Wizards Nation is abuzz with Gilbert Arenas’ latest comments. Let me distinguish since verbiage is common from Agent Zero, the “sign Antawn and I’ll take a pay-cut” comments. You can read about them here: [Post] [Times]
You know the old saying, “Johnny doesn’t find trouble, trouble finds him.” I always found this statement to be a bit fatalistic. Yea, we’ve all dealt with situations beyond our control, but are we going to excuse Johnny’s lack of self control? Now, go ahead and replace Johnny with Gilbert and trouble with attention.
How can you blame attention for finding Gilbert? He’s a charismatic, game-winning shot hitting card who made himself by persevering when unexpected to do so. I’m not going to say that Arenas craves attention. You crave food and I’m pretty sure Gil doesn’t sit around on his couch, all of a sudden saying ‘you know what? I want me some of that tasty attention’ – the swag is inherent to Arenas’ personality.
Let’s just say that Gilbert Arenas likes attention, or maybe it has become a natural high for him. Either way, we’ve come to expect him to feed the itch now and then. Predictably unpredictable, Gil never ceases to amaze.
Under normal circumstances, fans would celebrate such noble comments, praising such a progressive move from a superstar athlete. Since when does Gilbert and ‘normal circumstances’ go hand and hand? I’m not pessimistic of Arenas the person, nor Gilbert the basketball player. On the contrary, he’s a developing combination of competitor and entertainer who I find truly unique to witness. However, I am weary about believing what Arenas spouts from one day to the next.
Gilbert had some related follow-up comments when posed this question by the Washington Post’s Ivan Carter: “Given the luxury tax policy, do you think this organization is truly committed to winning a championship?”
“Going over the luxury tax doesn’t really have anything to do with winning a championship. I mean, look at the Knicks (that was funny). San Antonio has won championships and they haven’t crossed the luxury tax. Players have to take sacrifices. Tim Duncan has made sacrifices to help the team and I’m willing to do the same thing to keep this young nucleus intact.”
These words go even further towards establishing the seriousness of Gilbert Arenas, sights of a budding maturity. Good entertainment is drama with a comedic twist. That’s our Gilbert. Be prepared to stay guessing until the end.
So what did the blogosphere have to say?
“If you’re wondering why Arenas chose tonight to break the news of his new plan, join the club. I have no idea. [Ivan Carter on Wizards Insider]
“Who else in the league is candid enough to say that, and genuine enough to actually do it? Some people call it quirky or eccentric, I say that Gilbert positions himself as an everyman more than any other celebrity – athlete or otherwise. [StetSports.com]
“Arenas should have let this year play out instead of trying to address the off-season before the year even started. That’s how you jinx yourself; hopefully he has learned his lesson. [Les Bullez]
“In saying that he would take a pay cut (which is weird to say, because it’s not so much that Gilbert’s taking a pay cut, he’s just settling for less than a max contract) he’s showing what I’ve felt all along: His decision to opt-out was all about finding out if the Wizards still want him around… [Gilbertology]
“Adande over at ESPN goes on to quote an anonymous source (Ernie G. anybody???) stating that the Wizards are responsible for taking care of ALL their franchise players and goes on to say the organization is authorized to go within $1 of the luxury tax threshold. ONE DOLLAR?!?!?! You cannot run an NBA team like a 99 cent store Abe. [My Swog is Phenomenal is back!]
“Now, is this promise a PR stunt by Gil or is he serious? If he is serious, it’s obviously an important story. My hunch has always been that Arenas and Jamison would essentially swap contract, with Gilbert eventually earning about $16 million per year and Jamison coming down to about $10-11 million per year. Seems fair to me. [DC Pro Sports Report]
“Arenas’s reputation among the basketball-viewing public – perhaps deservedly to some extent – has taken a hit this season as some fans have been turned off by his attention-seeking ways. If he’s serious about this whole pay cut business, and with Gilbert you never really know, it could be the first step towards repairing his once-sterling image. [Slam]
“Every once in a while you have to put him in the closet and slash the belt across him a couple of times. [Antawn Jamison via Yahoo]