Much has been made about Gilbert Arenas eschewing jersey No. 0, and then going from 6 to 9 (very Jimi Hendrix of him). But why? Probably because Arenas’ past nickname, Agent Zero, derived from the number he chose to represent the slight of people saying he’d get zero minutes at the University of Arizona. The chronicles of zero have been well documented since.
Okay, so why No. 9? Well, it was probably time to ask Mr. Arenas himself, so I did.
“Nine means the rebirth … you know it’s the last number before you start something else,” Arenas said. But it sounds better coming from him, so let’s take a look-see:
Gotta like how …
- Arenas told a bit of a fib about choosing No. 6 at first.
- LeBron changing to No. 6 had something to do with him switching to No. 9 (and the fact that the element of surprise was over).
- Many thanks to the Washington Post’s Mike Wise for allowing me to interrupt his session with Arenas to ask my question. I know Mr. Wise will have a helluva story on Gil in the papers soon.
- Arenas also said the selection of No. 9 had nothing to do with the apartment he grew up in.