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Maybe Gil Isn’t Coming to the Clippers

I don’t know how strongly I should take the post Gil authored on his blog addressing his plan to opt out of his deal. Isn’t it natural for someone to try and put out a fire rather than let it keep burning? Of course. Anywhoo, here’s what Gil has to say about his plan to opt out of his current contract:

When I signed my original deal, I believed that I would become a max player so I had a player’s option. So, I make 11 and 12 million the next two years and then the extension would put me at 12.5, 13, 14 in the three years of the extension. The part that I got frustrated about the extension was that I have to play next year at that figure no matter what and then if I extend, all I’m getting is four years guaranteed. But, if I opt out after next year, I’ll have six years guaranteed because I’ll sign a whole new six year contract.

This has nothing to do with me leaving or trying to look for other teams. I have to do it:

1. To get more years and
2. To increase my pay.

True, that’s exactly what he has to do in order to get a fatter deal. But while he’s opting out, it doesn’t mean he can’t go somewhere else while he’s unsigned, right? Only problem is the Wizards would be able to give him the most amount of money, and the greatest amount of years in a max deal, unfortunately. Keep in mind, if Gil is dissatisfied with the Wizards organization, he could forgo a nicer deal to play for a better team. So there is hope. Just probably not for the Clippers.

(via Ballhype)

Gilbert, Come to the Clippers in ’08

This is kinda like bad news for one team, and really good for 29 others. Thanks to Ballhype, I was directed to Sunday’s Washington Post where Wizards PG, and all-around badass, Gilbert Arenas, said that he would opt out of his contract in ’08. This is major news. Gil signed a six-year deal in 2003 for $65 million, and if he does have the opportunity to opt out, then why shouldn’t he? Here’s how the future prospects break down:

According to the collective bargaining agreement, the most the Wizards could offer Arenas this summer is a three-year extension worth between $60 million and $70 million, but the deal wouldn’t kick in until his original contract expires following the 2008-09 season.

Once he opts out, Arenas would be eligible to sign a maximum contract covering six years and worth between $90 and $100 million, depending on the salary cap. The Wizards will have an advantage however, because other teams would be able to offer him only up to five years.

Alright, time to get the teams lined up as far as who could use him! Gil’s ultimate decision in 2003 came down to the Wizards and Clippers. What are the chances he could end up signing with LA ultimately? I think it’s a possibility. Certainly there will be many more teams angling for Gilbert’s services this time around. Suitors, start your tampering!

The Wizards’ Season Is Over

Design inspired by Kissing Suzy Kolber

Gilbert Fires Back!

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.

Gilbert Arenas Makes the Game-Winner This Time

I guess lesson to be learned — don’t give Gilbert a second chance. Yesterday I was pretty harsh on Agent Zero for totally airballing his floater attempt to tie the game against Portland. I mean literally, that shot couldn’t even qualify as an alley-oop pass it was so far off.But last night in Seattle, Gilbert redeemed himself — somewhat. As part of a 42 point night, Arenas banked in a runner at the buzzer to give the Wizards a 108-106 win over the SuperSonics. Amidst the excitement, Gilbert must have forgotten which city he was in:

And as he jogged off the court, Arenas dropped his jersey at the free throw line, hoping a mob of fans would rush the floor trying to snatch the blue uniform.

“Maybe it would be better to do that at home,” Arenas said.

Hey Gil, if this were LA, I would’ve been all over it. People must note that as a tradition, Gilbert gives his jersey away to a different fan in the stands following every game, so it’s not like he was showboating in a T.O. stomping on the Dallas star type of way (which is to whom/what Skip Bayless just compared Gilbert). I digress.

One tiny detail needs to be noted here, the Wizards were TIED with the Sonics when Arenas sunk the game-winner. Against Portland, the Wizards were LOSING by two. Not only did Gilbert opt for the game-tying two-pointer as opposed to a game-winning three-pointer in that situation, but he also missed the closer shot.

