Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Updated: January 14, 3:53 AM ET
Saunders happy to get away
ESPN.come news services
ATLANTA -- Washington coach Flip Saunders believes a two-game trip could help the Wizards concentrate on basketball with the Gilbert Arenas gun investigation hovering over his team at home.
"I think everyone was happy to get on the plane last night, to get away," Saunders said Wednesday. "To know that they weren't going to be summoned to a principal's office or anything else to go talk to somebody about something."
NBA commissioner David Stern suspended Arenas indefinitely on Jan. 6 for after the Wizards star guard acknowledged keeping guns in his locker at the team's arena, Verizon Center.
Saunders, however, insists the problems stemming from the Arenas fallout are not distracting his team on the court despite having players subject to occasional meetings with law enforcement.
The Wizards began Wednesday's game against Atlanta having dropped two straight. Allowing Detroit to snap a 13-game losing streak the night before left Washington (12-24) in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
After falling 94-82 to the Hawks, the Wizards travel to Chicago to face the Bulls on Friday.
"These guys haven't had a chance to really catch their breath since this thing started," Saunders said. "There's been the pressure and the whole thing of what they're going through as far as the investigation, the media pressure as far as, no matter what, they're constantly asking all the questions. They haven't had a chanced to catch their breath and concentrate on being a basketball player.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report