Wiz Links: A Gilbert Arenas Sighting On H Street? | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wiz Links: A Gilbert Arenas Sighting On H Street?

Updated: September 23, 2009

I attended the H Street Festival in D.C. on Saturday and saw him from a distance … is that ‘him’? The guy who only Mike Jones of the Washington Times was able to catch up with … for which Jones continues to receive congratulations? The mysterious figure faded into the crowd before I could ever find out if he was real or not. A true agent with the label of zero.

{UPDATE: To be clear, before anyone asks, I didn’t ‘really’ think that was Arenas … was being a bit facetious. It would, however, be funny if he wore his own jersey about town.}

Breaking My Media Cherry

Flip Saunders held his first ‘me time’ press conference on Tuesday, and it was not like a tree falling alone in the woods … there were plenty people around to hear, including a couple of bloggers, one being yours truly.

Relatively unguided, I stumbled upon the media area in the Verizon Center by following some other dude into the arena catacombs. Walking through the threshold, to the right there was a tiny room where press conferences are held, filled with bright cameras and wires. To the left, a larger general area, where I suppose food and the what-not is laid out for games. And straight ahead, neatly organized cubicles with members of the media diligently plugging away on their laptops.

I really didn’t have anything to ‘plug away at’ myself, so I opened up my netbook and started plugging away about them plugging away. But by the time I got connected to the internet and two sentences down, most people had left the cubicle area and headed into the press conference room.

Inside, it was hot and I was sweaty. Unaware of any sort of pecking order for seats, I just kinda hung out to the side … witnessing the scene unfold, jotting notes, recording sounds, and taking the occasional picture. Aside from Bullets Forever’s Mike Prada and myself, the two infiltrating bloggers, for a room full of 30 or so people, only about six posed questions to Flip.

Mike Jones of the Washington Times was front and center, asking the first question and posing them more frequently than anyone else. And that’s the way is should be, stay out of the beat reporter’s way. Had the Washington Post’s Michael Lee been in attendance (he’s on vacation, Zach Berman filled in), he probably would have been firing away just the same.

Other big guns (whom I recognized) in attendance included David Aldridge, the WaPost’s Sally Jenkins, Dave Feldman of Fox 5, Brett Haber of CBS 9, and Comcast’s Chris Miller.

Before I knew it, the presser was over and the scene dispersed. Flip continued with some in the hallway. Not sure who tracked him down first, but several chose to scavenge on the chance to eavesdrop, myself included. When all was said and done, my first impression left me thinking that these things always seem more official reading about them in mainstream publications than they actually are in person. But awesome to be apart of nonetheless.

On Thursday, I’ll be present for Ernie Grunfeld’s presser. Hopefully I’m be able to come up with a good question that doesn’t elicit a generic/cryptic answer.

Juicy Quotes On Flip’s Presser

Spending the 2008-09 basketball season as an unemployed coach, Flip Saunders filled his time consuming the sport. He was awake early enough to be in the gymnasium to observe Tubby Smith’s 7 a.m. practices at the University of Minnesota. He was awake late enough to watch NBA games without an agenda.
[Zach Berman, Washington Post]

One week before opening his first training camp as head coach of the Washington Wizards, Flip Saunders was asked more about Gilbert Arenas than he was about his own expectations for taking over and resuscitating a team that finished 19-63 last season.
[Craig Stouffer, Washington Examiner]

Step 1 in his reclamation project as the team’s coach has been to establish a strong relationship with Arenas, the three-time All-Star point guard charged with leading the team. It doesn’t matter to Saunders that Arenas played just 15 regular-season games the past two years – or that the guard has an eccentric reputation, clashed with Jordan and shied away from a leadership role.
[Mike Jones, Washington Times]

The Washington Wizards’ new coach is a suave character with a good haircut and an even tan that suggests he’s not some fretful obsessive who spent his summer in a videotape closet.
[Sally Jenkins, Washington Post]

Now, he’s just answered yet another question about Arenas, and one of the reporters asked jokingly if he’s ever received so many questions about a single player.

Flip’s response? “Yeah, I did coach Rasheed Wallace.”

The group chuckles, but Flip’s face is pretty stoic. It was almost as if he didn’t get why what he said was so funny. It wasn’t meant to be, after all. He was just stating the fact that he’s used to dealing with a lot of questions about a crazy dude.

That’s kind of how Flip Saunders is, and we saw it at its best today. The only times he says something just to get a quote in the papers is when he stumbles into it. He wasn’t there to crack jokes and make provocative statements; he was there to talk basketball. And talk basketball he did. There was a lot of substance in what he said, even if sometimes it took a while and a lot of good listening to get to it.
[Mike Prada, Bullets Forever]

If the Wizards are unable to make a deep push in the playoffs this season, then it is never going to happen with this group. Then this group will be eternally stuck in 2007, when, for a fleeting period, anything seemed possible.
[Tom Knott, Washington Times]

The JaVale McGee Report

September 17: “At this walking with dinasours this is crazy” [via Twitter]

September 18: Met with Michael Beasley, discussed hipster rap. [via The Blowtorch]

September 21: Took a late night visit to the dentist … pain. [via Twitter]

The Nick Young Report

Nick Young wants little kids to say “I”m doin the Nick Young.”
[DC Landing Strip Interview Part II]

Young on the hops of Andray Blatche: “He can (jump), but he ain’t that creative.”
[DC Landing Strip Interview Part III]

More shots from the H Street Festival

I’m not sure, but I think Etan Thomas was back in DC and hungry for some ribs.

Speaking of ribs …

The ‘hot sauce to go’ wasn’t far …

Hipster Color Boot Lineup …

All the girls standing in the line for the …

Fashion Bros …

Conventional Ironic Conformist Bro Meeting …

Larry BirdBro Chillin’ Olympic Style …

Fly Out …

Other Links to Know

(Wizards first, then miscellaneous):

  • Caron Butler is #28 out of 50.
    [Slam Online]
  • Grandpa Hubie Brown’s Hawk Offense and how it could apply to the Wizards.
    [Bullets Forever]
  • Is Mario Manningham of the NY Football Giant the new Gilbert Arenas?
    [NY Post]
  • The Replacements, NBA Style.
    [Queen City Hoops]
  • Jay-Z does business with the Russians.
    [The Blowtorch]
  • Troy Murphy will consume your passes and turn them into raining treys.
    [True Hoop]
  • The most controversial magazine covers of all-time.
    [Webdesigner Depot]
  • The nearest McDonald’s, a visualization of data.
    [Serious Eats]
  • Lou Holtz, who once praised Hitler, praises Vinny Cerrato.
    [DC Sports Bog]
  • Chief Zee pullin’ ’em at Sneaker Ball.
    [Stet Sports]
  • Two bros jump off the Key Bridge.
    [Mr. Irrelevant]
  • The preview of LeBron James’ movie about “teamwork” involves him shooting alone in a gym.
    [True Hoop]
Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.