"Circus" Tour Arrives at Verizon
"My loneliness. Is killing me," Lindsay Czarniak sang inside a Verizon Center hallway this afternoon. The WRC sports anchor was channeling Britney Spears, whose show tonight in this same building had the crowd buzzing all day. Wizards staffers compared ticket locations. NBA beat writers discussed how much money they'd require to attend a Britney show. Oleksiy Pecherov even said he was considering checking out the show.
"I'm thinking," he said. "I don't know. Why not?"
But Czarniak might as well have been talking about the building's other elusive A-lister, the guy who limped past the four TV cameras with an ice pack on his knee, mumbled "I don't have anything to talk about," and kept going.
Ah, the 21st century diva. The cameramen scurried after Arenas as he rounded a corner and took aim as he limped toward the stairwell. Someone made the inevitable comparison.
"It's worse than Britney," one cameraman said. "I'd have a better chance getting to Britney."
I must confess, I still believe, as the lyrics go. But it's getting harder. Caron Butler took the time to address the media, but he was interrupted by a cell phone ring from one of the TV folks.
"I mean, damn, at least get Beyonce on there or something," Butler said. "Britney Spears. She's got a concert today, get Britney on there."
See, it was hard to avoid the topic. Oh yeah, the name of her current tour? It's called "Circus," naturally. While the media waited, stagehands carried couches down the hallway, and pushed bright pink crates labeled "Misc. Wardrobe Supplies." Butler was asked about Gilbert's return.
"You could see him tomorrow, could see him Saturday."
He was asked whether he knew more and just wasn't saying.
"Could see him tomorrow, could see him Saturday," he repeated. "Any time. I don't know."
One reporter said that the media crowd was really there to stalk Britney; "that sounds about right," Butler said. "I might see the show tonight, too. Hit Me Baby One More Time, and all that. Hope that don't take away from my street cred."
Street cred or not, it was apparently the day for back-to-practice injured starters not to talk. Brendan Haywood didn't emerge until two and a half hours after practice ended, and then declined to discuss his return to the floor. "Nada," he said.
So we were left with Butler, who had exited practice wearing Dominic McGuire's No. 5 jersey. "That's called swaggerjacking," he said. After practice he was joined by his young son, who identified Caron as his favorite Wizard, and "I don't know" as his second-favorite. "See, smart kid," Butler said.
I tried asking Caron whether he was surprised so many media folks came out to see Brendan Haywood's return, but he interrupted me before I got to the punch-line.
"C'mon man," he said. "That's Agent Zero, man. You know they're gonna come out to see the show."
And he was asked Zero's possible return on Saturday night.
"I mean, I don't know," Butler said. "That's all up to him. But when he gets out there, I know he's gonna put on a hell of a show."
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