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Gilbert becomes a non-entity



More updates on the continuing purge of Gilbert Arenas from our local consciousness, and other assorted bits of Gil.

* Reader Dave sends along about the saddest image I can image, an Arenas jersey from Dick's Sporting Goods in Fair Lakes. $75, marked down to $44.97, and then offered on the half-price rack. That's $22.48, I guess.

* You can no longer make an "Arenas 0" Caps jersey, or even an "Arenas 0" Ravens or Redskins jersey. "Language deemed inappropriate, derogatory, or profane will not be accepted," the NFL site will tell you. The same company apparently runs the Web stores for several leagues, and "inappropriate" words are blocked across all platforms. And yet the NFL site has no problem with an "Agent Zero 0" jersey, or a "Hibach 0" jersey, or even a "Buttmunch 0" jersey. So strange. (Via Puck Daddy)

* Gilbert's photos have now been removed even from the media lounge at Verizon Center, where they had remained after the giant banner came down. (Via Michael Lee).


Still for sale.

* As of last week, the Wizards' online store--which is managed by neither the team nor the league but by a third-party vendor--was still selling Gilbert jerseys, even after NBA.com had stopped. Now? Nothing. You can, however, still buy a youth Chris Webber Wizards jersey, a youth Juwan Howard Wizards jersey, or a signed Michael Jordan basketball (for $1,349). So Gilbert has somehow sunk beneath C-Webb, Howard and MJ in the local memory bank.

* I was reading an old profile of Gilbert from Sports Illustrated. March, 2003. Best quote was from Jason Richardson. "We call him Baby Ron Artest," Richardson said.





* Gilbert's NBA.com player page has undergone some sort of operation, whereby he no longer has a height, weight, college, scoring average, video highlight package, or any other sign of existence. He is the only member of the Wizard who lacks these biographical details.


* Gil Zeros are now available online for between 44 and 55 percent off the suggested price. (Via Darren Rovell)

* Monday's game drew 12,209, the smallest crowd of the season. Longtime D.C. columnist Rick Snider called it "pre-Jordan" levels. The last time the Wizards were home on MLK Day was in 2008, when they drew 20,173 against the Mavericks. The year before that, Gilbert hit a game-winner against the Jazz in front of 15,524.

* Before Gilbert pleaded guilty, PETA issued a statement standing by their newest model.

We're stoked about our scorching new "Ink Not Mink" ad featuring three-time NBA all-star Gilbert Arenas, but we know what everyone's thinking: Will we still release the ad even though Arenas is slated to appear in court today facing a gun possession charge?

Like a loyal dog stands by his human best friend, we plan on proceeding with the campaign. Unlike fur farms, which electrocute, drown, and skin animals alive for their pelts, there was no violence involved in the actions accused of Arenas, who allegedly carried a pistol without a license.

Not sure whether the guilty plea changes anything.

* And then there's the quote that Gilbert gave the day that Abe Pollin died. Someone asked him what their first interaction had been like.

"It was kind of weird, because to be honest, I was coming off a gun charge in San Francisco," Gilbert said out of the blue. "So I'm already nervous. 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."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 19, 2010; 7:14 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: The second-most popular Caps jersey

Comments

Dan:
Do you know if the Wizards have taken Gilbert's large photo down from the practice court?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 19, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I still have my Gil Zero's - I'm not throwing them in the dumpster (as the Wizards seem to be trying to do with Gilbert).

Posted by: Kev29 | January 19, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This isn't just disloyal to Gilbert - it's also bad strategy. Every team in the NBA now knows that the Wizards will never play Arenas again. So basically the Wizards have no leverage when they try to trade him. The Wiz may have to both take back bad contracts AND give up first round picks. Not exactly a good rebuilding strategy. It's 1999 all over again, except without any hope.

Posted by: Dellis2 | January 19, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz may have to both take back bad contracts AND give up first round picks. Not exactly a good rebuilding strategy. It's 1999 all over again, except without any hope.

