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Gilbert Arenas's fabulous day of Tweets

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

This is how a normal celebrity handles the world of Twitter: They sign up for the social media site. They start sending out messages about their life, whether quirky or banal, insightful or mundane. They gather a number of followers proportionate to their wit, relevance and popularity. And then, when scandal inevitably hits, they often run for the analog age, at least temporarily abandoning the allure of instantly communicating with the world. That, more or less, seems normal.

Gilbert Arenas, folks, ain't normal. That's why we've all loved him so much. And so this is how Gilbert handles the world of Twitter: he signs up, while telling the world that he won't use the service until he attracts a million followers, an absurd and impossible number for a non-Tweeting D.C. athlete to ever reach. Aside from a few videos, he honors his pledge, slowly creeping to about 9,000 followers, fine by obscure blogger standards, but embarrassingly low for an NBA franchise player. At that rate, he would have retired before hitting a million.

But then, on New Year's Eve, a matter of hours before international controversy will spill into his life, he starts Tweeting like crazy: writing things bizarre, provocative, hilarious and somewhat blue. And when, on New Year's Day, all sorts of gun stories about him take over the Internet, he posts 20 updates in seven hours, addressing long-ignored rumors of his fiancee's infidelity, igniting a torrent of angry responses, and attracting more than 2,000 new followers, a number that will continue to climb over the next few days.

Hey, he's always followed his own rules when it comes to marketing himself. This really shouldn't be a surprise. This is the same guy who accepted a $25,000 fine during a failed media boycott, only to cave and start doing 25-minute media sessions.

As for the substance of his response, Gilbert argues that he's a goofball and not to be taken seriously, whether as a Tweeter or as a potential gun-toting outlaw. Locker room fights, he suggests, aren't his thing. Without making any sort of judgment on this ongoing situation, let's just acknowledge that we've also been down this road with Gilbert before, where he says things just to say them.

Remember that time he told reporters "I'm actually scared to play right now," then followed that up with a blog post saying "You got to have a little drama with it. You can't just say, 'I can't wait to be back at practice.' You have to bring a little drama with the story or it wouldn't be a story. Come on, scared? Me?" Or the time he wrote about how he was driving his car while thinking "What if I just ran my car into this pole right here?" before later dismissing such talk?

He is, without a doubt, a goof. Let's grant him that. He has an uncommon ability to get the whole world talking about him. And he's definitely unlike any other athlete in this city. A sample of today's trip inside the brain of Gilbert:

* i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE..lmao media is too funny

* i guess nobody thought that last text was funny.well i hav 2 change subjects.umM what about that TIGER WOODS.i heard he dated 2 MIDGETS jk

* i understand this is serious..but if u ever met me you know i dont do serious things im a goof ball this story today dont sound goofy to me

* i hav media outside my house...sumone tell them its to cold to be sittin out there they might get frost is winter still...

* when u become a great blogger u need great stories and a little drama ...for sum reason i stay with drama and i dont even leave my house

* im talking about [the Shaq rumors] now becuz i cant talk about todays new like i want..and why do u think i got a twitter after the news becuz i was gonna eat this stuff up becuz i knew everybody was waitin and thats why i made the first the first vid using his name he gave me the ok to do it

* well i hav to go shoot sum freethrows now becuz nobody likes gettn booed for missing i need more twit space then 140

* and again if ur not laughing i dont think u should follow me becuz im never serious and i will never not say anything dumb and silly

"I will never not say anything dumb and silly" is a life philosophy that makes this whole situation just about impossible to decode. But I completely believe Gilbert about that, if about nothing else. You just never know what to believe.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 1, 2010; 9:24 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Virginia TV stations bail on Redskins


TGFTC...Thank God for the Caps!

Posted by: vawoodworker84 | January 1, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a FOOL!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | January 1, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much humor he'll find in the situation when the remainder of his contract is voided. He'l have about 90 million reasons not to laugh...

Posted by: randysbailin | January 1, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

This guy can't get out of town fast enough.

Posted by: bbride1 | January 1, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Yep, guns sure are goofy!

Posted by: NateinthePDX | January 2, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

who cares?

Posted by: yrb1 | January 2, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis 2.0
These area teams love to sign Cancers to long term untradable contracts.

