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Sixers Fans Claim Gilbert Is Scum

Swag-loving Wiz fans aside, there were a few haters in the Wachovia Center house last night.

("Few," by the way, best describes that crowd. I have never been to a professional sporting event more lacking in atmosphere, and I'm including minor-league basketball games where the crowds have numbered in the three digits. From our official seats behind one backboard, we could easily hear comments coming from the Wizards bench. If the game day ops people weren't playing all that music, I would have been able to have a speaking-voice conversation from one baseline to the other. I mean, I've been to several movies where the crowd was more vocal, especially in Silver Spring. The utter atmosphere void apparently convinced the ushers to give up for the night, because I sat in a variety of court-side seats without anyone saying a word, and I crouched in the second row for about 10 minutes doing an interview. The V.C. ushers would not be having any of that.)

Anyhow, there were two young Philly kids up in 116 booing Gilbert's every move, so I went up to chat. Maybe I'm wrong, but I wish Washington had more of this type of fans. Builds character. Anyhow, I asked what was with the Arenas booing.

"He's scum," 22-year-old Mike Rubin explained. "When he comes into this arena, he's scum. He is a bum."

"Arenas is the most overrated player in basketball," his buddy, 21-year-old Nick Kripp agreed. "I've even heard that from Washington fans."

"He's scum. He's scum," Rubin repeated. "He's definitely overrated. He's not that good. Even if he played for the Sixers, I wouldn't like him."

"Even if he came out of the womb in a Sixers jersey, I don't think I'd like him," Kripp said.

They then explained that all visiting players were scum, so I concluded that Gilbert was nothing special in this regard, but I was wrong about that.

"He is particular scum," Rubin said as Arenas missed a shot. "I don't know why people like him. Look at that. Scum."

"He shoots like a girl," Kripp said.

"If anything, I think he's getting less popular," Rubin said. "ARENAS, YOU ARE SCUM!!!" he then yelled. "That's all you've got to put in your Post, is Arenas is scum."

"SHARPEN YOUR PENCIL ARENAS YOU'RE GOING TO SCHOOL, BOY," Kripp pointed out.

We talked a little more, and they seemed like reasonable enough guys, so before I left I asked if they were kidding around, just to make sure they weren't exaggerating their feelings for my benefit.

"No, no, I'm serious," Rubin said. "He is scum."

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 15, 2007; 2:48 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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