Gilbert chases wackiness and Twitter
So the new thing now is that "Gilbert Arenas" is somehow failing, and that "Agent Zero," represented as a Lil Penny-esque bobblehead in the above video from Gil's Web site, needs to return to save the day.
"Man, you're just gonna disrespect your boss after I made you a superstar, boy?" Agent Zero asks Gilbert in the video. "You're just lame without Agent Zero, you understand me? Regular Gilbert is about as entertaining as a plant....Need I remind you that it was I, Agent Zero, who was hitting all those game-winning shots?"
And so on. I don't know about all that, but at least one therapist somewhere in the D.C. area better be making a killing off this stuff. Also, it sure is tough to capture the past, isn't it?
Gilbert has also promised to start Tweeting, provided he can get a million followers. I mean, Shaq has 2.5 million followers and Dwight Howard has 1.2 million, so it's possible. Gilbert, on the other hand, has about a thousand as I type. Some work to be done. (Sign up here, @Gilbertarenas.)
(Gilbert, of course, put out this challenge through the Twitter account of JaVale McGee, who has about 2,000 followers. Interesting strategy. Gil confirmed this challenge via The Wash Times's Mike Jones.)
Anyhow, with the return of Agent Zero (also analyzed at Bullets Forever), let's yet again offer a brief history of this persona.
Oct. 4, 2006: "Ooooh, I like that, I like that," Arenas said, when I first dropped the Wizznutzz creation on him. He repeated "I like that" several times. But he said he already planned to be "The Stealth," a nickname that came from some "military dude" he was working out with in San Francisco. Also worth noting: he was already weird and very good at basketball well before this nickname arrived.
Oct. 19, 2006: In his first blog post, Gilbert discusses the nickname in reference to his new shoe. "They're the Gil Zeros. I had a thousand names for them. I think the new name is Agent Zero. Oh that's hot. Whoever made that 'Agent Zero' up gets a percentage."
At this point, then, the Gilbert/Zero personality dichotomy has not yet coalesced.
Nov. 18, 2006: Gilbert pays for tens of thousands of Agent 0 t-shirts to be distributed at Verizon Center. It's starting.
Dec. 15, 2006: City Paper does an entire piece on the nickname and its creator, James Morris. To quote:
Morris coined "Agent Zero" in April while writing about Arenas for Wizznutzz, a surrealistic blog that's been mixing sports fantasy and facts, usually with some tie-in to the local NBA franchise, since 2002. He titled that post "New Incites Revealed into manic brain of AGENT ZERO!!!!" (Proper spelling and grammar are as optional as lucidity on Wizznutzz.)
The momentous piece delved into Arenas' life after basketball and pondered the fabulousness of a Werner Herzog documentary on the Wizards star. Thing is, such a project will never happen because of a feud between Arenas and Herzog:
"Gilbert doesnt talk to Werner anymore cuz of the time they were playing Gauntlet 4-player coop-mode at the PuttPutt Arcade with Kinski and Blatche," read the post, "and Werner's elf got killed, and he started bugging Gil by doing this grave voiceover to try and distract Gilbert from his game and then Werner crossed the line when he says 'Stupidity is the devil. Look in the eye of a chicken and you'll know. It's the most horrifying, cannibalistic, and nightmarish creature in this world.' Some snubs cant be unsnubbed."...
"I had used ['Agent Zero'] once and then stopped using it," says Morris. "But when the other bloggers were rolling with it, we decided we'd push it. It wasn't anything real serious, but we were like, 'Hey, this is ours! Let's build some momentum!' "
So there was some sort of weirdness from the beginning, anyhow.
Jan. 25, 2007: Gilbert begins referring to "Agent Zero" as sort of its own entity when discussing his election to the All-Star starting five. It's not clear if he thinks fans love Gilbert Arenas, or if they love Agent Zero. "A few years ago I was taking ballots from stores and filling them out myself," he said. "I probably filled out 50,000 of them and I had like 52,000 votes that year. So to be voted in by the fans is just unbelievable. I have fans now and that's what it is. It means there are some Agent Zero lovers out there."