Most of Gilbert’s great moments have come with the game tied when there was less pressure on him. I still want to see him make the big shot when it means his team will lose otherwise. If he can’t do that, then the Wizards won’t win in the playoffs, and Gilbert won’t be classified along with the “greats” of the game.

Agent Zero Loses to Portland, Again

It’s been a while since I wrote about Gilbert (and checked in with his blog for that matter).  Probably because the last time I was there he was telling me he was going to score 50 against Portland and he wound up scoring 9 in a stinker.  It also most likely has to do with Gilbert’s crappy month of February in which he shot an embarrassingly poor 34.7% from the field.  But because he is the coolest athlete to ever lace up a pair, all is easily forgotten on my end.  Oh yeah, he’s also the subject of one of the best marketing campaigns by adidas (see the commercial below)

 

That is truly inspiring.

But man, Gilbert, you got me all pumped up last night in the final minute against Portland when you made both your free throws and the layup to keep it close.  And then you got the rebound on Jack’s missed FT, you went the length of the court, and when I thought you were going to sink the game-winning three pointer in front of the Portland crowd, you drove the lane and lofted up a floater that was five feet from the rim. Sooo disappointing!

The Wizards still lead the division (barely), and Miami is hot on the warpath.  Even with Antawn back, the Wizards don’t appear to be on the same level as Detroit or Cleveland — they really need to start stepping up their game during the playoffs — and Gilbert certainly can’t afford to throw up airballs for game-winners.

Anyways, while I’m on the subject of my favorite athlete EVA, here are some recent highlights from his blog:

  • He has a new son, Triple A – Alijah Amani Arenas
  • His new catch phrase is, “Don’t watch me, watch TV.” (which has nothing on Hibachi)
  • He won a blogging award (from the legendary Dan Shanoff)
  • He didn’t like getting double-teamed with Antawn and Caron out
  • He had to shower with Evian water in Minnesota

The People of Gilbert Arenas v. Nate McMillan – It’s Must see TV

At 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET, all televisions across the country should be tuned into one program.  Buy a satellite dish, order the NBA package, hump your neighbor, I don’t care what you do, just make sure you get to a TV to watch the Trailblazers @ Wizards game today.  How could there possibly be so much hype over such an ordinary event?  How could this possibly be more entertaining than Donna Martin graduating or Simon Cowell scowling you ask?  Because Gilbert says so, that’s why. 

It’s so funny how a game nobody ever thought about is going to become a watched game. Even if you don’t watch the game, you’re going to look at the boxscore to see what happened.  My last one o’clock game was 51 against Utah. So I’m feeling pretty frisky.  It’s kind of funny because I said the next time I was going to score 50 was going to be against them, so every game I went into, my shot wasn’t on.  It’s going to be more of a fun one because at the end of the day, they really do not want me to get 50.  Nate‘s a tough guy so I know that there’s going to be a lot or elbows and a lot of double teams so that will just leave stuff open for everybody else.

If you read way back to the beginning of Gilbert’s blog, you’ll see where the whole thing starts.  To summarize, Gilbert admits to being cut by the US National Team in the summer which upset Arenas because he felt the decision-makers used his minor groin injury as a convenient excuse to cut him.  Ever since that happened, he’s taken it upon himself to avenge the embarrassment caused by anyone who may have had something to do with his being cut - that’s why he made it a point to light up Phoenix and their coach Mike D’Antoni and why he joked about going back to college to dominate Duke, and why McMillan is on the hit list today. 

For the record, I actually believe Gilbert writes his blog unlike most other athletes.  If not, then the ghost-writer must talk to Gil and write exactly the way he speaks, because it seems pretty real to me. I have to say that the blog is probably one of the greatest tools an athlete has used to reach the public and interact with fans.  I have no doubt that it’s been a hit on NBA.com this year and I don’t know what I’ll do if he discontinues it – it would be like your favorite player signing with another team.  Tear drop, sniffle, tear drop.  Long live Gilbert’s must-read blog and must-see TV games against Portland!