Gilbert's Fresh Nickname for New "Serious" Look | Wizards Blog Truth About

Gilbert’s Fresh Nickname for New “Serious” Look

Updated: October 6, 2010

Media Day had your easy preconceived story lines with the NBA’s top draft pick, John Wall, the return of Gilbert Arenas from suspension, the new veteran acquisitions and the youth movement of draft picks. Then a bearded, visibly disinterested Arenas entered the Wizards practice court and proceeded to act like getting his picture taken was like being subjected to a Twilight movie marathon. After his photo session concluded, Arenas politely declined to answer standard profile questions from a team official and huddled with Wizards public relations staff before mumbling stoic answers in a pretty pointless three minute media interview session.

Suddenly, a new media day theme had emerged: “Why is Gil so serious?”

The Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg coined Arenas’s media day persona as “Emo Gilbert,” and I piggybacked that with “Sullen Emo Gil” on my video recap.

Here is the definition of “Emo Girl” via Urban Dictionary:

“an emo girl is a 15-17 yr old or older who loves being dark and girly at the same time but is mostly drawn towards the tomboy side, she loves any music that expresses her and she is arrogant on the outside but on the inside she is weak and crambling and tries to hide her insecurity about herself and her looks by black eye makeup and her attitude”

Emo via Wikipedia:

“Emo is a style of rock music typically characterized by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics. It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement of Washington, D.C., where it was known as “emotional hardcore” or “emocore” and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace.”

Genre legend and pioneer Ian MacKaye, of bands Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, detested the “emocore” label, and he once famously ripped it at the 9:30 Club.

The nickname still stuck, and in Andy Greenwald’s book, “Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and Emo,” Jenny Toomey explains why:

“The only people who used it at first were the ones that were jealous over how big and fanatical a scene it was. [Rites of Spring] existed well before the term did and they hated it. But there was this weird moment, like when people started calling music ‘grunge,’ where you were using the term even though you hated it.”

The name was eventually shortened and ’90s and 2000s popular music success solidified today’s pop culture definition of “emo.” Some of these behavioral characteristics include a person who is a malcontent, an introvert and angst ridden. Also, emos often can display apathy, misery and discontent.

Due to the D.C. roots, Arenas’ misunderstood look, and his new No. 9 jersey, I’ve decided to gloss a fresh nickname upon him: Emo Gil Niner.

[Side Note: The emocore D.C. bands of the 80’s were mostly on the music label, Dischord Records; FanHouse recently compared D.C. area pro ballers to the label’s songs. ]

Since Gil was so uncooperative during media day, it was the time for the media to pepper Flip Saunders and the remaining players for answers on their new-look teammate. I created the following video of the display … prepare yourself for “Serious”, “Business Like,” and “Demeanor.”

I did thoroughly enjoy Josh Howard and Saunders referencing Gil’s famous screw up as “The Situation.” Thank You Jersey Shore for ruining that phrase for like…ever now. The View did once ask the Baller-in-Chief, President Obama, if he knew who Snooki was, so maybe I should find out how many Wizards know “GTL.” (It is all you, Mr. Sports Bog.)

I was too busy asking Kirk Hinrich about his tattoos and J-Ho about his car collection to really care about the mental state of Gilbert Arenas. Several reporters seemed determined to get inside of Gil’s head. Um, OK … good luck with that (a la Chris Webber).

My beef with Gil still remains, as his apology to his fans has been extremely insufficient.

Gil wants to be a prick to the media and not really answer questions, fine. He pulled a similar stunt last season, and I am sure fans didn’t care. From a PR standpoint, however, he should own up to his mistakes publicly and let his play change the conversation to the comeback narrative the media loves. For example, check out how Mike Vick addressed his past in this powerful interview with his former coach. Now read this emotionless editorial that Gilbert obviously hired someone to write, because we all know the voice from his blog that was transcribed by someone else, and that sure isn’t it.

I do agree with the consensus view that if Gil balls at an All-Star Level again, his professional credibility will be restored and fans will likely grant him a second chance. However, while fans will come back to a winner, they will just as easily pile on a loser. It would help Arenas’ cause if he started the legwork on changing his off-the-court perception now without it solely being determined by on-court success.

There is no doubt Arenas avoided more severe legal punishment because of the goodwill he had built up in the community and amongst fans. Now Arenas hides behind towels, refuses to throw out t-shirts to fans with his teammates, did not allow fans to properly cheer his introduction at Midnight Madness, and bizarrely claims that fans will only want to see him play good basketball. He can’t even share a laugh with Brendan Haywood.

Time is on Gil’s side to come correct and display true contrition to those who have loved him for so long. Draining threes is adequate forgiveness for some, but a little more recognition toward the fans that had his back while the whole sports world cast him aside is not too much to ask.

Gil’s genuine enjoyment from Lester Hudson’s game winner on Tuesday night was good to see … but of course, Emo Gil Niner followed it up with quotes in the spirit of “Woe Is Me.


[Massages are all the rage amongst the emo kids.]

Adam McGinnis on EmailAdam McGinnis on FacebookAdam McGinnis on FlickrAdam McGinnis on GoogleAdam McGinnis on TwitterAdam McGinnis on Youtube
Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.