Feb. 12, 2007: Gilbert announces his plan to bring 100 "Agent 0" jerseys to the All-Star game, and to wear one on the court. This, to my mind, signals the transformation of Agent Zero into his own distinct personality, with a customized, transformative jersey.
"It's worth it," Arenas said, when asked about incurring a fine for this stunt. "It's worth getting fined for, because all those people who got the Arenas Zero jerseys are going to feel special."
May 25, 2007: "I'm feeling 50 percent better," Gilbert writes on his blog. "I'm halfway there, halfway back to Agent Zero. I'm just 'Agent' right now."
Again, Agent Zero is posited as a transformational character, with distinct physical and emotional characteristics.
Aug. 3, 2007: Gilbert talks originality on his blog, in light of him stealing someone else's joke. And he's now talking about his alter ego coming up with nicknames for himself.
"If you think about it, nothing is original. Every joke has been retold at some point. What I did was recycle a new joke instead of waiting for it to get old. It was too funny not to. I mean, at least I picked a good joke, right? It's not like it was some lame, 'Yo momma' joke. Let's not forget, 'Hibachi' was stolen too. Brendan Haywood used to say it before me. But I recognize good stuff and make it popular. Now 'Hibachi' is patented by Agent Zero, son. I'm not a thief, I just reused it."
November, 2007: "As bad as I've started off I'm still better than 97 percent of the players that are playing right now," Arenas wrote on his blog. "I think I got a new name. It's still 'Agent Zero,' but instead of Agent Zero with the Hibachi as an arm, it's Agent Zero with Nacho as an arm because I've serving chips and dips."
April 16, 2009: Gilbert suggests that his alter ego will be retired, one of several times he made this suggestion during his injured days. No one is buying this in the least.
"See, I have fun with it, but for some reason it get twisted a lot, and that's the reason I stopped blogging," he said. "It's like, I'm getting killed by own words. So people are killing my character. Like, you can kill me just for not playing for the last two years. I understand that. I'm disappointed I'm not playing. But me as my Gilbert Arenas you're killing me for that person, and I'm not that person....It was entertaining for everyone. But then when you start looking at papers and it says, 'Oh, the new coach is gonna have to get him under control.' I'm like, under control? 'He's uncoachable.' I'm like, are we talking about the same person? I don't talk back to coaches or nothing. So we'll see."
Sept. 28, 2009: Arenas tells reporters he's ditched the showmanship and the nicknames, and won't be joking around any more. He then commences the oddest few weeks of his career, refusing to look reporters in the eye, muttering out brief responses, and looking generally miserable.
"I mean, I'm 27 now. I'm not the entertainer anymore," Arenas said to start off this period. "I just want to play. I don't have a blog. I don't have a Twitter. When I was blogging and playing, all you guys focused on was my words. I'd just rather be focused, cut the gimmick out and play basketball."
Nov. 14, 2009: "Gilbert's not working out," he tells reporters, while announcing the return of Agent Zero less than three weeks after his retirement. "It ain't working if we lost five in a row. Coach told me he didn't want the angry man no more. So, he's back."
Nov. 17: Gilbert has a Twitter.
Posted by: Lindemann777 | November 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 3tripleiii | November 18, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mr_bill_10 | November 18, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rvanags | November 18, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mtortora | November 18, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ridgely1 | November 18, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Max231 | November 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: BMoreChil | November 18, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kedavis | November 18, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: popopo | November 18, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cj658 | November 18, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bryc3 | November 18, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: js_edit | November 18, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: saltine182 | November 18, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kedavis | November 18, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hessone | November 18, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hessone | November 18, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hithere1 | November 18, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hithere1 | November 18, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: emc7x | November 18, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.