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Best of Gilbert

From today's event. (By Preston Keres - TWP)

Naturally, I asked Gilbert Arenas this afternoon how many coin flips it had taken for him to decide to stay in D.C.

"Actually, I didn't pull out the magic infamous coin in this negotiation," he said. "It was pretty straightforward. I didn't have time to really think about anything. Just get the deal done, just move on and get ready for the season to start."

Later, I asked the question that's been asked before: whether the original coin flip was real or imagined.

"It was real," he said. "You ever seen 'Batman?' Two-Faced Harvey? See it, you'll get it. You create your own destiny."

I guess I gave him a blank stare.

"You're flipping a two-headed quarter," he said.

Abe Pollin, at today's event. (By Preston Keres - TWP)

But in truth, there was no best of Gilbert. He was stupefyingly bland. Intentionally. And he hinted that more blandness was to come. I, of course, do not believe him, but still, this was a dull press conference.

"Today was not a funny day," he said to me after the presser, when I complained.

The best part was this exchange, after Ivan Carter asked about the responsibility and pressure of being a $111 million man.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, all the little things I do out there is gonna come to a halt," Arenas said. "You know, but I think I'm up for the task. I just need to cut out some of the foolishness I do."

"What foolishness?" asked Abe Pollin, appropriately

"It's a good thing," Arenas answered. "I create hype, I create excitement, I think I can still do that. But some of the other stuff I know I've got to calm down."

I believe Eddie Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld may have been smiling when he said that. Probably not when he said this.

"It's kind of funny when you think about it," he said, of the playoff disappointments. "Everybody says we can't get past Cleveland. Cleveland beat us one year, that was three years ago. The other years they've just been beating up on some hurt dogs. We just want to get our fair shot when we're healthy at the right time, because two years we showed what kind of team we are....We were rolling, we were top five in the league, and that's what kind of team we are when we're healthy. When we're healthy that's the kind of team we are, we're a top five team in the league."

Later, he explained what he had told his teammates after the season.

"You guys played the whole season without me and you guys made it to the playoffs," he said. "Tell Cleveland to play without LeBron. I don't think they won a game last year."

Maybe most interesting answer came when George Solomon asked Gilbert if his popularity during his recent world tour was because of his blog.

"Yeah, you know, they were in tune with the blog," he said. "Their first question actually is, 'What are you gonna say about us in your blog?' That's why I got back into the blog, because I didn't know how powerful it was around the world. I know it was cool in the states, but around the world I didn't know how big it was. So I got back into it, put my selfish side away and got back into it."

George asked whether it would continue.

"I mean, it depends how bad I get killed by Ivan," Gilbert said, referring again to Ivan Carter. "I get nitpicked a little bit, but I'm up for it. I'm up for Round II of the blog world."

Finally, remember his last big-contract press conference, where he guaranteed a playoff berth? Here was as close as he came to a guarantee today, concerning Pollin, Grunfeld and Jordan.

"You guys are looking at me like I'm the hero up here, but these guys are the heroes," he said of the trio. "We just have a great group of guys. I know everybody's here to see me, but it's about this team. They've done a great job, and we're gonna put a banner up there, a championship banner, we're gonna do it for Mr. Pollin. That's what kind of talent, that's what kind of team, that's what kind of belief we have....We have to start today, and these three guys up here are going to be the reason....They've got to lead us. We're just gonna follow their drums."

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 22, 2008; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Chris Cooley, [Bleep Bleep], and the Great Lie


I heard we resigned Arenas!

Now he's got 111 million reasons to fight through a screen.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | July 22, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And if championship aspirations fail, we can always lean on the 'Best Celebrity Blogger' banner on Gil's blog.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Two Faced Harvey?

Any relation to Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face, currently featured in the colossal blockbuster featuring Batman?

Posted by: odessa steps | July 22, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I liked Pollin's comment that he is paying Gil a lot of money and now all he has to do in return is win a championship.

Posted by: sitruc | July 22, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

You know, if Gilbert had half the impact of Lebron, he might have earned such a big contract.

Posted by: C-town | July 24, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

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