  • Shanna

    LEAVE GIL THE F..K ALONE! Then maybe he will be okay. How the hell would you feel if all you read is “It’s Wall to Wall coverage, Wall this and Wall that. Hell, Wall cannot win with out shooter of which one is Gil. I hope he is traded to another city and comes back and burns the Wizards, then see what you media type have to say. Gilbert is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t! He can win with you media and blogger Ho’s. FREE GILBERT!!!

  • Adam McGinnis

    Shanna, I am the biggest Gilbert Arenas backer around and probably to a fault. I have been waiting for a long time for him to truly apologize to the fans and connect to them again. Agent 0 became so likable to his fans because of his accessibility and his open personality. He messes up and then goes silent. I understand why is in a sour mood but that does not make it right.

    Gil can treat the media and haters with scorn all he wants but do lump his fans in there with them. They are the only ones that defended him throughout his ordeal and I am just expressing my disappointment in lack of remorse towards those that still love him like you do a family member that screwed up.

  • Gussssss

    I’m with Shanna. Nothing more irritating in sports than members of the media having an issue with the way individual players communicate. Gilbert’s job is to play basketball. Speaking as a fan, I need no apologies. Just want to see him play well and hopefully find the joy the game once gave him.

  • Patrik

    I really think folks have this Gil thing kinda wrong. He was the peoples champ when he was healthy and playing at an all star level. He was extra active in the community, he and the Pollin’s donated thousands of dollars to DC schools, and he gave away his game jersey after every game. He was arguably one of the game’s brightest stars, because of his outgoing nature and flair for the spectacular. All the while he’s dedicatingbhis life to being the best ball player he can be. All of this goes in the crapper because of one extremely bad joke? He was vilified in the media, and the court of public opinion had found him guilty. Every radio show and just about every blog had post after post about him being a thug, stupid, wanna be, etc. People from the very community he spent his whole career in Washington serving roasted him. Now they want him to grin and bear it. He’s not the type to not be affected by the type of criticism he got. He’s not giving it away for free anymore.All the good will he worked hard to earn in this area was washed awy by an event that wouldn’t have even been reported twenty years ago.I think he just wants to hoop and he honestly might not care I’d people like him or not. When you see folks turn on you it can leave a lasting impression. But it doesn’t carry over to the court Gil was the first guy off he bench celebrating and smiling ear to ear for Lester’s game winner.

  • Adam McGinnis

    Patrik, I agree with your points and it would hard not to shut everyone down after what has transpired to his career. He is a human being. While there were many fans alienated by his bad decision and local/national media figures piled on from their soap box, many fans stood behind him. His goodwill did not go in the crapper for myself and I have interviewed many fans that still love Gil.

    There is no right answer and I too want him to play well on the court. It will shut up the critics and help him personally. I just hope he can show a little contrition. How to do that is up on the air and to be determined but I see little positive direction in remorse towards his dedicated fan base so I felt the need to call him out on it. Great Feedback.

  • Terence Watson

    You got it all wrong buddy, Gil doesnt owe us shit. We should be apologizing to him for turning our backs on him as fans. If you are truly a person of faith and humanity you would support those you love even in thier worst moments. He didnt do anything to us. Imagine if you made a mistake in life and everyone turned there back on you…Only person he needs amends with is GOD and he (GOD) turns his back on no-one…

  • Arenas will be productive this season, if he wants to be. A player as fickle as him might be content just playing average to force Washington’s hand, but if he wants to play, he’ll still put up 20 a game with 7 assists. Prior to his suspension, he was still putting up 22 a night.

  • Rhythmic-

    I really can’t blame him after what he’s been through the past 10 months. Add the fact that his mother died, and he never had the chance to patch things up with her. “You never know how important someone is until they’re gone”. I can only imagine how heavy he felt from all that’s happened.

    I for one never stopped supporting Gil. A part of me, as a die-hard wizards fan wish nothing but the best for Wall’s career in the future for sure, but there’s still a part of me that hopes that Gil will still be the best player in this team until he’s finally on the decline due to age, which thankfully will also be the same time Wall will enter his prime. I’m looking forward to what these two will do for our team. Hopefully one day, Gil’s (and Wall’s) jersey(s) will be hanging in the rafters. I still remember Gil saying he hope so too.

  • Adam you are being hypocritical and in my opinion an ass for making a big deal about apologies etc…Gil owes the organization an apology(which he did)and as far as the fans who supported him or not, he owes them with his play on the BASKETBALL court not through the media. You bloggers are quick to make unecessary points to make your story pop but realize what you create when you do that. You are doing more harm in calling him names and acting as if he owes YOU an apology. You condition the mind of readers with your words and if you want to help Gil then your focus needs to be positive and not negative.


