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Gilbert Arenas, through the years

After 17 media members wrote items about Gilbert Arenas refusing to smile for photographers at Wizards media day, there was a justifiable backlash, with readers asking whether this was really all that interesting.

Longtime Bog friend H. then sent along a link to a history of Gilbert's media day poses. Many years, he posed for both smiley and serious shots. In 2010, the shots were only serious.

But that's not the fascinating part of these images. The fascinating part is feeling a little bit of your soul get older through the years, feeling yourself age along with your athletic heroes. Your limbs get creakier. Your hope and optimism fade. Creases show up where before all was smooth and fresh. Your mortality shuffles nearer, maybe not right in that brightly lit practice court, but around the corner in one of those dusty Verizon Center electrical closets, anyhow. Your wild youthful hair is lopped off your head, then pasted messily on your disheveled face. The boundless possibilities of life -- the promise of superstardom, the goal of transcendence are fenced in, and you realize, no, this is all there is. And even worse, it will be over soon.

God, this is depressing. I need a drink.

(See also: This photo.)

By Dan Steinberg  | October 5, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: On Brian Orakpo and holding


what, no smile at the end?

Posted by: frescova | October 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

what, no smile at the end?

Posted by: frescova | October 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Not much to smile about when a city turns on you for a victimless crime and calls for you to be traded or cut despite the good work you do within the community. I don't think I'd be smiling either.

On another note, did Gil juice the summer before picture 4 was taken?

Posted by: fushezzi | October 5, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

at least the braces worked

Posted by: goose33 | October 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you just popped my Wizards balloon.

Posted by: EYoung77 | October 5, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who actually thinks this sequence of photos is kinda hilarious, due to the giant, nearly-hobo-like beard and the frown at the end?

Posted by: UberJason | October 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

There is one year missing. Only 9 years of pics, but this is his 10th in the league.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@Barno, I couldn't find one for the 2003 media day. The photos are in chronological order, with 2003 omitted. Good catch, though.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | October 5, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert with the "young Kobe" 'fro is hilarious.

Gilbert sporting the "glum rasheed" look at the end is less so.

Posted by: Ootek | October 5, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

lol man this is hilarious. You can't help but just laugh, knowing gilbert's personality.

Posted by: Havemercyplz | October 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

He is more used to mug shots, than team photos....

Posted by: scottiemac3 | October 5, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

He's put on a lot of weight since last year.

Posted by: HanMy | October 5, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@scottiemac3: That joke would have been funny if Gilbert was a serial offender.

Posted by: tundey | October 5, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but the hobo beard/thousand-yard-stare combo at the end is kind of hilarious. It's like he just got sprung from some POW camp where they beat the happy out of him.

Posted by: Christopher Dean Hopkins | October 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

LOL... Hes smiling on the inside.... LOL

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | October 5, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

It made me feel a little sad.

Posted by: tedunni1 | October 5, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

that last picture made me soooo sad until I read the comments. I can't stop laughing now...."the happiness beaten out of him". Oh good gravy. This really is funny. Go get'em Gil! I've got your back.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | October 5, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

My beard makes me sad sometimes too.

Posted by: ronmalibu | October 6, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

When you look at just the first picture, then the last one, it's almost like one of those meth addiction slide shows.

Posted by: GFisher1 | October 6, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I think it was the beard in the last photo that had me giggling. It just comes out of nowhere. This need's an animated gif.

Posted by: M__N | October 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"When you see it you'll shoot bricks"

Posted by: dpkennedy | October 6, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

This guy should be all smiles. The only person he has taken to the hole in the last few years are management and the fans.

When we resigned this guy for big money to begin with , I was livid. How in the heck were we ever going to build a team around him when he wasn't talented enough to begin with ? He is a 6'3" (probably 6'1" as heights are typically done with shoes on ) guard who only scored big while shooting for a low FG percentage.

He then gets injured (can't blame him for that) but that season we paid him $280,000 per point or $560,00 per bucket. He never was a solid investment and now he is slower , has no explosion and we are paying him in excess of $17 million per season.

On top of that , he is the reason that we had to dismantle the team ridding of Butler and Jamison after his gun incident. He is apparently a commodity that no one will trade for due to his out of proportion salary and his excess baggage. I read recently where he said something about his "next team." I don't if that was his indication to leave or his realization that this team will do nothing productive with him.

I have followed the Bullets since before we had Unseld and they first came to Baltimore. By the way this was the only Baltimore team that I ever liked as I am a Washingtonian. They were attractive when the first left Chicago with Gus Johnson and Walt Bellamy and then moved to Landover and we won a title.

Since then, poor management decisions have plagued this franchise particularly since their first real "quick fix" by trading 3 number 1 picks and Tom Gugliotta for Chris "timeout" Webber.

We are where we are now and that appears to be somewhere in the basement. Keeping Arenas only prolongs this franchise from progressing. We have John Wall and little else and we are a rebuilding bottom feeder. The only thing that Arenas does is take up cap money and I do hope Arenas has a good year so somebody may take him off our hands.

I'd rather see the team simply pay $50 million (that's what I heard we'd have to pay him to let him go)and be done with him.

Gilbert should really be flashing a big old smile because he has been paid nearly $30 over the last 2 years for just being a fool.

Posted by: rickywarner49 | October 7, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that last photo almost looks like a guy who was wrongly accused of gun possession/use violations - wait a minute, maybe I have the wrong guy - this guy is known now as #TheSilencer

Posted by: terptek | October 11, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

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