No. 1 on this week’s list of stupid NBA basketball stuff: this guy.
[original image via Evan Vucci, AP]
First of all, cool story, bro. [Is 'cool story, bro' played out yet? I mean, it is on t-shirts and stuff. Nonetheless, it applies to this guy.]
Second of all, nobody cares. [Wild guess: You, bro, are also a NY Jets fan.]
Third of all, the Heat won a championship recently. You might have heard about it through the Internets if you’ve been a fan of the team for long enough. So, why don’t you go suck on that for a spell. Should provide plenty of nourishment.
Fourth of all, even though your sign does not specifically outline such, you did not pay all that money for tickets to “see Lebron play.” Nope, you paid to see the Wizards of Washington play the Heat of Miami. Susan O’Malley is no longer around, so I’m pretty sure that LeBron wasn’t featured on the ticket that got you into the arena.
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.
D.C.-area rapper Wale has been covered quite a bit on this site. But he wouldn’t be if I didn’t think so highly of his music. I mean, Soulja Boy was flown in for a Wizards-Cavaliers playoff game in 2008 and I barely mentioned it … because it’s friggin’ Soulja Boy. He is absolutely terrible.
First Wale just wasn’t that into the Wizards, rather he rooted fo the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then his fandom for the Denver Nuggets, as well, came to surface. “I gotta be honest, I’m not the biggest Wizards fan,” Wale once said, putting his hometown team further away than the back seat, shutting them in the trunk instead. Of course, Andray Blatche cautioned us not to believe that Wale really wasn’t a Wizards fan. And maybe Blatche was right, Wale did show up for a decent share of games last season, in the on-the-house seats the team makes available for VIPs.
The reality is also that the Wizards haven’t had anyone with huge star power for some time. Wale was unheard of on the music scene the last time Gilbert Arenas was relevant. Now the rapper is readily expressing his excitement that John Wall will be part of a new generation of stars in D.C., the “freshman class” (and Donovan McNabb). And the difference is that Wall’s hype is propelled by basketball talent, not by a $111 million contract. Fans loved Arenas when he was on top, but Wall is seen as one who will change the direction to the franchise, rather than someone putting up numbers in a high-octane offense.
Wall-Nuts over John Wall has led to a lot of positive attention toward the Wizards lately … distracting from fan curiosity over the return of Gilbert Arenas. But rest assured that people of the District-Maryland-Virginia area still care about the zeroed-out hero.
As the season’s games winded down, Truth About It.net media guy, Adam Douglas, took to the concourse and got the opinion of Wizards fans on Arenas’ punishment and if they want him to return to the team.
The interviews took place over two months ago, feelings about the Wizards have certainly shifted since then. But as far as I know, there’s no statute of limitations on interviews, and it’s interesting to look back on perception. I wonder how many of the interviewees would now think that Arenas and Wall can co-exist harmoniously.