[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.
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.
[Gilbert Arenas gets some gum/candy for Lester Hudson. Watch out Lester! Tony Kornheiser says that candy could be POISON!]
Bullet Point Thoughts on Gilly …
So that Gilbert guy … you know what he did and you know he has been punished for it in the form of a fine (and likely old man giddiness via Tony Kornheiser … I bet old Tony popped a Viagra and everything when he heard Arenas lied to his coach).
It’s a good word. It’s a good thing to do. And something that some just assume Gilbert Arenas can’t do.
Well, he can. Perhaps not in the most tactful manner, but he can … especially when it’s for a guy with whom he has always had a special relationship with, Nick Young (and I’m not talking about the time Gil arranged for Nick’s Range Rover to be stolen).
According to reports before the Wizards’ preseason matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, Arenas told Flip Saunders at that morning’s shoot-around that his knee was sore and that he wouldn’t be able to play.
“We had two hard days of practice, so it’s a little sore and stiff as far as today,” Saunders told the media around 90 minutes before the game. ”At least that’s what he said to me at shootaround. So based on that, I don’t think he’ll play.”
[Shaw Library: 7th St. & Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
So the Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, putting their preseason record at 2-1. They got out-rebounded 48-32 and after the game, Wizards coach Flip Saunders said it wasn’t so much a result of the three-guard lineup. Via Wizards Insider:
Saunders said the disparity had nothing to do with size or inexperience. “Our bigs played really lethargic, very tired tonight. Very much with a lack of commitment. We have to play harder than the team we’re playing against. We can’t afford to let teams play harder than us, because we’re young and we’re going to make mistakes. And you have to make up for those mistakes with effort plays.”
“MESSAGE!” — And Flip was calculated with his message or call-out to Andray Blatche (three rebounds in 25 minutes), JaVale McGee (five rebounds in 18 minutes), and Yi Jianlian (three rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench). Of course, these numbers don’t tell the full story, exactly how many rebounds the Wizards allowed their assigned opposition to get.
Look, I know we’ve spent a lot of font sizes and word counts on Gilbert Arenas, adding binary code to the matrix. And the more I analyze, the more I feel like I’m nit-picking and contributing to the whole absurdity of the scene. So, it’s worth taking a step back and saying, ‘this is all pretty silly, isn’t it?’
That it is.
A recent piece by Jake Whitacre on SB Nation about the rise and fall of Gilbert Arenas and Clinton Portis (and their swagger) got me thinking … do we want winners or do we want entertainers?
Well, both. But the former almost always begets the latter, and it clearly doesn’t always work both ways, at least in the recent history of D.C. sports.
So the Wizards preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers is not on television tonight. This is something I believe I was aware of (as I received the press release indicating that Comcast SportsNet would broadcast 80 regular season games and three preseason games — the October 28 season opener in Orlando and the November 25 game in Atlanta will be exclusively broadcast on TNT), but still, realizing it this morning made me say … “damn.”
And evidently a lot of others are wishing they could watch John Wall and the Wizards tonight too. Ratings for the first preseason game went through the roof, via the DC Sports Bog, leaving many, some on Twitter today, hungry for more.
But sometimes the advertising dollars just aren’t there for preseason games — not one Washington Capitals preseason game was televised this year. Everyone expected Wall to have an impact, but if they knew he could bring a 55-percent ratings increase over last year’s regular season average for a measly preseason game, I’m sure more television arrangements would have been made … albeit, other games might not fetch the same as a debut.
In any case, both home preseason games (October 12 versus the Hawks — the return of Etan Thomas! — and October 14 versus the Bucks — the return of Earl Boykins!!) will be televised. Otherwise, for the rest of the preseason slate, you’ll have to rely on the soothing voices of Dave Johnson and Glenn Consor on 106.7 The Fan, which you should also be able to hear online (note: the Oct. 17 preseason game versus the Knicks, that will be broadcast live on 1580 AM).
Ted Leonsis wants bloggers to “generate those pixels,” and “feed the algorithm.” And I guess that can be a good thing and a bad thing … because when it comes to Gilbert Arenas, we can’t help ourselves. So here goes…
Too bad Gilbert. People are going to nitpick everything you say (and not just because you got in trouble, as you alluded), but because you are Gilbert Arenas. You made yourself. Well, your past self. And the media helped.
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?”