When news of the Gilbert Arenas-Rashard Lewis trade broke, it was received with a groan. The less-than-enthusiastic reception of the 31-year-old Lewis wasn’t so much a public damnation of his basketball abilities, nor an uninterested dismissal of his more intangible, clichéd qualities – veteran leadership, for instance. No, it was the result of a city, of a fanbase, coming to grips with the end of an era.
The Washington Wizards traded away their (cult) hero, and all they got in return was a “lousy” stretch four.
Just a week before Christmas, Lewis arrived in the nation’s capital with his long frame, his long contract, and his long face. Rough. Nick Young—by way of Gilbert Arenas’ interview with ESPN’s Michael Wallace—made Lewis’ first impressions public:
“He was telling me about Rashard Lewis. Nick was like, ‘I don’t know if he’s going to make it two weeks here. He feels like the world just ended.’ “