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Wizards react to Emo Gilbert


(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)


Three years ago this week, Gilbert Arenas went to Wizards media day with boxes full of stuffed animals (suger gliders, to be specific) to promote his new cartoon series. The animals had a message inside their pouch:

Hypocrites, fools and the oversensitive beware.
Embrace your differences. Who said life was fair?
Conforming for the inside. What are you doing?
Watching from the outside. Creativity brewing.
Don't take yourself so seriously.
Things aren't always as they appear.
It's cool to be different. Especially here.

He was, typically, fascinating, both about that show and about his basketball. Back on the same practice court on Monday, Gilbert again met the media, this time for around four minutes. He was stone-faced and serious throughout, so quiet that some media members were literally hunched over forward trying to hear what he was saying.

"Speaking softly, seriously and with no hint of the carefree joy that had become such an intricate part of the personality formerly known as Agent Zero," as the AP put it.

"The resigned, morose expression of someone whose very beloved, very old, and very ill cat has just died," TBD's Samuel Chamberlain wrote.

Considering the circumstances -- his first meeting with the media since pleading guilty to felony gun possession -- this was perhaps not a surprise, but it was still striking. Arenas was asked about his demeanor, and replied like this, via SB Nation DC:

"The only place I want to smile is on the court. That's where my job is, that's where my love is. That's the only time I need to smile now....In the past, I would show happiness on the outside. There's no need to do that anymore. Now, I just need to play the game the right way, play with my passion."

And so one of the questions we were left with was, "Is he like this all the time now? Will he ever smile again?" And so we asked his teammates.

"Sometimes, not really," Nick Young said, when asked if Gilbert smiles around the team. "I see a change in him. He's working out, working hard. Gil's gonna be Gil, he's gonna get back to his stardom and he'll be great again....He's more of a captain now. He understands things more. He's taking it more serious. Something like that could change you, but he's looking forward to the future, and he's gonna be all right this year."

"Demeanors can be taken out of context," Josh Howard said. "There's no point in even getting into that. I know Gil's ready. Hands down, I know he's ready. I'm just looking forward to big things from him."

"He seems upbeat to me," Al Thornton said. "We've been playing pickup and everything, [and] he seems friendly, smiles, joking, the usual Gil."

"I see the regular Gil, the behind-the-scenes Gil," JaVale McGee said. "Of course he's gonna be professional, he's going the professional route as of now in the media."

"He jokes around quite a bit with us in the locker room and stuff like that," Cartier Martin said. "I guess maybe he's maturing a little bit."

As for the beard, Gilbert and Young apparently have some sort of bet going on involving Young's head hair and Gilbert's facial hair. Martin described it as "a not-care-about-what's-going-on-and-just-focus-on-basketball" beard.

"More of a Grind Mode look," he said.

"Get rid of that," Thornton jokingly advised. "it's horrible."

By Dan Steinberg  | September 27, 2010; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: The Wizards, the Bullets and the past

Comments

Im so glad that Gil is doing this. This is what I want. Serious to the media, more leadership, but having fun on the court. He tried to be serious one time before but it transfered onto the court where he also didnt smile.

I remember commenting how it reminded me of the year Sean Taylor started doing that and Sean had his worst year. Then the next year he was more mature & serious but on the field he started celebrating & playing with joy again. Then he started beasting. I want Gil to do the same. Be serious but dont be so serious on the court that you dont have any fun and end up playing stiff. Thats not him. Have the best of both worlds and he will dominate this year

Posted by: dlts2041 | September 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I miss the old Gil. I'm saddened that a series of injuries and a terrible mistake that was heightened by the fact that it was made in the nation's most Draconican jurisdiction for gun possession has taken the joy out of his life. I hope that he can regain his All NBA form, and that philanthropy and fine living can restore his former joy.

Posted by: Dellis2010 | September 27, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Viva Agent Zero

Posted by: Barno1 | September 27, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Uh, yeah, I miss Agent Zero. But I'd think he'd stay away from bets at this point.

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | September 27, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I wish he would go back to being the same guy he has always been with the media. But, I guess this is what the media wants, Right! When he was having fun with the media he was considered immature. Now, when he doesn't give you anything to hang onto and talk about, he looks sad and not the same guy. This is what everyone (media) wants right? When the guy was a happy go lucky guy, they messed that up and some of it is on him as well. This guy is a great basketball player and probably a great person as well. We put these guys on pedestals like they are not human beings that make mistakes. I wish he could go back to being the same guy we grew to luv as fans but that will never happen again.