Posted by: Dellis2 | January 19, 2010 9:43 AM

True - but all of this shows that the Wizards have given up hope when it comes to any trade happening. Making him look like Hannibal Lecter is a ploy in a clear attempt to have his contract dissolved.

The Wizards don't want players for Arenas, they want the golden elixir for NBA teams nowadays - cap room.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

You also cannot order an "Arenas 0" customized Nationals jersey. However, if you want "Natinals 0" on the back of your jersey, that sails right through.

Posted by: JennEric1 | January 19, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You can't get an Arenas Caps jersey either, though why you'd want one is past me.

Don't most NBA contracts have a "good character" clause of some sort? Can the Wizards use that to simply terminate his contract?

Posted by: kittypawz | January 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I must say that I am really angry at the Wizards organization for the way they've treated Gilbert. Look around the league. Much worse crimes have been committed by other players (Delonte West, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Jackson, etc.) and their organizations stood by them and kept them playing. Gilbert did a really stupid thing and deserves punishment for what he did. But, beginning with Stern's "not fit to be on an NBA floor" to Wizards FO tearing down his pictures, you would have thought he had dropped babies out of a 10th floor window. I am an anti-gun liberal but even I can see that his "crime" was not nearly as bad as Delonte West's. Yet, West has not been suspended and is still playing. And, somehow, I think rape is a much more serious crime than Gilbert's but Kobe is Stern's golden boy. No way would he ever be suspended "indefinitely." Nor would the Lakers try to obliterate any reference to him. I just think it is disgusting the way that Gilbert has been treated and I agree that the Wiz organization is going to end up paying heavily for their actions. As has been pointed out, who's going to want to come and play for an organization that won't stand by a player while agreeing to a deserved punishment of that player.

In all of this, I can't really recall a single post where someone came out and said the Pollin family totally overreacted to what Gilbert did. Well, I'm saying it and also saying I can't wait until someone besides the Pollins own this team!

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

A fool and his money...

Posted by: SOLVBACK | January 19, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

all of this is complete bullshiz. the living members of the pollin family and anyone who thinks it's okay to allow this to happen can all eat me.

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | January 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

There is very simple explanantion why Arenas must be gone, even though I love him as a basketball player. You see Arenas' actions within this organization are different whether they are fair or not. The owner changed the name because he hated guns/violence with them. Abe dies and his most prominent player spits in his face by playing of the worst jokes ever...not even very clever if you ask me. And Paul Pierce needs to keep his mouth shut. He says after all Gil did for the Wiz, they should stand by him, but look what did off the court minus the chairty-type things. He constantly feuded with EJ about defense, which could care less about. Sure he made amazing shots, but he was also a ball-hog that stopped movement. He basically picked Nick Young, pushed to keep jamison, resigned Deshawn, etc...I mean what is management thinking actually listening to this guy. I've gone on a tangetn now, but the fact remains that Gil should have respected his owner/friend by making thoughtful decisions. I don't want anymore "goofballs" on my team. I want ballers and people who are respectful, play hard, don't pout, play Defense, and be good people. sure it won't be easy to find but we have put up with people Nick young, Blatche, stevenson, and Gil for far too long

PS: Randy Foye must stay!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 19, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I am an anti-gun liberal but even I can see that his "crime" was not nearly as bad as Delonte West's. Yet, West has not been suspended and is still playing. And, somehow, I think rape is a much more serious crime than Gilbert's but Kobe is Stern's golden boy.

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 19, 2010 10:35 AM

Here's the huge difference... Delonte West has not admitted to or been convicted of any crime. His case is pending - so the Cavs are able to stick by him and let him play. Sure, you think he did what has been alleged - but officially, that's not the case yet.

Gilbert *admitted* to the report that he brought guns into an NBA facility, which gave Stern the ability to suspend him before the District even thought of charging him. And after the smoking finger gun in Philly - Stern had motivation after the justification. So legal due process is in play for West, but not for Arenas. Kobe got himself out of the sexual assault case with money, lawyers and apologies - he also had a way out with Stern by not admitting wrong doing while in a team environment. He later admitted to being a sh*tty husband - which is not against the rules of the NBA.

