The star attraction of the Shanghai Sharks, Gilbert Arenas- who injured himself in the first quarter of the CBA opener against Beijing Ducks does not look likely to play on Sunday against Qingdao. Moreover his injury status remains unclear and this has ushered in the annual outbreak of panic in Shanghainese basketball.
In his press conference after the Sharks’ loss to Shandong, Shanghai’s coach Daniel Panaggio confirmed that he did not know when Arenas was due back. Simply put, there is no date for the return of the former NBA All-Star- it might be Sunday against Qingdao, it could be against Xinjiang or Shanxi. It may even be against Guangsha on December 9th. Having bought out the contract of Elijah Millsap to get Arenas onto the roster, the Sharks evidently are not going to take risks with the decision to bring back #0.
However, with Arenas being one of the biggest talking points of the preseason and Shanghai going 0-3, some of the more reactionary parts of the Shanghai press pack are already predicting doom and an 0-6 start as a result of Arenas’ enforced absence.
At this point, it’s probably worth noting that this time last year, the 2011/12 Sharks were 0-3 and had people worrying about the effectiveness of Shanghai’s triangle offense so hysteria is somewhat of a habit in these parts.
Given that Arenas, who was watching the game in streets clothes, could be seen calmly walking to the changing room at halftime suggests that his return should be sooner rather than later but this being Shanghainese media, everything is very bad until its very good.