[Editor's Note: More pixels on Gilbert Arenas? Yes, more pixels on Gilbert Arenas. Last Friday I took part in a chat about the Wizards on ESPN.com. The questions coming in weren't mostly about John Wall or anyone else. They were about Gilly. People want them some Gilly. It got to the point where a couple questions came in complaining about the amount of questions about Arenas; I gladly obliged to answer their inquiries about other players. But yea, you like Gilly and TAI likes to cover Gilly ... simple as that. And this post by Adam is an excuse to post bearded Gilbert pictures anyway. -Kyle]
The national media freak out over Gilbert’s “sacrifice solid” rages on. Last Thursday I listened to Dan Patrick on his radio show crucify Arenas for using the word “loaded” when talking about the Wizards’ guard position. So now Gil can’t use certain words that may have indirect gun references? GEESH.
This is where I sympathize with the plight of Gilbert. He sulks in front of the media, everyone goes all Dr. Phil on his mood (myself kinda included), and when he is too candid about why he sat out the game to help out his boy, he is sliced up by the same media.
Let me reiterate, it is PRESEASON!! What was the Wizards’ preseason record in 2009? How about ’08? Or ’07? Or any year? I am sure very few know those answers without firing up The Google.
I playfully poked fun of Gil’s Emo personality, razzed the local media obsession over his new demeanor, and requested he show more contrite love (other than a weak sauce, presumably ghost-written editorial) to the dedicated fans that had his back through his ordeal. I wanted him to come correct sooner rather than later. I wanted him to embrace his die-hard supporters in some fashion other than just knocking down jump shots. Many disagreed with my take, but man oh man, the media sharks have tried to turn him into an awful human being and terrible teammate.
His career body of work, on- or off-the-court, does not match up with these harsh characterizations. But hey, some media types are not going to run with gray or provide essential context because sensationalistic black or white sells. Feeding the algorithm is not always fair.
Gil’s recent comments about him still being loved in D.C., signing autographs for fans, and displaying snippets of a personality over the Nick Young snafu show a glimpse that maybe, just maybe, the old Gil is warming up.
At this point, I would settle for a luke-warm hibachi flame.
When the news broke that Arenas was sitting out the Hawks preseason game, like most fans, I was disappointed. Arenas still warmed up with the team and I temporarily forgot he was supposedly “injured.” My focus turned to taking way too many pictures of his beard and wait for it……his DEMEANOR on the bench with this teammates.
Gil joked with pretty much everyone on the team throughout the game, offered gum to Lester Hudson, told John Wall not to let any quick fouls affect his game (OMG, Kornheiser, the Cancer cells are spreading!), jumped up with a boisterous bench for Trevor Booker’s big flush, and embraced ex-teammate Etan Thomas at the game’s conclusion.
The beard is now gone so enjoy these pictures.
[All photos taken by Adam McGinnis, Truth About It.net]