Posted by: troach1800 | September 27, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"...This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Gilbert,
You only need to be more mature in your decision making. What makes you special as an athlete is your "happy go luck" nature. Being a bit carefree and a little odd wasn't the problem, you just need to figure out when a joke has gone too far!

Posted by: bozomoeman | September 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Why would Gil be media friendly, you guys dogged and continue to dog him. I saw clips of Bill Russell when he was playing with the Celtics, even though he had to come thru the back door and could not eat with the team the media tried to get him to be more vocal...NOT. He gave one word answers.

As a whole the media SUCKS! There are some good guys out there but no one touches area's that need to be touched (especially outside of sports). I applaud Gil and hope he maintains this level of "standoffishness"

Posted by: Gooddad | September 27, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I hope Gilbert will regain the joy he once had.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | September 27, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I hate the media... you don't know what you want from the man... when he is joking he is immature... when he is serious he has changed. WTF if Gil reads any of the comments we make I hope he realizes that the "FANS" love Agent Zero, the Hibachi and all of the little quirks that defined him for years. Do that off the court we love it... but be "Agent Assasin" on the court... and lead "Your" team and prove all of the doubters, haters and naysayers wrong.

PS pass this same advice onto AB... and this "TEAM" will be dominant...

Posted by: byronmapp | September 27, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

...he's probably realized that people look at him and what he's doing or saying, looking for reasons to lock him up. Again.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I hate the media... you don't know what you want from the man... when he is joking he is immature... when he is serious he has changed. WTF if Gil reads any of the comments we make I hope he realizes that the FANS love Agent Zero, the Hibachi and all of the little quirks that defined him for years. Do that off the court we love it... but be Agent Assasin on the court... and lead Your team and prove all of the doubters, haters and naysayers wrong.

PS pass this same advice onto AB... and this TEAM will be dominant...

Posted by: byronmapp | September 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Just let us know when free gun night is this year. I want be sure to make it for that one. Plus this means we can change our name back to the Bullets - Right?

Posted by: Jaymand | September 27, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I will miss the happy go lucky Gil. Gil just "do you" and enjoy yourself. Welcome back!

Posted by: washwiz | September 27, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

i hope all is well in gil's head and if so the league better watch out

Posted by: bford1kb | September 27, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I really did have to have my "very beloved, very old, and very ill cat" euthanized on Sept. 11 (of all day!). I'm still sad two weeks later, but I don't think I'm Gilbert morose...

Posted by: blackjack65 | September 27, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

First of all I am not the best writer!

Gil, welcome back! I know it's been a long road on recovery. Keep your eyes on the prize. Follow that Discipline that you have created for yourself this time around. You will enjoy it because those who don't will see it Exemplified on the court. Let's give thanks to GOD for allowing you again to reach for the stars! Just keep looking forward as you have done and all will be fine if not great!

Peace...

Posted by: kenneth_luster | September 27, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I also miss "the old" Gil. I will always remember him fondly for bringing this franchise back. He signs that contract six(?) years ago and we were down in the dumps. MJ gone, rebuilding again...but he brought us back. That was when I fell in love with the Wizards. Gilbert. Antawn. Larry/Caron. Even Darius. To me, its a shame what happened to Arenas. Obviously, some of it was self inflicted but the man has overcome a lot in his life and I really hope that this year, everything will work out for him and the team. Undoubtedly, Gilbert to me is one of the most openly raw and vulnerable stars of the game and that's what I have always liked about him.

Give me back Hibachi!

Posted by: ruyehara88 | September 27, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes you just have to treat the media like the tawdry tramp she really is.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 27, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Rather it be an act of guilt or not, this is a move that everyone should consider. Whats average percentage of us as individuals is in the past, present and the future (x-y-z)? I think it is healthy to socially hibernate, stray away from living in total present moment, and get future priorities in check.

Posted by: KaylahM | September 27, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Remember the beginning of last season when Gilbert did THE EXACT SAME THING? And then Saunders told him to 'put away the angry guy.' REMEMBA? Hey Dan who is your favorite emo band?

Posted by: ZeroHero0 | September 27, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes you just have to treat the media like the tawdry tramp she really is.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 27, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Best post of the day

Posted by: Barno1 | September 27, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the GM or the Coach, but i love Gil he made this franchise relevant when he became one of the NBA's fastest rising stars,then the injuries,jealousy, and goofiness turned what could have been a HOF career into an afterthought. The Wizards don't have a lot of talent after Wall and Arenas but Gilbert could give the fans a reason to come back to the phone booth this season. Good Luck Gil!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 27, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm on a grind mode lock too

Posted by: jpfterps | September 28, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

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