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Gilbert Arenas Has Phenomenal Swag

That's what Gil said, and that's what Andray Blatche was telling everyone in the locker room last night. It's all getting sorta ridiculous, Gil averaging 36 ppg over his last nine, the national media rolling in, Diddy and T.I. and Busta Rhymes on tap for Gil's birthday party this weekend, and then he drops that game-winner in last night, and the place goes berserk, and Mike O'Koren goes crazy and starts sprinting off the court, and Caron Butler chucks his jersey into the crowd and Gilbert's walking around the court, never even looking at the basket after he shot. That's swag, by the way.

"You know how he shot the ball, and he just turned around not to see if it went on?" Blatche was explaining. "It's something like stuntin', you know what stuntin' is?"

We didn't.

"Well, it's something like that. He's got swag on the court."

(Gil's quote: "My swag was phenomenal.")

I was up near the concourse when Gil made that shot, and pretty much everyone was on a cell phone immediately.

"Are you [bleepin] kidding me?" one guy kept shouting into his phone. "Are you [bleepin] kidding me?"

"You knew he was gonna make it," someone else was saying.

All the ushers were hollering and clapping. Some kid touched Gilbert when he left the court; "Don't wash it, don't touch anything," his dad was telling him. "That was awesome!" some other kid kept saying. Then I walked into the locker room, and Brendan Haywood and Blatche were sitting next to each other and giggling about Gil.

This, friends, is stuntin'. I think. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)

"He took like two or three steps after he shot the ball and looked away," Blatche was saying to Haywood. "He didn't even look to see if it went in."

"That joint went straight through," Haywood was saying. "Remember [Nintendo game] Double Dribble, how the nets would pop up? Like that."

Then Haywood started saying "Double Dribble," in that weird voice, like the game used to say.

(Btw, a reader tells me that Ovechkin was in the VC last night, earning a loud cheer when he appeared up on the 'Tron, and then again when he later showed up on the Kiss Cam with his girlfriend. I missed that. I was inside the media room, watching Mike Wise write his column and waiting for the last two minutes. I know my Wizards.)

Anyhow, Caron was out in the hallway, recapping the final sequence in a manner pretty similar to the one used by fans up in the concourse. All he needed was a cell phone and he would have been the "Are you [bleepin] kidding me?" guy.

"He got the ball and shot it and turned around before the ball even went in and just walked off," Caron was saying. "Everybody yelled out 'Hibachi!'...I mean, that's what he does. He's one hell of a player, man... We all was open, but we knew he was gonna shoot that ball. And we knew it was going in, also. And we all just ran off the court. I don't know where my jersey's at, I threw the jersey somewhere, I was just so excited."

I asked if he'd ever thrown his jersey before.

"That was my first time," he said. "I was trying to copy Gilbert. It seemed to work for him, so I'll see if it'll work for me."

See, it was delirium. Especially considering this was January, and this was Washington's professional basketball franchise. Even Antawn Jamison, the grown-up, the guy who doesn't quote video game announcers or throw his jerseys in the crowd, was pretty impressed.

"I've known Gilbert since he's been in the league, and he's definitely been performing beyond what I've seen Gilbert perform at, and beyond what I've seen some of the all-time greats perform at," Antawn told me just before he left the locker room. "I mean, I've seen Kobe. I've seen the Mitch Richmonds of the league. I played against Jordan. This is up there. I mean, he's averaging 30 points a game. I love it....As long as he's performing the way he's performing and we're winning, it's real early, but it's not too far-fetched to be thinking MVP candidate this season. Look, we're competing for one of the best records in the Eastern Conference, and he's a big part of it."

See, when the grown-ups start talking 'Michael Jordan' and 'MVP candidate', you know you've got something.

And Gil? He was talking about Cold Pizza. How he saw some dope on the show discussing Gilbert vs. Kobe.

"I forgot what his name was, he was killing me, saying, you know, 29 out of 30 GM's would pick Kobe Bryant over me," Gil said. "I was like, 'Me too!!!!' I'd pick him over me too! I had a good game, but I mean, one's 6-8 or 6-9, one's 6-3 and a half. Hey, you go with the bigger guy. Jesus Christ. Just state the obvious."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 4, 2007; 8:51 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: "My Swag Was Phenomenal"


Jordan, Kobe, Gilbert...Mitch Richmond.


Posted by: Dano | January 4, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I was one of the 14,632 people yelling into their cell phones directly afterwards. You got the vibe perfectly Dan.
Hopefully the Wizards' FO can parlay future-MVP performances into more butts in seats. The upper bowl looked pitiful last night.

Posted by: Boyohboyohboy | January 4, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Great post, Dan. And yes, even more impressive than the shot was the swag, and that's saying something.

Posted by: Jamie Mottram | January 4, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Arenas is on a a tear, no doubt about it. But if he wants to be considered among the best in the league the Wizards have to make a decent run in the play offs.

His choke on the FT line last year in game 6 vs. the Cavs is still on people's mind.

GREAT players carry their team deep into the play offs.

Posted by: 761-091 | January 4, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse


Great players have to *learn* how to carry their teams. Sure Agent Zero screwed the pooch in the playoffs last year, but it's obvious to even the most casual observer that he has come back more focused and better than ever.

Gil will be a beast in the playoffs this year.

Posted by: KJ | January 4, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: jay | January 4, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I think the guy on the phone was my husband, or any other man at the arena last night. I looked around a few seconds after the shot and no one was leaving. We were in shock!!! There was no doubt that he got the shot off in time, we all just needed to celebrate a little longer. I think DC needs to give Arenas more love by getting him into the All Star game with a huge number of votes. In doing that, we can't leave out Caron! He's having an unbeleivable year. Jay I totally agree with your assessment. Without Caron, Arenas would just be lighting up the individual charts. Caron and Jamison are making the Wizards winners!!!!

Posted by: TK | January 4, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Defense!!!!The wizards are winning with a semi-improved defense. Coach Jordan has to figure-out how to stop other teams stars by executing better defensive scheme.
The playoff has just started in washingtonian minds. Coach, be ready. Defeeeeeeeeeense.

Posted by: Kaiser | January 4, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Nice props for Wise and his great column...

Next time, ride your BIG WHEEL home-ha!

Posted by: WGDC- | January 5, 2007 2:22 AM | Report abuse

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