Gilbert Arenas Compares John Wall and Bradley Beal to Himself and Larry Hughes

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 24, 2014

DALLAS - OCTOBER 05: John Wall #2 and Gilbert Arenas #9 of the Washington Wizards take to the court against the Dallas Mavericks during a preseason game on October 5, 2010 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
Danny Bollinger/Getty Images

Gilbert arenas knows a thing or two about exciting backcourt duos, so he's probably qualified to comment on the Washington Wizards' current tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

(h/t CSN Washington for the clip)

In a radio interview on 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C., Arenas said:

"John Wall and (Bradley) Beal remind me of when me and Larry (Hughes) got together. If you stop one, the other one's going to shine. If we're both going, it's going to be hard to beat us that night."

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards (right) stands next to his teammate Larry Hughes #20 duing the game against the Golden State Warriors at the Arena in Oakland on December 20, 2004 in Oakland, California. The Wizards
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Arenas is admittedly still a fan of the Wizards, something that became obvious as he repeatedly used "we" and "us" when discussing his former team. There's nothing wrong with a little loyalty, but Arenas' post-career affinity for Washington could also have something to do with how generous the franchise has been in compensating him.

Then again, it's also possible he's just trying to stir up a little buzz in advance of his latest comeback attempt:

As for the backcourt comparison, there's some truth to what Arenas said.

Wall and Beal are easily the best guards to play for the Wizards since Arenas and Hughes spent two seasons together in 2003-04 and 2004-05. There's plenty of athleticism in both pairs, and Washington is riding its current young stars to a run of success that mirrors the one it enjoyed under Arenas and Hughes.

Surprisingly, Wall and Beal aren't as statistically impressive as their predecessors. Take a look at how their current season measures up against Arenas and Hughes' best in 2004-05:

Arenas and Hughes vs. Wall and Beal
Combined PPGCombined RPGCombined APGCombined Win SharesAverage PER
Arenas and Hughes, 2004-0547.511.09.819.221.5
Wall and Beal, 2013-1436.47.812.111.916.9
Basketball-Reference.com

A decade has made it a little too easy to forget how good those guys once were.

Of course, today's Wizards are vastly different from the version of the club Arenas led. When Washington won 45 games in 2004-05, it did so on the strength of a top-10 offense and in spite of a pretty porous defense. Wall's Wizards are doing the opposite, ranking eighth in defensive efficiency while scraping by with the league's No. 17 offense, per Basketball-Reference.com.

Alex Brandon

Interestingly, this year's Wizards have a chance to equal a feat that hasn't happened since Arenas and Hughes teamed up nearly a decade ago. They can win a playoff series.

And in a fun coincidence, that series victory might come at the expense of the Chicago Bulls, the very team Arenas and Hughes eliminated back in 2005.

If Wall and Beal can give the Wizards a series win, they'll likely supplant Arenas and Hughes as Washington's most beloved backcourt. With a 2-0 series lead and the next two games at home, they're well on their way.