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Gilbert Answers Questions (Not Mine)

(If you haven't already figured it out, instead of just admitting that yesterday's trip to Gil's shoe unveiling in Manhattan was probably a bust, I'm going to attempt to wring every possible word out of the experience. Just a warning.)

While waiting for Gilbert to arrive, I was handed an Adidas Gil-Zero press kit, which comes in a shiny little metallic case and has a fold-out CD-shaped insert.

"We are 5," it says, referring to Gil, Garnett, McGrady, Duncan and Chauncey. "We are all of us before one of us. We are together. We are loyalty. We are family. We are 5 or we are nothing. It takes 5ive."

On the reverse is the Gil-specific stuff. In verse. Not sure whether Etan was involved.

It takes deleting
The word 'acceptance'
From your vocabulary.

It takes explosive drives,
Clutch three pointers and
Unstoppable scoring sprees.

It takes being one of
The quickest guards and
Living at the top of the NBA
Scoring list year after year.

It takes a rubber heel wrap
On the New Gil Zero
To keep Gilbert
Driving Foward. [sic]

It takes the lotion
And it puts the lotion
In the basket.

Anyhow, the CD has some interviews, including a long one with Gilbert that's probably also on Adidas's Web site, but to make myself feel better I'm not going to check, and will instead pretend that I needed to go to NYC to get this interview text, and I'm going to excerpt it, starting now:

This year's going to mark your first signature shoe, The Gil Zero. What are your thoughts around that?
It's a great feeling. You know, as a little kid, you always dream of having your own shoe. And this day is finally coming.

When you were first told, "Hey, you're getting your signature shoe," what went through your mind?
I think the first person I called was my dad. You know, like, I think I might be getting my first shoe, and I got my hands crossed, and, you know, once I seen it, I was like ... I mean, I couldn't say anything; you know, I had put it all on the Internet, let everybody else see it, and, you know, from there, it's just been exciting.

When you look at the shoe, what's your favorite feature of it?
One, it's a low top. I like the traction, you know, bubbles (adidas ForMotion) on the bottom of it. And, you know, its real light, so, you know, it helps me move a little bit.

In the design of the shoe, did you play a role in that; what kind of feedback did you give?
Yeah, you know, they let me play. And that was surprising, you know, my first signature shoe, they let me put a little input on it. And, you know, I told them the stuff I liked about it, and the stuff I didn't like. And they actually used it.

What were some of the things you wanted to make changes on?
You know, just have three stripes on one side of the shoe, and not all the way around. Make it look more like a casual shoe than a basketball shoe, and you know, got both qualities on there.

When you're looking for a basketball shoe, besides the low top feature, what other things are you looking for?
You know something I can wear with jeans, something I can wear in school. You know, I don't want a lot of straps on my shoe, because it makes my shoe look bulky when I'm wearing pants. I just want something that looks great with pants.

Tell us the story about where your jersey number 0 came from.
Zero is like where I started off from, you know, the bottom. And I thought my life was changing once I went to college, and the critics said again, you ain't gonna get any minutes going to Arizona. You know, it's a powerhouse; they won a championship in '97. Why would you go there? And so, when I got there, my number was 25, and they ended up retiring it (Steve Kerr). So I'm like, man, just nothing goes right for me! So I was like, since I felt like I'm worth nothing, and everyone thinks I'm going to be nothing, I'm going to go with zero....

When looking at the NBA, and you look at all the era that are out there, is there an era that you wish maybe you could have played in?
The end 80s, like '88, on up to '98, you know, with that Jordan, Bird, and Isaiah Thomas era. You know, that's the one I wanted.

Is there one guy in the history of the NBA you look at and go, "I'd love to play him now, if he was in his prime."Isaiah Thomas. You know, he was the Zeek. I just wanted to see how I matched up against him.

If you had the opportunity to talk to all your fans, what would you say to them?
Just that, you finally have an NBA player who is a fan. So I know how you feel; I know how you think; I know what you want, that's why I throw my jersey out every game. You know, when I was watching basketball, that's the only thing I wanted. You're there to watch the game, but, it's like, whoa, if he throws his jersey, I want to be that lucky kid that catches it. So, I'd just like to tell the fans, you know, I'm one of you guys.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 6, 2006; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Gil's Designer Answers Questions (Not Mine)

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