  • Patrik Trimmer

    Adam, if you don’t know what he can do to show he’s contrite, isn’t that the same thing as saying he hasn’t done enough to show YOU he’s contrite. I’ve read comments from posters on here as well as WizInsider on The Post where people don’t thin he owes anybody anything more than to play basketball. The story is getting bigger everyday, regarding gil’s demeanor. The wild thing is, it only affects us. Reports say that he and The Great Wall have developed a great rapport, with each cracking jokes with the other during practices and workouts. Wall leans on gil for guidance and Gil may lean on Wall because it gives him a purpose. Every report I’ve read has Gil being a model teammate. Yet the big story in town is about Gil and his Emo,Malcontent,Thuggish behavior. And that’s what i mean by he’s not doing it for free anymore. He used to be the fun loving, jersey tossing, 60 point dumping fan favorite. But at the first sign of danger (I don’t count the injuries he incurred while working) everyone (seems like just about everyone) turned on him. Now he’s just gonna do his job. but that’s not good enough, even for those who bitched and moaned about how long he was hurt and wanted him to shut up and play. Now that he’s keeping quiet and playing it’s not good enough. He’s got to smile while he’s doing it. Nick Young does enough smiling for the two of them, we need someone who’s gonna go out and get buckets.

  • Adam McGinnis

    Peace, I do not think Gilbert owes just ME personally an apology but go back in time to last January. National columnists wanted him banned from NBA for life, the team tore down his banners, David Stern suspended him for 50 games, addidas dropped him and the local DC media led by Wizards hater Tony Kornheiser sought out to make him the worst person ever. It was almost like he shot someone. I thought the outrage and suspension was ludicrous. I had his back. I defended him online and to friends. The day he avoided real jail time, my friend and I went to a bar to celebrate, which seems pretty silly now but hey, we are Wizards fans.

    Supporting him also meant I was pissed at him for putting me in such a crappy spot as a fan for his terrible decision. I see your point about now needing to talking about the positive and I should have linked to the 30 or so letters that people wrote in to the Judge. I read each and every one of them. They were powerful reminders of the lives he had touched and positive impact he had with them. It also was why I loved Agent Zero’s real persona.

    As for the Emo Gil Niner nickname, if he wants to mope around to the media, then well, playfully poking him is not that bad. If you want to see a anti Arenas hack job, go read Wilbon’s column today.

    I think what still rubs me the wrong way is the player who stayed up all night, signing thousands and thousands of shoes and jerseys, giving them out free to fans can not now even throw one Tshirt at multiple fan events. I felt the need to call him out. For the record, I think Arenas and Wall will be great together. I am more concerned about the 3 spot and the rebounding from the big guys.

  • Patrik Trimmer

    wilbon’s article seemed extremely out of touch and hard to read. I mean he contradicts himself like 4 times in his article. Wilbon’s a joke.

  • Adam McGinnis

    Great points Patrik. I created the video last week and I had written my post before Gilbert’s comments after the game on Tuesday.

    I want to clarify that because it seems that I am piling on like your usual sports pundits class. I guess my point of not knowing the right answer is just that, I do not know what he could do to reconnect to the fans that had his back when no else did. Obviously, playing well on the court is number one and a majority of fans that is enough. He has been so snake bitten with injury that everyone just wants to see him playing good basketball again. Hell, I sure do.

    He wrote that editorial, did his time & community service, and hibernated since then. Should he do some puff piece interview? Should the Wizards release a video hanging with fans? Should he get on twitter and apologize? that was a joke. :) All I have to go by is him mumbling some fan answer at media day and refusing to throw a Tshirt to people screaming his name at 2am while his teammates were hooking fans up. I have it on a video and I am probably being over sensitive but I was like damn, why you acting like that to these kids that are rooting for you and brought it signs with your name? This is the same guy that threw his jersey into the crowd every game. I was making fun of the emo serious gil and more upset with the lack of fan interaction. I guess I could have been more clear and those points were muddled. thanks for the feedback!

  • Patrik Trimmer

    You’re good holmes. Thx for reading our stuff and answering back.

  • No harm no foul Adam. My last post, even though geared toward your remarks about Gil realy are about athletes in general. It should be noted that athletes are human as well and express emotions differently just like yourself and I. The issue i have with the media is that they use “human” mistakes by athletes for their own gain(ratings,exposure,ESPN etc) It is very evident and purported in your response, that Gil was not only an exceptional athlete but also an excitable person within the media. Though his judgement was poor (bringing guns to the arena) i do believe because of how he revealed himself to everyone as “goofy”, “jokester”,”aloof” or whatever adjective you may; that it is all the more clear that he realy didnt mean any harm. To overwhelmingly classify him as a “thug” when he has no prior history of serious wrongdoing was unfair. Ben Roethlesberger can “alledgedly” rape two women and not receive serious reprieve from the media but a guy brings in unloaded guns to play a prank(even though that was a careless mistake) and he now has to walk on eggshells for the rest of his career. Imagine how that must feel for him, he can no longer be comfortable or be himself because now whatever he does from being silly with his blogs and interactions with fans are going to be scrutinized. When the game is not fun anymore and becomes strictly business, not only is Gil affected but so are the fans and even the media. The media needs to show more positive events when it comes to athletes so when human mistakes are made we are not so quick to damage or misappropriate a person and their true character. I appreciate your response and ironically i like this blog writing, response etc and will comment more on your good work. Be easy