Brad Generico: Hi, everyone, I'm Brad Generico, and with me is Dick Vitale. Here at Cameron Indoor Stadium, possibly the most unusual basketball exhibition match in college basketball history is about to take place.. Tonight, Gilbert Arenas, the starting point guard for the Washington Wizards and one of the most prolific scorers in the professional game today, is taking on the entire Duke Blue Devils college basketball team. He's not doing it alone, though - he's got four former Washington Wizards with him, but they're playing unusual roles.
Dick Vitale: Yeah, Brad. Arenas has four other guys with him - Mike Smith, Michael Smith, LaBradford Smith, and Clinton Smith. They're playing under these rules [graphic appears onscreen, DV reads text]:
Players other than Arenas cannot shoot unless they're unguarded
If a player other than Arenas has the ball and is guarded, he must either pass to Arenas or pass to an unguarded player, if one is available
All baskets by players other than Arenas only count for one point, and their free throws count for half a point
BG: But they can play normally on defense. They still have no substitutes, though.
DV: Yeah. And this all came from when Gilbert was trying to make the U.S. men's basketball team, coached, as we know, by Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski, from Durham, North Carolina, baybee! One of the finest coaches in the college game today and a great choice to lead the U.S. men into international competition.
BG: Where they finished third.
BG: Yes. Gilbert was not selected for that team, and he's been taking his revenge by scoring at least 50 points when he plays against the teams that are coached by the assistant coaches for the U.S. squad - Mike D'Antoni of the Phoenix Suns and Nate McMillan for the Portland Trail Blazers. Gilbert wrote on his blog, "One college game...that's five fouls, right? ... 40-minute game ... at Duke, they got soft rims ... I'd probably score 84 or 85. I wouldn't pass the ball. I wouldn't even think about passing it. It would be like a NBA Live or an NBA 2K7 game, you just shoot with one person."
DV: And the NBA and the NCAA said, "Hey! I wanna see that! Arenas versus Coach K! A clash of the titans!"
BG: So they came up with this game, and these rules, that are an attempt to translate NBA Live to the real world.
DV: You know, Brad, I really think this game and everything surrounding it is a travesty of the highest order.
BG: You mean like when you got fired from coaching the University of Detroit?
DV: Hey, that was deserved, baybee! I'm no Coach K! No, this game is an insult to everyone involved besides Gilbert Arenas.
BG: And it's coming to you live on ESPN after these messages.
15:34 left, first half
BG: And I think the question you have to ask yourself is, "Why is Mike Krzyzewski leaving Greg Paulus to guard Gilbert Arenas one-on-one?"
DV: Well, you take a look at these replays, here's Arenas driving around Paulus for the easy lay-in, here's Arenas shooting a three-ball over Paulus, here's a midrange pull-up J from Arenas. Clearly Paulus is challenged stopping Arenas. Arenas has a lot of lateral moveability and strength and a great touch on his jumper.
BG: And that is the reason why Gilbert's team is up 18-4 at this point. Because every point so far has been scored by Gilbert.
DV: Well, the former Wizards have also done a nice job shutting down Duke's offense with their athaleticism. I can't believe Michael and Mike Smith weren't forces in the pros! They're defensive stalwarts! These Dukies, they can't handle the inside presence, the leaping, which means these Smith guys must be real standouts.
But I think you're going to see Duke go to a double-team on Gilbert soon. They don't call him Coach K for nothing, baybee!
BG: I thought it was because the first letter of his last name was K.
DV: Hey, you might be right, Mister Generica! Hey, Mr. IQ over here! But this is just a time where Duke will have to adjust and see if they can get back in the game.
BG: And now the Cameron Crazies are chanting "ZERO HERO," as Arenas pops his Wizards jersey at them.
DV: And that's just classless from Gilbert and typical of this travesty. The Cameron Crazies have it right - Arenas has zero heroism. Zero. Hey, Gil, pick on some basketball players your own size, baybee!
BG: Arenas with the 27-foot 3-pointer, and it goes down smooth. 21-4, Arenas.
5:11 left, first half
BG: Who would have predicted the offensive explosion from Mike and Michael Smith?
DV: That's what has to happen when you throw three guys at Gilbert, baybee! The other players have to make you pay!
BG: And another turnover by Josh McRoberts, as Michael Smith paws at the ball and strips it from him...and it's an unguarded layup for LaBradford Smith on the other end.
DV: This is one group of Smiths that don't sing lovelorn tales of alienation leavened with mordant humor!
BG: And Arenas with the strip, then splitting the double team. The layup puts Arenas's team up 37-19.
Kelly Sidelinea: Coach K, you're down 17 and your team can't stop Arenas unless Josh McRoberts, Greg Paulus, and DeMarcus Nelson orbit him like flies buzzing around spilled Coke. What's your strategy going into the second half?
Krzyzewski: Well, obviously we've got to execute better. Our halfcourt offense has really been disrupted. We've got to make stops on defense and get out in transition. I'm going to have to be a leader who just happens to coach basketball.
KS: Any thought to going back to single coverage on Arenas?
Krzyzewski: No, Kelly. I think we're simply going to have to get every one of our players to play sound fundamental basketball.
11:32 left, second half
BG: And Arenas steps to the line for the and-1.
Krzyzewski's "Hack-A-Smith" defense has brought the Blue Devils back within 3.5, since each of those free throws by the non-Arenas players are worth half a point. But most of his team has four fouls now, and McRoberts' arm is kind of hanging funny in its socket after that last foul attempt on Arenas as he drove to the rim.
DV: This just goes to really show you the leadership of Coach K.
BG: Arenas sinks the free throw.
DV: These players, they have the winning feeling! They're Dukies, they bleed Duke blue! They've come roaring back! They're down four and a half with plenty of time left to play!
BG: And Cameron is rocking with chants of "LE-BRON JAAAAMES!"
DV: Boy, can you imagine what the world would be like if LeBron had gone to Duke and stayed all four years? He'd be dominant at the college level and well-prepared to succeed in the NBA. That's the way it's supposed to be, baybee!
BG: Arenas deflects the pass, Calvin Smith grabs it and heaves it downcourt to the streaking Arenas, who dribbles backward to make the three as Greg Paulus hacks him on the arm. And that'll be the fifth on Gren Paulus, and he's out of the game.
DV: What great hustle from Greg Paulus, to not give Arenas the uncontested three-pointer after Arenas caught it in the paint! But Coach K didn't teach Paulus to foul there, no sir!
3:21 left, second half
BG: At this point, with Gilbert Arenas needing only 6 more points to reach his goal of 84 against a Duke team that currently has three players on the floor due to fouls, and with Arenas's team up 27 points, I think it's fair to ask, "What did we learn today?"
DV: Brad, I think one thing is clear: There is no God. Unless Coach K is Job, and God is visiting unto him all these punishments.
BG: No, I think it's just Gilbert.
DV: DAMN YOU, ARENAS! DAMN LUTE OLSON FOR RECRUITING YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE! HE DESERVED WHAT HE GOT IN 2001!
DV: Well, let's see if the refs have something to say about the way this game goes in the closing minutes. You never know with these Dukies!
--posted by intern Rex Immensae Majestatis Chapman