In a sensational new development, Gilbert Arenas has been temporarily deselected from the Shanghai Sharks after the former NBA All-Star point guard’s injury problems showed no signs of ending. In his place comes Ryan Forehan-Kelly, who played for the Sharks in the 2011/12 season until an ACL injury on New Year’s Day meant that he was cut from the team and replaced by Marcus Landry.
Arenas, who will remain with the Sharks as he attempts to return to full fitness, has been Shanghai’s most talked about player despite the guard’s injury history catching up with him six minutes into his debut against the Beijing Ducks.
That was one game into the season but with his injury still not healing, the Sharks have fallen to a 2-4 record and been forced to play other starters for longer than they would have liked in a bid to cover for Arenas.
Evidently, the Sharks realised that they were running out of time in such a short season and removed Arenas from the active playing roster before Shanghai found themselves in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
For Forehan-Kelly, his return to Shanghai is a Hollywood-style shot at redemption after his 2011/12 campaign was cruelly cut short following a season ending injury against the Foshan Dralions. The small forward, who played with Daniel Panaggio when the later was the head coach of the LA D-Fenders in the NBA Development League, was on course to be among the players of the season before he tore his ACL. In his most memorable game for the team, ‘RFK’ led a young Sharks’ team to a thrilling victory against the top-of-the-table Beijing on Christmas Day back in 2011.
It is also important to note the close bond between Forehan-Kelly, who turns thirty-two in January, and Panaggio. The Sharks’ head coach previously called the player ‘one of the best things to have happened [to the Sharks] and values the veteran’s knowledge of the triangle offence and leadership skills in a youthful Shanghai dressing room.
Again, it is important to stress that Arenas has not been cut and that Forehan-Kelly has been brought in as temporary cover. Having brought back a familiar face to the organisation, the Sharks will now hope that a rejuvenated Forehan-Kelly, who was averaging 20.6/5.4/1 before he got injured, can galvanise the team and help them push up the table as Arenas attempts to fully recover from his groin injury.