Gilbert Arenas was interviewed by the Associated Press today. The main focus on the report was his work with PETA, which is absolutely fantastic. Amar’e Stoudemire has similarly voiced his thoughts regarding fur coats. In my opinion (read: the opinion of a vegetarian), it is a great move for him in hopes to producing a new image of Gilbert Arenas. However, the one quote that stuck out to me in particular had nothing to do with animal rights.
“He’s part of the organization. If he wants to play, he’s going to play here.” – Ernie Grunfeld
This is an interesting pair of sentences and they intrigue me as a Wizards fan. While some, like TrueHoop writer Henry Abbott, can envision Agent Zero suiting up for the nation’s capital, I just can’t see it happening. There are a few reasons why I believe his days as a Wizard are over:
1) Gilbert is not a good role model for young players. He will not give up his own numbers to get others involved. In many ways, he is just a selfish basketball player. He has always insisted on running the show in DC. The Wizards have dealt with this and even embraced it by asking to move him to SG. However, that wasn’t what he did and he insisted on bringing the ball up despite not running the offense. He was the type of guy who would break off from a certain play to explore a possible look, something that just never let the team get in sync. Did I mention that he did this while playing with 2 All-Stars? How would it work when he was supposed to feed Andray “I am actually good at basketball when no one prepares to play against me” Blatche and JaVale “Winning + playing time= happiness” McGee? In case you were wondering, that was an actual Tweet by McGee. He would not be patient enough to mentor young guards or explain the proper post positioning for an entry pass to forwards. While he might do it for a little while, he would probably grow weary and give up at some point (keep in mind that he is signed for 6 years).
Not to ramble, but he doesn’t exactly have the best work ethic ever. He sleeps only a few hours each night and has played internet poker at halftime, to name a few bad habits.
2) Gilbert Arenas holds grudges. This is clearly shown by his insisting on Cavs-Wiz being a rivalry, when it wasn’t there. While he might not be on the same level as Jordan, he certainly is the type to remember things that many thought were in the past. He could very well not want to play for DC, and I couldn’t blame him considering how the Wizards reacted to the gun scandal.
3) Arenas could make significant contributions with a playoff team. This guy averaged 29.3 points per game in 2005-06. I realize this was before Gerald Wallace bumped into him and changed his career forever, but even after the surgeries, he played well, showing new and improved passing ability. There is no promising that he would be willing to be just a second (or even a third, God forbid) scoring option, but it could happen if he were to play with a superstar who is definitely better than him. This is all assuming that he could manage to pick up his defense, of course. But for a guy that works as hard as he does (due to the aforementioned lack of sleep, he gets to more time to work out than most NBAers), he should be able to become a mediocre defender, compared to his current God-awfulness.
I believe he’s just making himself a player who teams will want to trade for. I’m sure Ernie Grunfeld would be delighted to trade away the rest of his $11,000,000 contract, and Gil would be enthusiastic to play for a winning program. Yet, he is so unpredictable (he has, er had, one of these), that we can never quite understand what is happening in that head of his. However, to be a tradeable asset, he needs to have a cleaner image, which can be bettered, of course, by supporting PETA.
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