That being said, I still have a problem with the way the Wizards are dealing with this. I think Stern will get this situation right in the end - but the Wizards are torching bridges and might get stuck in a monster contract dispute.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 19, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

He's an idiot. We can all agree. And I understand they need to do this to send a message to other players.
At a certain point though, the bashing and purging is like beating a dead horse. I don't really know how much good is being done by crushing the guy's spirit to better himself. He could suffer from depression and not all be there. We don't want to hear about someone taking a turn for the worse. I hope this much energy is equally being given by Wizards organization towards (mental) counseling behind the scenes. Hopefully that was part of his plea deal anyway.

Posted by: normalPerson | January 19, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

he's embarrased the organization. if anyone of us pulled a gun on a co-worker and it made the local news, no doubt the employer would have us fired and then prosceuted. Abe's been in the ground only a month and this happens. For shame, for shame.

Posted by: colezig37 | January 19, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

if anyone of us pulled a gun on a co-worker and it made the local news, no doubt the employer would have us fired and then prosceuted.

Posted by: colezig37 | January 19, 2010 1:15 PM

a) He didn't "pull" a gun on anyone. He presented unloaded guns to a teammate as a prank... with himself as the intended target. Crittenton was the one that "pulled" a loaded gun - allegedly.

b) Enough with the tired "if one of us did this" line - everyone's jobs are different. What if you worked at a gun store? What if you worked at the NRA? What if you worked at home? The only workplace that matters in this instance is that of a highly paid NBA basketball player.

c) Umm, Arenas has been prosecuted. And will be sentenced in March.

d) He's been all but fired by the NBA, who have suspended him indefinitely without pay.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 19, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Kev, how can you "still have a problem with the way the Wizards are dealing with this?" The wizards haven't actually taken any action beyond removing gilbert's likeness from promotional items, photos, banners.

Posted by: briffy | January 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I must say that I am really angry at the Wizards organization for the way they've treated Gilbert. Look around the league. Much worse crimes have been committed by other players (Delonte West, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Jackson, etc.) and their organizations stood by them and kept them playing. Gilbert did a really stupid thing and deserves punishment for what he did. But, beginning with Stern's "not fit to be on an NBA floor" to Wizards FO tearing down his pictures, you would have thought he had dropped babies out of a 10th floor window. I am an anti-gun liberal but even I can see that his "crime" was not nearly as bad as Delonte West's. Yet, West has not been suspended and is still playing. And, somehow, I think rape is a much more serious crime than Gilbert's but Kobe is Stern's golden boy. No way would he ever be suspended "indefinitely." Nor would the Lakers try to obliterate any reference to him. I just think it is disgusting the way that Gilbert has been treated and I agree that the Wiz organization is going to end up paying heavily for their actions. As has been pointed out, who's going to want to come and play for an organization that won't stand by a player while agreeing to a deserved punishment of that player.

In all of this, I can't really recall a single post where someone came out and said the Pollin family totally overreacted to what Gilbert did. Well, I'm saying it and also saying I can't wait until someone besides the Pollins own this team!

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Reposted for the simple fact that this was the best post I have read on this entire matter. Julia, you need to post more.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 19, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Kev, I so agree with you. This whole thing about "if I showed up at work with an unloaded gun" blah, blah, blah. If I showed up at work showing off dozens of tattoos up and down my arms, neck, and legs, I'd probably get fired too. BUT, I'm not a professional basketball player where tattoos are common and, according to the article by Wilbon last week, guns and really ugly practical jokes are common in locker rooms also.

Does anyone else think that perhaps the ultra-PC area in which we live has something to do with the organization trying to eliminate Gilbert as a Wizard? Don't know about most of the people on this site, but when you get 100-200 miles away from DC, people seem to view life with a little more common sense and tolerance. What is coming out of the White House and the Congress isn't the most important news of the day and most people understand that mistakes get made. Some of those mistakes require punishment but unless they involve personal injury, they're not turned into the worst thing that could ever happen!!

