Agent Zero on Abe Pollin's death
Gilbert Arenas's return to his Agent Zero persona sort of coincided with the death of Abe Pollin, which led to a surprising number of laugh-out-loud obituary moments after Tuesday night's one-point win over the Sixers. This is, apparently, how the Wizards mourn. For example, a reporter asked Gilbert for his favorite Abe Pollin memory.
"You know, after every win he would slap the [bleep] out of you in the face," Gilbert said, cracking up the room. "He'd be walking around, slapping everybody. I just remember the players used to come in, and when he was getting ready to slap you, they'd just give him the duck-in."
Then Gilbert showed us the backwards dodge move he'd use to avoid getting hammered in the face.I asked Gilbert whether he ever slapped Pollin back: "Ooooooh, no," he said.
He was also asked whether he ever engaged in one of the three-point contests with his owner that Wes Unseld once made famous.
"Yeah, we got our witness of the three-point contest here, but he didn't get close to the rim," Gilbert said. "We did it about five years ago. I mean, that was the funniest thing we ever witnessed."
Everyone laughed uncomfortably.
"I mean, it was," Gilbert said with a shrug.
And he was asked about his first meeting with the owner.
"It was kind of weird, because to be honest, I was coming off a gun charge in San Francisco, so I'm already nervous," Gilbert explained. "And I'm like, 'Aw, I don't think this guy's gonna pick me up.' And he's like, 'Oh no, we're family.' And then we just started talking about life. We started talking about family, him and my dad talked--I'm gonna take care of your son, I know he's a young kid, he's an extension of me--and from there we just bonded."
Which is not to say that Gilbert, in his own way, wasn't also touching and heartfelt and appropriate.
"It was kind of a hard evening, but at the end of the day, Abe Pollin loved us so much that we couldn't feel the pain until after the game," Gilbert said. "We had to go out there and just play. He wouldn't want us to stop doing what he loved because of what happened....We wasn't gonna try to lose this game for Mr. P. You know, he treated us like family, he [brought] us in, he believed in us. No matter what nobody was saying out there, he always believed we were his guys from the beginning."
So then, I asked, would this entire season turn into some "win one for Mr. P" crusade?
"Yeah; I mean, this was his life," Gilbert said. "You know, I felt that he held on, he tried to hold on as long as he can to see us succeed, and we're gonna have to. We're gonna have to jell together and become the dream he wanted."
Which is why players were again talking about winning championships. It seems almost absurd the way this team has been playing, but at the same time, it felt right, especially after a win.
(And I can't be the only person who was flashing back to the awful last-second dagger in the first game after Sean Taylor's death when the Sixers held the ball for that final shot.)
"He was my father away from home," Gilbert said of Pollin. "He was the one who believed in me, who took a chance on me....I couldn't do no wrong in his eyes. Ever since I've been here, he told me I just want to win one more championship. So as long as I'm here, that's what I'm gonna try to do. If I don't get a championship here, I didn't do my job in his eyes."
Caron Butler, who was still sort of emotional about the whole thing after the game, told me much the same thing.
"All he'd talk about was championships and rings," Butler said. "Obviously he wanted to win a championship. He has one, God rest his soul, but we feel like we can put this thing together and compete for another. And that's the goal."
And then there's that last shot, the long miss by Louis Williams.
"Mr. Pollin contested that last shot better than anybody," Flip Saunders said.
"Mr. Pollin's spirit blocked that last shot," Sixers Coach Eddie Jordan said.
"Um, I love Mr. Pollin, but I think good defense stopped the Williams shot," Brendan Haywood said. "But at the end of the day, this game meant a lot, because we knew how much Mr. Pollin loved this team."
Posted by: sitruc | November 25, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jonthefisherman | November 25, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sheepherder | November 25, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rdpinva | November 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: cj658 | November 25, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: HanMy | November 25, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: glawrence007 | November 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HanMy | November 25, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.