Gilbert Arenas Chooses Jersey No. 9, But Why? | Wizards Blog Truth About

Gilbert Arenas Chooses Jersey No. 9, But Why?

Updated: July 2, 2010

Okay, I feel a little creepy for speculating why Gilbert Arenas chose to wear uniform No. 9, as relayed by the Bog’s Dan Steinberg and the Tweet of Michael Lee, over No. 6 or No. 0 for next season, which will undoubtedly be his most trying as a basketball player … all things considered.

I was told his new number could have something to do with this mother, who passed away on March 13. So, I speculated that Gilbert might wear No. 13. But in hindsight, that was too easy. Nothing is ever easy with Mr. Arenas.

I really don’t care to guess much more about why No. 9, but I will leave you with this paragraph from Mike Wise’s excellent, excellent profile on Arenas which appeared in the Washington Post in late October 2006:

To understand Arenas, you have to go back to the beginning. To understand his journey, where he has traveled and how he came to light up a moribund basketball team in Washington, you need to start over. To understand the player who gallops off the Verizon Center floor bare-chested after tossing his jersey into the stands following Wizards home games, who likes to practice alone in the middle of the night, who must own every DVD and collectible jersey he can buy, who is such an extroverted performer that he leaves work to become a solitary homebody, you have to go back to the rundown Overtown section of Miami. You have to go back to apartment No. 9. You have to go back to the mother who gave him up there.

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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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • poppalaw

    Whatever number Gil chooses he will be an asset to this team – trading him is a sportswriter’s folly that management would follow at great risk

  • I find it interesting that some in the media seemed to be intent to find some deeper meaning in a number. Remember the days when someone just assigned you a number? Yeah, high school through the pros players tend to be driven by their number – often that of a boyhood idol or of personal significance. But with Gil it could be something as simple as he had four options and he flipped coins (or some other game of chance) to select his number. Maybe he went high tech and used a random number generator?

    If he can get back to form, no one will care which number he wears.

    I’m with you though, none of us should invest much time or effort attempting to figure out how or why he selected this number.

  • I hear ya CJ …

    But on the other hand, it seems that athletes (at least me when I was younger) have always been intent on getting “their” number — and some of these guys pay a high price for their jersey numbers.

    I could be too young to remember others, and sure, Magic and Bird will always be remembered for 32 and 33, but numbers really seemed to become “iconic” with Jordan’s #23 (and how it was put on his shoes, etc) …

    So, while the media has certainly been interested, it’s really driven by players.

    Which, might make for an interesting video interview piece, asking the various Wizards about their numbers.

  • Kelly

    Gil chose #9 cuz Lebron is changing his # to 6.

  • Lol

    i try not to like Gil but how can you not>

  • ab

    Significance of #9 is that this is his 9th year in the league and this is the turning point… either he gets back on track, or falls out of the spotlight.

  • KG

    He sees himself as LeBron’s biggest rival (outside Kobe). Therefore he took the “opposite” of 6, which is 9.

  • 2010-11 will be Arenas’ 10th year in the NBA.

    And he’s not really “rivals” with LeBron … by most accounts, they are cool with each other — it was Gil’s boy, DeShawn Stevenson who had beef with LBJ … and Gil kinda separated himself from all of that.

  • richard anthony

    He’s changing to #9 because he has 9 lives (like a cat).