Gilbert Arenas’ tenure as a Washington Wizard, on the court and off, will be remembered in a variety of ways. Some long ago formed a set opinion of him, even before the gun incident. For others, that incident tainted his legacy in D.C. forever. Some choose to mostly remember the fun Gil, the one who hit game-winning shots, led his team to wins, and blogged in a fun manner about it all. Still others, such as myself, continue to digest the meaning of his time with the team, and all the extras.
It’s been done before to certain degrees and from certain angles, and yet there is still plenty of time to further contemplate Arenas and the Wizards. But tonight, as Gilbert makes his first return to Washington as a member of the Orlando Magic, it’s time to look back upon his last official act as a Wizard — his last game against the New Jersey Nets on December 16, 2010 — and how the curiosity of his actions, and subsequent loss, is somewhat fitting, also representing just a small decomposing piece amongst the last ruins of a construction project that ultimately failed to get past the second round of the playoffs. We can’t all be champions, and that’s okay … and which is why we seek memories of good and bad otherwise.
Michael Lee had a very good feature story on the Arenas trade in today’s Washington Post. The relevant excerpt:
The deal wouldn’t have occurred without the approval of Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who had been adamant since the summer that Arenas wasn’t “going anywhere.” Leonsis shot down a rumor a few weeks before, expressing support for Arenas.
But according to multiple league sources, Leonsis’s position changed when he started to believe Arenas no longer wanted to be in Washington. A person with knowledge of the situation said Leonsis became upset after hearing that Arenas was telling those close to him that a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers would be his final game in a Wizards uniform and that he was likely headed to Orlando. The comment was a surprise to Leonsis, according to the source, because he was unaware of any trade discussions involving Arenas.
Arenas played the next game, a loss in New Jersey, but was dealt two days later.
So let’s go back to Arenas’ last act as a Washington Wizard in the handy video below…
If the deal wasn’t sealed already, this was Arenas’ last attempt to put the nail in the coffin himself. And now we move on…