Posted by: dougieyoung1 | January 2, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Arenas better use his suspension time to check himself into rehab.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 2, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The biggest waste of $$$. He's an overpaid egomanical clown. I used to love the Bullets and going to games. I haven't been able to get into this team at all. Other than a game with Jordan and the Lakers I haven't gone and won't go. Maybe Ted can clean this mess up. They stink.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 2, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I used to be such a huge fan of him. WHAT IS HE DOING

Posted by: Mtortora | January 2, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This league is a bunch of BLACK thugs and WHITE wanna-bes. They should stop with the RAP, BLING, and TATOOS and act like they belong in public. By the way, this post is not politically correct or wasn't intended to be. I'm trying to raise children that love sports and these people are trashing it's image. And if there are stand up good character men in the NBA it's time they stand up to the thugs that have ruined the game and do something about it. Police from within without the weapons. Both these "players" should be banned from all sports for life, contracts null and void!

Posted by: hessone | January 2, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Guys, Gilbert Arenas might be going through some serious mental stuff right now... I mean Shaq is F'ng his fiance?? how does that happen?? Did Shaq say hmmm... I come to Cleveland & the Wiz are always talking smack... I think I'll F Gilbert's wife, that will add some drama to this feud... LOL

Seriously, that could definitely make a man who is normally a good guy go off the deep end & maybe that's what's got him...

Everyone calling for Arenas to leave are idiots.... They just don't remember when this guy was hitting game winner after game winner... He is a very hard worker & has always been good to the fans... He will find his mojo again, but he's only 30 games back from his injuries.

Posted by: tony325 | January 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Trakker wrote:
This is the new America, an armed America.

Guns have been part of America for quit some time I believe. Your "new America" won't have guns. Why don't people think about what they write before posting. You my friend lost all credibility with your comments!

Posted by: hessone | January 2, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards should be arrested for impersonating a basketball team. By the way thanks Ernie for passing up the Amare Stoudamire trade see how well thats working out

Posted by: ablejohn28 | January 2, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld is the master of ceremony
for the town circus, better known as the Washington Wizards.

As for Arenass, hes the lead clown.

Of Note:
My favorite Areanass event, was the one that took place, down here in Miami.

Gilbert to the cop:
Do you know who I am ?

The Cop Back at Gilbert:
I know what you are. And that's under arrest.

Posted by: dashriprock | January 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

In any other occupation but professional sports Arenas would've been given his walking papers already...

Posted by: randysbailin | January 2, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Dan -

The interesting part of this story is going unreported. The issue involving Arenas and his teammate involved gambling debts. (Obviously, this was not about a hearts game that went bad.) In light of the number of free throws Arenas has missed in key situations, as well his and the team's erratic play, especially in the last game versus the Thunder game - the league ought to be very concerned about what is going on in Washington. Maybe the NBA can survive another episode of points shaving and fixed games? But if I were Commissioner Stern, I would not want to find out.

Posted by: rnfenili | January 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

tony325- The only mojo this guy will find is when gets its in jail. He is a mental midget and helps facilitate he streotype of a NBA player.

Posted by: bal503 | January 2, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

For people who think that guns are necessary for self-protection and that the right to have guns is worth going to court over -- this is the kind of idiot that you're empowering. Think about that.

As far as the Wiz, I gave up on them several years ago. After supporting them for 30+, mostly frustrating seasons, I no longer have the patience for their next in an endless series of "rebuilding" efforts. But if they can find a way to dump Arenas and his ridiculous salaries (why, Abe?), more power to them. As for Arenas -- yeah, this is a big goof. Instead of jail time or a fine, why not just make the dip spend a day with each of 10 D.C. families that lost their children to gun violence? Maybe he'd wake up a little.

Posted by: cgold | January 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

We have a bunch of idiots on these sites. If they think Gilbert is an idiot, fool, crazy or whatever then folks here have lost their minds. Gilbert is a good man and I'm sure this will pass. It has nothing to do with his contract at all. I think the majority of public hates athletes in the NBA and NFL because they represent Black dominance. I've never seen so much HATE. It's about the race of basketball players. The media knows all you racist want to hear is bad news about the NBA. You will never hear this about White dominated sports. It's protected. Sad....what a sad thing sports editors do. That's what happens when out of 300 sports editors aroun the USA only four are African American. This is why the newspapers are full of this garbage. They know Joe the Plumber wants to read this kind of stereotypical stuff. Sad...and to think most of you have drank the kool-aid of Hate already. Sad...really.

Posted by: kentonsmith | January 4, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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