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

julia, you're not making a lot of sense. The only action the wizards organization has actually taken regarding gilbert arenas has been to remove his likeness from promotional items, photos, banners, etc. how can this make you "really angry?" and yes, the wizards organization probably would like to "elminate gilbert as a wizard." so what?

Posted by: briffy | January 19, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Julia, You are making 100% sense...but unfortunately, you are talking over the heads of the typical WaPo blog commenter.

What the Wizards have done to Gilbert Arenas is simply unforgivable. What Arenas did was an honest mistake, something he has already paid very dearly for (upwards of $1,000,000 in lost salary ALREADY, not to mention the humiliation). I honestly feel sorry for the crazies who think what the Wizards and NBA are doing is right...they simply have a warped view of the world.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 19, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This is getting ridiculous. For the last time, Gilbert didn't kill anyone. He's not Plaxico or Pacman or Vick, he's just a very immature guy who made a bad decision that did not result in someone's death or bodily harm. His second biggest sin was to make jokes at David Stern's expense and that's what Stern is most concerned about (and not the guns).

Posted by: playahatah | January 19, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, briffy, the so what is that I don't like to see blatant unfairness and, compared to other "crimes" committed by NBA players and the punishment they received, Gilbert is definitely being treated unfairly.

Thanks, Barno. You and I are definitely in agreement.

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 19, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

barno, please explain specifically what the wizards have done to gilbert arenas that is "simply unforgivable." keep in mind that the wizards never actually suspended him, gilbert arenas was suspended by the nba. the fact that the wizards and the nba are not the same organization seems to be over your head.

Posted by: briffy | January 19, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

julia, the wizards wanting to get rid of gilbert arenas has nothing to do with his guilty plea. it's because his recent production is not worth the size of his contract. since you don't seem to agree, i'd like to hear you explain why gilbert is worth his contract.

Posted by: briffy | January 19, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

So many people seemed to be fixated on the fact that Arenas "broke the law." Well, Abe Pollin broke the law once as well, when he said he would not sell the Mystics to a man, because it's a woman's league. This broke federal law in contracting as well as DC sex discrimination law. Let's say the shoe were on the other foot, and Sheila Johnson (owner of the Mystics and someone I have a lot of respect for) decided she wanted to buy the Redskins were they for sale. And Dan Snyder came out and said "I wouldn't sell to a woman, because it's a man's league." Does anyone really think the press would let that slide, much less the feds and local government?

So for all those harping on the fact that Arenas broke the law, well the late, great Abe Pollin once did as well. But no one seemed to care about his legal infraction.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 19, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Briffy, the Wizards decided a couple years ago that Gilbert Arenas was going to be "the man." As a result, the Wizards organization decided to offer him a huge contract to stay. He missed most of two seasons because of knee surgery and, while he was not YET back to his previous form, he was certainly trying to get there and was showing improvement. So, you're saying that if an athlete is seriously injured and doesn't bounce back to pre-injury form immediately, a team should just look for a reason to get rid of him? If that is the case, Michael Jordan should have been cut from the Bulls when he broke his foot. Paul Pierce should have been set adrift when he was stabbed. The Celtics should cut Kevin Garnett right now because he's injured and can't play. And, I'll bet you're one of those people who hope the Wiz can get out of Gilbert's contract so they can sign a big free agent. If so, keep dreaming. No player wants to go to a team that will want to get rid of him if he has a season-ending injury. Basketball is a rough game and injuries happen. Teams need to give players a chance to come back from those injuries.

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 19, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

julia, your selective memory is interesting. gilbert arenas had the last 3 years to prove he could recover from injury and was worth his contract. During the last 3 seasons he has only played in 47 games and only averaged 21 points a game. Gilbert has been given more than a fair chance. as for free agents, players will sign with the team offering the most money, period.

Posted by: briffy | January 19, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

so Julia and Barn01 seem to think a "special" set of "NBA SuperStar" rules
should be applied to Mr. Arenas' "legal"
problems eh ?

