Just this morning in my story about Gilbert Arenas making the game-winning shot to beat Seattle last night, I made mention of Skip Bayless’ disparaging remarks about Gilbert. To recap, after making the game-winning shot, Gilbert took off his jersey in the middle of the court and laid it down expecting fans to come running in attempts of swiping a souvenir. One problem, they were in Seattle, and none of the fans were interested — so Gilbert wound up looking kind of dumb. Bayless proceeded to trash Arenas — saying that he’s headed down the road to becoming T.O., and compared Gilbert’s actions to T.O. slamming the ball down in the middle of the Dallas star in Irving.
One problem there Skip — if you did proper research, you would come to find out that Gilbert gives away his game-worn jersey as a gesture of kindness following EVERY game, regardless if it’s home or away. He does this so one less fan has to shell out hundreds of dollars for a jersey. Yet you’re going out there and trashing him, comparing him to T.O. and Owens’ running into the Dallas star? Funny thing I mentioned that, because this morning on his blog, Gilbert took notice as well:
I was watching 1st and 10 yesterday and I heard Skip Bayless, the one who just kills athletes, I was listening to Skip Bayless.
I seen the headline, it was Arenas something, and I was like, “Oh, let me see what they’re going to kill me about today. It was about the 19 points, which I figured, Man, OK, I’ll get killed for that one.
But it was something he said that kind of like made me think, Hey, OK, hold on. He was like, I think he should just shut his trap and just play basketball.
So I sat down and had to blog about this. I guess they don’t understand me and I think that’s the big problem.
Here’s what he had to say to his detractors who don’t understand him:
I guess they just don’t understand me.
To understand me is to understand a fan.
To understand a fan is to love the sport you’re watching.
I love the game of basketball.
I am a fan of the game of basketball, and that’s why I enjoy it.
He goes on:
So when I hear critics say I’m quirky and crazy, I might be. Because only quirky and crazy people would sleep in the gym instead of sleeping at their house because they want to be the best basketball player they can be.
Gilbertology and Gilbert being Gilbert means Gilbert enjoying his time in the NBA. From predictions that I say I’m going to do, to pranks, that I have fun doing with my teammates.
I’m going to enjoy it because you never know when it’s going to end.
From a season-ending injury, to a career-ending injury, you never know how long it’s going to be.
You never know how long you’re going to be in this game.
Amen. And that was truly one of the most introspective, touching, and inspiring pieces of literature written by an athlete (save Jose Canseco’s book). That’s what makes Gilbert Gilbert. That’s what’s so cool about him. He’ll tell you his true feelings, and he’ll put it out there for the world to see.
Also, do yourself a favor and follow this link to watch an incredible video on Gilbert, put together by NBA Entertainment. Make sure you watch his reaction to seeing his All-Star jersey hanging in the locker at his first All-Star game, you will truly be overcome with fondness.