Gilbert Wants to Buy the Bonds Ball
For more than 30 minutes this morning, Gilbert Arenas discussed all the important issues of the day: his knee, the Wizards' unchanged frontcourt, the budding friendship between Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas, their team's chances in the East, his hopes to create an online poll about whether he will make an Olympic team and then convince his friends to stuff the online ballot box so that the USA Basketball leadership will see a public united behind Gilbert. Like I said, the important stuff.
Then he left the gym, went out to the hallway and discussed an issue truly near to his heart: he wants to buy the Barry Bonds baseball. Yeah, the one bought by fashion designer Marc Ecko for more than three-quarters of a million dollars, the one Ecko plans to brand with an asterisk and then send to the Hall of Fame, the one Ecko previously considered putting on a rocket and sending into outer space. That one.
"It's history," Gil began. "It's still history. I mean, the guy's a man before he's some big slugger. I mean, how you just going to take what this man's done for his career and, as another man, say 'Hey, you were accused of this, you allegedly did this, I want to take this away from you.' I mean, what if we took away your Ecko company?
"I mean, why graffiti the ball when, in everybody's mind, they think he's done it. So no matter what, when they look at the ball, they're gonna be like, 'Oh, he allegedly....You don't have to mark it in history. Like, who are you? Are you Superman? You're sitting here throwing all the rockets into space: 'I want to send it to space?' Are you serious? Like, come on."
Someone asked whether Gilbert thought Ecko was just a hater.
"I don't know what his relationship is to Bonds, but I just didn't understand it," Gilbert said. "Like, as an athlete, I don't want nobody to say, 'He was in the hyperbaric chamber, we're gonna ban that tomorrow, now the 60 points he scored last year, I'm going to dot those shoes up.' Let's be for real."
Apparently not believing that a basketball superstar attempting to save the integrity of sports by outbidding an eccentric fashion designer for a piece of memorabilia was news enough, someone asked Gil about the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in the NBA.
"Where does it benefit us?" responded the man who recently picked up some nutrition guidance from watching an Oprah segment about dieters who eat 11 pounds of fruits and vegetables a day. "The day you see some guard tear the rim off, then you start questioning. I don't think one of us could take steroids and make 700 threes in a row."
Gil said that he would be willing to pay $800,000 for the ball. I suggested that Ecko wasn't attempting to make a profit; that all he wanted was a boost of publicity and that he's been amply rewarded in that regard.
"I know, but I'm saying, if he doesn't want the ball, why?" Gilbert asked. "Give it to somebody who really wants it."
The final question, of course, concerns what Gilbert would do with the ball if Ecko reversed course and decided, yeah, he wanted to sell to an NBA blogger.
"It depends," Gilbert said. "If the Hall wants it, I'll give it to the Hall, unmarked. If not, I'll keep it. I'll give it to Barry's son. I don't know, or at least do something positive with it, auction it off, build something, build some homes for the homeless, I don't know. Do something positive. "I want to send it to space." Did you hear that? "I want to send it to space?" As soon as he said that, I was like, is this Superman, sitting and waving all those nuclear bombs, sending them into space?"
(P.S.: Later in the day, Gilbert revealed a new policy he just created. Whenever he's getting ready to say something controversial, he's going to stop himself and instead sing the theme from those Vonage TV commercials. So if you want, you can disregard the above words and instead think "Doo doo, whooo hoo hoo; doo doo; whooo hoo hoo."
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