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Gilbert Arenas: Experienced Trampolinist

CreditZard found some wacky way to search the internets for older stories, and he discovered that Gilbert Arenas was telling the truth when he blogged thus about his all-star trampoline exploits:

I used to practice those trampoline dunks back at Golden State. I can flip and everything.

Turns out, as CreditZard found, such tales made the rounds back in the Warriors days. Actually, a Steve Wyche story in The Post from three Septembers ago provides greater detail than CZ's link. Quoth Gilbert:

"It was Michael Jordan's last game out there so it was memorable for anybody to play against him," Arenas said, leaning forward and flashing a smile that will soon adorn Wizards advertisements. "The night before I prepared by doing two push-ups, three sit-ups, over and over. Two, then three, because Jordan wore No. 23; I took two jump shots, three layups, over and over. Then I went off the trampoline with the dunk team and the mascot. That was my workout. I was ready to play."

Aha. So maybe this is why he wears zero. Trying to bait opposing players into not doing sufficient push-ups before games. Also, G-Man's gotta be quaking in his bright-blue muscle-bound boots.

Now let's go back another 18 months, to the Spring of 2002, and take a look at the San Jose Mercury-News.

In September, Arenas said he fully expected to be starting by midseason. At 20, he was a fun-loving kid who tooled around the East Bay in a $55,000 Cadillac Escalade that he had customized with another $50,000 in gadgets, including a deafening sound system. He liked to fool around on a trampoline, dunking basketballs before games with the ballboys.

Gil still pals around with ballboys, incidentally. Did I mention that he occasionally calls one Wiz ball boy in the middle of the afternoon to see what's up?

Wait, wait, what's this? It's an L.A. Daily News story from April of 2003. The author of a prep sports notebook is writing about SlamBall. Naturally, he calls Gil.

The second year of SlamBall is under way, and again the high-flying basketball game televised on TNT features a number of local faces.

Former Calabasas basketball standout Michael Goldman and former Birmingham of Lake Balboa star Stanley Fletcher are featured, and Brian Taylor (former Harvard-Westlake of Studio City girls' basketball coach and father of Wolverines standout Bryce Taylor) will coach one of the teams.

Another local player would love a chance to play SlamBall, although it's doubtful Golden State Warriors star Gilbert Arenas (Grant High of Van Nuys) will ever be cleared to take part in the event, in which players' leaping ability is enhanced by trampolines surrounding each basket.

"I don't think that's allowed under my contract," Arenas said, joking. "But I'd love to give it a try."

If he can't make a contribution as a player, Arenas might want to work as a producer. He has an idea to make the game more alluring to viewers. "They need to have a bad guy, someone who slams people into the wall all the time," Arenas said. "People watch Jerry Springer because of the fighting, right? This would be the same exact thing. Get some big, ugly, mean guy who everybody hates and put him up there every week. People get into stuff like that."

Hey, I'd certainly watch big men trade blows in mid-air. Etan? Brendan?

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 20, 2007; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  NBA  
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Tramampoline! Trambampoline!

(/Homer Simpson)

There's a Slate article reviewing John Amaechi's book which reveals the truly shocking secret about the NBA: For a lot of players, the game isn't that much fun, just a job they happen to be really good at and for which they are well-compensated. Gil, obviously, actually does enjoy playing basketball. Let's hope nothing ever takes that joy away from him.

Posted by: Lindemann | February 20, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, an endless archive of Gil material!

I like this idea of the "bad guy" in the trampoline act. Reminds me of his description of some add for sneakers where a little girl gets clotheslined.

Fisticuffs and trampolines = lawsuits, seems to me.

Posted by: Nancy | February 20, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

referenced! joy! that first quote sounds like jim carrey in the new meta-horror charlie kauffman wannabe

Posted by: CreditZard | February 20, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas, Gilbert Arenas, Gilbert Arenas, blah blah blah.

Posted by: Smarty | February 20, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

maybe scottie pippen should think about giving slamball a try? i'm sure a team could use his valuable leadership & experience.

Posted by: codemonkeymaster | February 20, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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