I've got news for both you apoligists -
you're bigger fools than Gil could ever hope to be...

Posted by: tindal0s | January 19, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

OK to all of your posts. I, like many of you, loved Gilbert when he was at the top of his game. I also agree that his crime was not as bad as some others mentioned here.

However Gil is not the same player he was. He may have become that player eventually, if he did not get re-injured, but that is moot now. With Gil in the lineup now, averaging over 22 points a game, the Wizards are a losing team. Plus, now that we know everything, he has not been the mature (28 now) team leader we expect him to be given his franchise tag and salary.

I mean, pooping in Andray's shoes? That to me goes way beyond pranks and practical jokes and to me shows an immaturity that is inexusable in your top paid guy. Can you imagine Kobe or LeBron doing that?

The fact that he was gambling with a teammate, and then taking that dispute to a level where they brought out guns in the locker room - way beyond what is acceptable for a team leader with his salary. And then he lied about it, never took the charges seriously, and put his foot in his mouth over and over, culminating in the on court incident shooting finger guns.

Kobe, West and the others never did anything in the locker room or on the court, that is the big difference.

Ultimately if the Wiz had been winning with Gilbert, things would be different. But they sucked, even with Gil, Jamison, Butler, and Haywood all healthy. This is what we have been waiting for, but they continue to lose. So we need to blow this up and start over.

Gil has proven that he is not worth his huge salary, as a team leader, role model, and player. So tying up all that money on such a risky bet is crazy.

Posted by: mandelm2001 | January 19, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how many people are still not only supporting Arenas but hoping the team can't cancel his contract or take any other action against him other than to sit there and pay him $80M over the next 4 years.

When are some of you people going to wake up and realize that 'THE MAN' in this case, is not Pollin's family or Ted Leonsis, but the Wizards ticket holders, ie the general public, that are going to be forced into watching a team that now could be awful even with new management due to Arenas' outsized contract.

As Boswell wrote today, this team has been AWFUL for a quarter of a century!

When are people going to wake up?

Posted by: leopard09 | January 19, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the League isn't in the picture for Gil's cousin at 'Bama.

Posted by: sitruc | January 19, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, the Gil-Zero's have been marked off for a very long time. I bought a pair last year for that very same price. But the rest of this stuff is ridiculous, you would think he was a mass murderer.

Posted by: SkinsWizStangs | January 19, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

briffy said: "julia, your selective memory is interesting. gilbert arenas had the last 3 years to prove he could recover from injury and was worth his contract. During the last 3 seasons he has only played in 47 games and only averaged 21 points a game. "

And why has he only played in 47 games? Was it because he was riding around the beltway with loaded guns in his 3-wheeler? Or maybe it was because he was at home beating up his wife. Wait, I know. It was because he was driving drunk, in an accident that killed his passenger. No? You mean that wasn't him? Hmmmm, maybe then it was because HE WAS INJURED??? Sorry, briffy, I don't think it's my memory that is selective. However, you are right about one thing. The Wiz organization doesn't give a fig about the whole gun thing or the finger shooting episode. All they want is to dump his big contract and they'll do anything and say anything to be able to. And, frankly, after reading the many posts about his "crime," it appears that most people don't care what he did; they just care that he was given such a huge contract. Well, if you don't like the contract, blame the organization - or rather Abe Pollin - not Gilbert. Which one of you would turn down a raise by your employer - no matter how big it was? So, why are you blaming Gilbert for accepting what was offered? Actually, he did turn down a portion of it so that others could get raises. How many of you would do that for your colleagues?

I know there are a few people who equate what he did with mass murder, but I would just suggest you Google NBA Suspensions. Take a look at what some of the other active players have done and see what their punishment was. Then come back here and tell me with a straight face that what Gilbert did is as bad as some of the other crimes that have been committed - multiple DUIs, domestic violence, actually shooting guns. Somehow, I just think beating up your wife is worse than laying out unloaded guns in the locker room and pretend shooting with your fingers.

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 20, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Julia, I love you. That is all...carry on.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 20, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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