Posted Oct 13 2009 11:29PM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The NBA made point guard Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards pay for his silence by fining both $25,000 apiece on Tuesday.
Arenas has not been talking to the media during the preseason, including before and after exhibition games.
The three-time All-Star became one of the NBA's most popular players thanks in part to his engaging personality and a willingness to speak his mind, including via a wide-ranging blog.
But he stopped producing the blog and steadfastly has been refusing to do interviews since the Wizards held their official media day on Sept. 28. Asked by a reporter last week when he'd begin speaking again, Arenas said it would happen only after the NBA tells him he has to talk.
It was at that media day that Arenas signaled his intention to keep quiet, declaring, "I'm not the entertainer anymore."
"I don't feel like speaking anymore. I just want to go out there and play," he said that day. "If I'm not going to get fined, I don't think you're going to hear me again. I don't have a blog. I don't have a tweeter. When I was entertaining, all you guys focused on was my words. Now I'd rather you just focus on my basketball."
Team spokesman Scott Hall said on Tuesday that neither Arenas nor the Wizards would have any comment on the fines.
After scoring 24 points in the Wizards' 101-98 exhibition victory over Detroit on Tuesday, Arenas twice declined to comment on the fine.
"Both teams played hard," he said, offering few words in the locker room after the game. "I feel fine."
Arenas is returning after playing a total of only 15 games during the past two seasons following three operations on his left knee over 1 1/2 years. The last surgery came in September 2008, and later that month, Arenas ducked out of Washington's media day without talking -- drawing fines of $15,000 each for him and his team.
Arenas is entering the second season of an $111 million, six-year contract.
His health is considered key to the Wizards' turning things around after a 19-63 season in 2008-09.
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