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Gilbert Comes to Barry’s Rescue*

Well, I guess that headline would be misleading, considering Gilbert hasn’t quite come to Barry’s rescue just yet. But he wants to. At least that’s what he told DC Sports Bog (& Grill) man Dan Steinberg. Apparently Gil’s incensed by Marc Ecko’s plan to brand the 756 ball with an asterisk and send it to the Hall and wants to buy the ball from Ecko. Gil’s reason:

“It’s history,” Gil began. “It’s still history. I mean, the guy’s a man before he’s some big slugger. I mean, how you just going to take what this man’s done for his career and, as another man, say ‘Hey, you were accused of this, you allegedly did this, I want to take this away from you.’ I mean, what if we took away your Ecko company?

Gil said that he would be willing to pay $800,000 for the ball.

“If the Hall wants it, I’ll give it to the Hall, unmarked. If not, I’ll keep it. I’ll give it to Barry’s son. I don’t know, or at least do something positive with it, auction it off, build something, build some homes for the homeless, I don’t know. Do something positive.

They’re you have it. Gilbertology at its finest. While I side with Gilbert on almost every topic, this is one where I have to disagree with the man. Seriously, your head would have to be stuck pretty far up your ass to not believe Barry’s record is tainted. And as far as I’m concerned, a red flags goes up every time I hear someone defend Bonds. Are they doing so because they’ve used performance-enhancers before and they’re trying to justify the practice? Or maybe Gilbert’s just a really good guy — so I’d like to think.

(via Shoals at FanHouse; image courtesy Deadspin who also interviewed Agent Zero on Friday, take a look)

Richard Jefferson One-Ups Gilbert Arenas

We learned in Gilbert’s latest blog entry that he has a healthy competition running with fellow Arizona Wildcat, Richard Jefferson. To recap:

Me and Richard, for some reason, always end up having a bragging session when we’re around each other and try to out-do one another. For some reason, he thinks he’s better than me. He can’t fathom that he’s only the third best player from Arizona, and I’m No. 1. He just hates that I’m No. 1. He hates to see me on my own video game, he hates that I’m a three-time All-Star, he hates the fact that he only got a bronze medal … all of that. He is bitter about it.

It seems as if Richard Jefferson heard what Gil said about him, and he responded. Boy did he ever. Jefferson out-did even Captain Limpwrist, donating what’s believed to be the largest amount of money by a player to a university.

But Jefferson became the No. 1 donor among former Wildcat players Friday, pledging $3.5 million toward the University of Arizona’s future basketball and volleyball practice facility. UA officials believe it is the largest donation ever from a former player to a school he played for, surpassing the $3 million that NBA star Carmelo Anthony gave Syracuse University last year.

Most likely, Jefferson will remind Arenas of his gift often. Jefferson’s donation will ensure his name is a part of the $20 million complex, which also includes a diving well and a renovated gymnastics facility. It is scheduled for completion in September 2008.

Gilbert, ball’s in your court, my man. What you got to say about that?

(photo courtesy David Sanders/Arizona Daily Star)

Hey, Gilbert’s Still Alive, Remember?

Yeah, back a few months ago before the injury, Gil was the hottest thing around. Now, not so much. He’s rehabbing his injury and blogging about it. In fact, he dropped a few nuggets on us. One is about his current training program. The other, was some nice smack talk. I’ll share both of them with you, courtesy of Gil’s blog:

Right now I’m in the middle of making 100,000 shots over 73 days. It’s a little mini-series I do. Right now I’m shooting 69.7 percent from the three-point line and I’m shooting 79.3 percent, I think, from the college three.

I came up with this idea because of this kid Mike. He’s a shooter that went to my high school and broke some of my records, and this is what he just finished doing. So we do these little challenges because he thinks he can shoot better than me. He knows mentally he can’t beat me, but I have to say he did shoot 85 percent from the college three-point line. I think that’s pretty good.

They were down in D.C. at the Verizon Center so I played with them. I hit a couple buckets, you know, but that’s all I can say. I couldn’t jump and stuff them, I was looking like I was Chucky Atkins out there around the rim. The stroke was there, but I was looking like Chucky on the vert.

Gilbert still has the magic touch! Gotta love him. Ragging on Chucky Atkins — that’s Gil at his finest. And the kid Mike from Gilbert’s high school who broke some of his records is Mike Danielian, who plays for Azusa Pacific in So. Cal. Let me just say this, 70% from the 3pt line is absolutely absurd. There’s a reason he gets paid the big bucks. And that Danielian kid should too — 85% on college 3’s?!? Are you kidding me? Slap an All-American tag on him, he’s golden.

Other Awesomeness from Gilbert’s Blog:
I’d Drop 84-85 points on Duke
Gilbert Takes on DeShawn Stevenson in a 3pt Competition
Gilbert Predicts 50 points Game Against the Blazers
Gilbert Fires Back at the Media

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.