Add another chapter to Brown's history of serial deflections.
Let's be honest here. Words and messages - printed ones especially so - are often taken out of context and misconstrued. However, a promise made by a 7-foot, 270-pound man to slap the snot out of someone can only be interpreted one way and one way only.
Why would Brown even bother calling Arenas to back away from something that he clearly meant. By his own admission this is why he didn't come to work.
Arenas has matured DSL quick - did any player do more on his own to help the victims of Katrina? - and to no one's surprise he said all the right things when confronted with the Monday morning Kwame gossip.
But who would have blamed him had he not?
After all, it was Arenas who tried to cover for the absent Brown in May by telling reporters he had seen Brown getting sick.
Fiction, a team source confirmed. Arenas didn't see that; he was just covering Brown's back when he didn't have to. Brown's agent, Arn Tellem, certainly wasn't going to bat for him.
Arenas, an All-Star and a third-team All-NBA selection, continually stood up for Brown when he quit on his teammates in May. When Brown faced withering criticism, it was Arenas, more than any other Wizards player, who tried to divert attention from him.
Brown's problems, of course, date to the days when he was at war with the old regime of Doug Collins and Michael Jordan. A plausible case can be made that Jordan and Collins were extremely hard on Brown and they expected too much from him too soon.
But Jordan is gone, off racing motorcycles and playing golf. And Collins is back in the broadcast booth, going about his life, gleefully talking about his grandson to anyone who …