Stephen Colbert on Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas has already landed his team on the programs of Jay Leno and David Letterman. Wednesday night, the Wizards scored several minutes on the Colbert Report, with the eponymous host making finger gunz in honor of Gil.
"Shame on you, Commissioner Stern," Colbert thundered. "The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear finger. And I stand by the motto of the National Digit Association: you can have my fingers when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers."
(The video is below, and I've been asked to give a "slightly naughty language" warning. So consider yourself warned.)
Elsewhere in Gilbert:
* Wilbon agrees with everyone that this Gilbert purge is getting a bit ridiculous, and also manages to use the phrase "taking a dump in somebody's shoes" in The Washington Post.
* The Orlando Sentinel catches up with people who knew Javaris Crittenton way back when. "There are some things that he really needs to work through," his headmistress mysteriously says. "I can't disclose all of those. I think that's a part of what's going on now."
* David West talks to Hoops Addict about Gilbert's suspension. "I think more than anything it's a preemptive move from the NBA to protect their image," he says. "I don't think anyone cares too much about Gilbert's image. He has to control that."
* Writing in Slate, my friend Tom Scocca vivisects David Stern.
The biggest revelation about Arenas, in fact, has been a nonrevelation. Rather than turning up the hidden dark side of a beloved player, the scandal has so far confirmed that he is the person he always seemed to be. The epithet that sticks is not "thug" but "class clown." He is the guy who won't stop pestering people and fooling around, especially when someone tells him to sit down and shut up. When the league finally squeezed a statement of apology out of him--"my attempts at humor showed terrible judgment"--it read like a letter from a hostage....
If prosecutors are able to convict Arenas on weapons charges, fine. Nobody is supposed to bring guns to work in Washington, D.C. But in the accompanying show trial, I'm siding with the player who wouldn't pretend to be ashamed, not the NBA authorities feigning righteousness. Shoot me.
"With Tiger, Kobe and Vick, we learned that they had this other side, this secret side, that was darker than the guy we thought we knew," he says. "Gilbert's problem here is that everything that happened is exactly the guy we thought we knew--the pranks, the inability to take things seriously. That's who he is. Kobe Bryant is driven by a desire to be talked about 20 years from now. Gilbert, it's 20 minutes from now. It's: What's my next prank? Who's my next character? What's my next zany idea? We wanted more, more, and more from him, and he tried to give it to us. A guy who made better decisions would be great, but it wouldn't be Gilbert. It's not a darker side of Gilbert that came out; it's the same side of Gilbert that we loved that got him involved in some dark stuff."
* And finally, whatever your opinions on Gilbert, I hope you'd admit that Turntable Lab's new Free Gilbert shirt is about the prettiest t-shirt the world has ever seen. Find it here. Official description:
Lab Exclusivo! DC is a basketball town, dont get it twisted (that means you, fake-ass Capitals fan - shame on you). Everyone knows Agent Zero is a clown, whether it's defecating in Andray Blatche's shoe, sprinkling hand-grip powder on Antawn Jamison's powdered donuts, stealing the rims off of Nick Young's brand new SUV and leaving the truck on cinderblocks, or laying 4 handguns in Javaris Crittenton's locker with a note saying "pick one." Despite his off-court foolishness, he's still one of our own. FREE GILBERT!!!
There's also a Manute and Muggsy shirt, if you're into that kind of thing.
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