Gilbert Arenas, Fan Autographs, and Things We Know | Wizards Blog Truth About

Gilbert Arenas, Fan Autographs, and Things We Know

Updated: October 16, 2010

Today Gilbert Arenas sat out of practice because of that injured groin. Afterward, he took about 25 minutes or so to sign autographs for and take photos with fans after an open house/practice the Wizards held at the Verizon Center. Arenas signed everything from paper money, to ipods, to jerseys, to human arms … pretty much anything fans could produce. The people showed him love and he showed them love back, joking and talking with fans and not just solemnly signing his name .

He didn’t speak with the media afterward, about all four of us who were there to check out the event, saying with a smile on his face, “I’m happy today, I’ll talk to y’all tomorrow.” (or something like that). Take a look at some pictures first … and then, commentary.

Here are two things we can all agree on:

  1. Most people in general, the basketball fans of the Washington area in this particular instance, are more forgiving than the media, especially the national media. Sometimes the media, and sure, I’ll include myself in on this as some “blogger with access,” are some unforgiving SOBs lacking real-life compassion and reason.
  2. Those of the national media, and not all are bad, clearly, but mostly the talking heads … they simply are clueless in their perspective because they are so removed from the day-to-day goings-ons of a professional sports team, the Wizards in this instance. They judge people in sound-bytes from miles away and not on a basis of daily, weekly, or even monthly interaction.

    By no means and I a complete Wizards insider, but I certainly am less removed and more informed in my opinion, at times. And no, I’m not blanketing all national media members in the same boat. Some used to be beat reporters covering teams here in Washington. Most have very good sources … but keep in mind that sources are not infallible, they have their angles too … just like the media.

These are two simple things that we know.

When it comes to Gilbert Arenas, many in D.C. are clearly still fans of his.

As I understand, Arenas had a very positive reception from fans at Friday’s event for season ticket holders at Six Flags in Maryland… which was good for him, I’m told, to see that he’s not “hated” by the masses. Will that stop Arenas from running his mouth? No. Might it put someone who is human like you and me a bit more at ease? Surely. And perhaps that’s why Arenas was willing to connect with fans today, unlike at Midnight Madness when he was still in “Emo” mode and chose not to throw t-shirts into the crowd like all of his other teammates.

And as an aside, has recently caught some heat (mainly from the DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg) for their “aggressiveness” in their online correction mannerisms. Instead of beaming at yourself in the mirror because you are able to make a correction, just do it.

Perhaps should run a correction in their piece that ran after Thursday’s preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks. wrote:

“There was also, however, a smattering of boos from some in the arena who noticed Arenas leaving the floor.”

I heard a single boo, from a single loud antagonist … both when Arenas checked into the game and when he left for the locker room after injuring his groin.

There was no “smattering.” In fact, when Arenas took the court, over half of the very sparse crowd gave him a standing ovation.

So is Arenas a “great guy” just because he took several minutes to sign autographs for fans? Is he admirable because most in Washington still seem to like him? Should criticism of him be quelled because of this?

A resounding “no” is the answer to all. Again, I will not refute that Arenas deserves much of the criticism that he brings down upon himself with his unfiltered mouth.

It’s just that your argument, national member of the media (Kornheiser/Feinstein/Bayless/Etc. — the “cadre of old, white men,” who “all but stole megaphones from each other to condemn Arenas most loudly,” according to Joey of Straight Bangin’) is less invalid because you lack perspective.

But if you’re outrageous enough and your voice is loud enough, you’ll be heard regardless of lack of substance. Good for you. We get it, you’ve never made a mistake. Go pat yourself on the back like you usually do.

Meanwhile, Arenas is here to play basketball (well, when free from fake or real injury), and Wizards fans in D.C. are here to support him. Add that to the list of things you know.

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

  • Adam McGinnis

    RIGHT ON!!!!!! Agent Zero! Do not forget Tracee Hamilton’s inane ramblings. She would think this is a all fake and fans should hate him.

  • Dan Todd

    Good post. I’m an old white guy and I still like Gil. I’m very disappointed by the gun incident and wish that he’d do a better job to avoid all the drama, but I’m looking forward to seeing him play for a full season for the first time in forever. I also realize the I don’t “know” Gil or any other athlete and the best I can ever say is the someone seems like a good guy. But in that context, I like Gil and hope he makes a great comeback.

  • Ha!

    Thanks Dan Todd …

    And yes, I’m a 30-year old white dude and I was disappointed as much as anyone in the Arenas gun thing … in fact, the whole ridiculousness, in moments, made me consider quitting blogging about the team all together.

  • hulk rogain

    I thought Gil signed with Under Armour.

  • Jason Lassalle

    I like that at least someone in the media is willing to stand up for Gilbert Arenas because it seems like there is few and far between outspoken support for the man. I don’t agree with what he did and how everything went down but the whole ordeal was disgustingly dramatized into something it really wasn’t by too many in the media. I’m looking forward to a new season and my support is fully behind Gilbert Arenas, just as it’s always been, and rest of the Wizards to push on into a new era.

  • Basically, isn’t Gilbert Arenas the NBA’s version of Ricky Williams? You never really know what you are going to get from him off the field/court, but they always produce well when playing. Everyone wanted Williams’ head on a platter after he left the team in training camp, but now it’s behind everyone.

    Arenas made a mistake, a really dumb one at that, but if he plays well this season and proves he still wants to be part of the franchise (questionable at this point, at best) then he can put his incident behind him.

    No matter what you say, Arenas is still a talented player and will likely be an All-Star again this year.

  • Tom Cruise

    I’ve been thinking for a while now that I shouldn’t pay attention to most national sports media anymore. They seem to always be trolling for controversial topics and spew their opinions with the subtlety of a battering ram. With so many team-specific blogs that give such a great perspective on teams from covering them day after day, the national multi-sport media columnist/show host is less relevant.

  • lolwarrior

    Strange to see Gilbert wear 3/4 high top sneakers.

  • Michael

    Great post up until you brought Skip Bayless into the discussion and then I lost you. Other than getting Nick Young’s name wrong, everything he said is exactly correct. Gilbert outing himself to the media basically was a cry for attention. There was zero reason for him to tell the media that he faked an injury. Just fake the injury and keep it to yourself.

  • Robert

    I cannot wait for the season to start, so we can finally talk about Gilbert’s all-star level play. I have faith. Gilbert Arenas made the Wizards relevant after Webber, Jordan, Richmond, and Gugliotta all tried and all failed to do the same.

    I saw him grab the front page of the sports section out of his lamborghini (at best buy tysons) to sign that instead of the metro card that my friend had. He was genuinely a nice guy, wanted to know who we were routing for that night (Miami or Dallas, in 2006 finals). And we said we didnt really care, and he goes yea Im pulling for Dallas because all my boys are on that team (I think Jason terry mainly). He was cool.

    Also, I wish Gilbert knew that the fans still like him for the most part. It’s clear that he and Ernie Grunfeld don’t get along, and the Gilbert-Wizards tension stems from that (in my opinion). Grunfeld is not a great GM (I’m still mad about Eddie Jordan’s firing and the Pecherov pick), and i think the Wizards should move on to a different style management. I’d like to see them put more resources into player development.

  • Cyrus Zadeh

    i was the kid in the arenas jersey in the third picc!!!!