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Gilbert Arenas Takes Shot at Knicks’ Medical Staff

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The New York Knicks’ medical nightmare is over but the discussion around its cause has apparently just begun.

Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas is the latest to comment on the Knicks’ health hellscape, one that prematurely ended the seasons of at least three major contributors (Bojan Bogdanovic, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson) and ate away at the playoff contributions of OG Anunoby, Jalen Brunson, and Josh Hart.

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) brings the ball up court against Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) during the fourth quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) brings the ball up court against Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) during the fourth quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While the prime suspect in the eyes of many is head coach Tom Thibodeau’s massive minutes expectations, Arenas not-so-subtlely chided the Knicks’ medical staff on his web series “Gil’s Arena.”

“You have the best technology, right, you have the best medical staff, you have everything to your disposal, you have the leg sleeve, the cryo chambers, you got all of this,” Arenas noted. “Everybody before you was playing 45 to 48 minutes, 82 games a year. They play from game one, went to the Finals every year. I’m sorry, I can’t. This is normal.”

“But I guess because the game playing time has been diluted to everybody playing 32-33 minutes, but they wonder why everybody is being hurt,” Arenas continued. “Josh Hart ain’t been hurt right? The guys who (are) playing 43 to 48 minutes minutes ain’t been hurt. So, are they playing too much? No.”

Dec 10, 2010; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas (9) drives to the basket past New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the second half at the Verizon Center.  Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 10, 2010; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas (9) drives to the basket past New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the second half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports / Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

To Arenas’ point, Hart averaged 40 minutes a game over the final 36 games of the regular season, where he stepped into the lineup over the injured Randle, who was lost to a shoulder ailment in late January.

Hart also posted four complete games this season and his 42.1 minutes per game are second among all playoff participants after two rounds (behind only first-round rival Tyrese Maxey of Philadelphia).

Load management has become an increasingly touchy subject in the NBA, but Areans doesn’t think that’s the Knicks’ issue. The busy Hart partook in all but one game in the regular season, an output matched by newcomer Donte DiVincenzo, who averaged just under 30 a game.

Arenas would certainly know the benefits of eschewing load management: though injuries ate away at the final portions of his own NBA career, the former Washington Wizard led the league in total minutes during an All-Star campaign in 2005-06, a year that saw him average 29.3 points per game and earn Third Team All-NBA honors.

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