The end of Agent Zero
The title of this picture should be: "The Last Straw."

Gilbert Arenas: Everybody saw this coming. Everybody, that is, except Gilbert Arenas. And you know, Agent Zero could have saved himself. It was still possible. If he had simply been humble and contrite, maybe begged for a little forgiveness, Gil might still be playing basketball. Instead he joked, laughed, made finger guns at his teammates, insisted he had done nothing wrong, accused David Stern of being "scary" and "mean," and then tweeted that his finger guns were all in good, harmless fun...just a way of breaking the tension with his teammates.

Really, Gilbert? Really?

Now he's gone...maybe forever. AnacondaHL and chris did a good job of summing up (with links) all of the bizarre events that brought us to this point. And as AnacondaHL correctly pointed out: "It's like BasketBawful is writing itself."

Instead of focusing on the obviously crazy facts -- Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton's got into an argument over a card game, Arenas threatened to blow up Crittenton's car, Crittenton threatened to shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired knee, Arenas showed up with four unloaded guns a few days later and gave Crittenton a note telling him to take his pick, Crittenton responded by whipping out his own gun and loading it -- or David Stern's just and appropriate response (declaring Arenas unfit to play basketball and suspending him indefinitely), I'm going to talk about what might have been. What should have been.

I mean, just a few short seasons ago, Gilbert Arenas was the Clown Prince of the NBA. He stuffed the ballot box to make the All-Star team, he created awesome nicknames for himself, he bought loads of his own jerseys which he signed and handed out before and after games, he played online video games against fans, he threw lavish (and very public) birthday parties for himself, he blogged relentlessly, he publically threatened to rain jump shot-y death on anybody who had crossed him (usually inventing rivalries on the fly, and always in good fun), he dropped 60 points on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in L.A.

At that point, I told my buddy Statbuster that Agent Zero symbolized everything fans love about the NBA. Now he's become everything they hate.

What in the bloody hell happened? He was supposed to take we, the fans, to a new and better place. He was supposed to be the future.

I guess, in retrospect, we should have known this was going to happen. Or something similarly bad. Over the last couple seasons, as injuries robbed him of a game that had been blossoming into something that could have been truly special, Arenas began to withdraw. He stopped laughing, and when he did laugh, there was an edge to it. He stopped blogging. He started barking at fans instead of joshing with them. He accused the officials of conspiring against him.

The thing that always made Gilbert Arenas such a joy to watch was the fact that he so obviously loved playing basketball. More than that, he loved being loved. But that love -- which had been given so freely to the underdog upstart who defied the odds to make it in the best basketball league in the world -- started to die a little when Arenas signed a $111 million contract while recovering from injury only to get injured again and missing most of the season. For whatever reason, fans tend to become bitter and resentful when players sign big-money contracts and don't immediately play up to (or above) the level of that contract. (For further reading, see Lewis, Rashard.) And Gilbert didn't play up to the level of his contract. Heck, he wasn't playing at all.

Being mocked and openly criticized by so many people seemed to really get to him. And it became obvious this season that he no longer genuinely loved basketball the way he used to. I would guess that's because he not only had to come back from a pretty serious injury (which is always harder than the average joe realizes), but because he felt pressured to justify -- to the experts, to the fans, and especially to his teammates -- that he still had it, that he was worth every penny of that $111 million, that he was still The Man...while also working to fit in on a team that had played most of the last two seasons without him.

That would be a pretty serious challenge for even the most well-adjusted human being.

This has been nearly lost to NBA history, but Larry Bird missed all but six games of the 1988-89 season after having surgery on both of his Achilles tendons. Bird's decision to have surgery came just after he had signed a lucrative contract extension...which naturally raised a few eyebrows. (Sound familiar?) When Bird came back the next season, he shocked people (especially his teammates) by gunning to prove he was back, by subtly criticizing Celtics coach Jimmy Rodgers to the press, and by staging very public (if passive-aggressive) protests against Rodger's new "spread the wealth" offense by (at times) refusing to shoot when open and forcing passes to guys like Joe Klein.

Things got so bad that a couple of unnamed teammates -- Kevin McHale and Jim Paxon were the likely culprits -- said Bird's behavior was tearing the team report. Bird responded by calling the unnamed teammates gutless quitters.

Yes, things were getting ugly.

However, Bird turned things around by getting hot (27 PPG, 10 RPG, 8 APG while hitting nearly 50 percent of his treys in the final month of the season). But the Celtics -- despite winning 11 of their last 13 games -- never really jelled. Their season ended in a first round playoff upset by the New York the decisive Game 5 in Boston Garden of all places. The symbolic moment came when Boston's fourth-quarter comeback was halted because Bird missed a wide open reverse dunk. Rodgers was soon fired, Paxson was cut loose, Bird's body gave out and forced his retirement two seasons later, and the Celtic didn't recover until the last few years.

My point? Other than that all roads lead back to Larry Bird where I'm concerned? Gilbert Arenas isn't the first superstar to start cracking under the weight of expectations. And no, I'm not saying he was or ever would have been on Bird's level. I'm just saying that, considering the circumstances and everything we knew about him going into his surgeries and his singing of that otherworldly contract, his ugly downward spiral really isn't all that surprising.

I mean, the dude very nearly made himself great out of spite. Think about that. He wasn't going to let Javaris Crittenton show him up. Not in front of the other Wizards. Not when he, Gilbert Arenas, had so much on the line, both physically and psychologically.

In many ways, we had lost Gilbert Arenas -- the real Gilbert Arenas -- long before Crittendon threatened him and Stern suspended him. And it was no sure thing we were going to ever get him back. Now it's very nearly a sure thing we never will.

As sad days for the NBA go, this one is way up there.

Gilbert dont shoot

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: Against that backdrop, the Bullets were [PUN ALERT!!] blown away by the Crabs 121-98. Is this "rivalry" over? Hell, it never really started. But make no mistake: this Bullets team is hurtin'. Just ask DeShawn Stevenson: "It's like a black cloud over us. Hit us over the head again and we might break."


This situation is so red-hot that even Shaq -- who has never to my knowledge been lost for words -- kept his mouth shut about it. According to the AP recap: "O'Neal refused to comment on Arenas' plight. After being asked, O'Neal simply traced his fingers along his lips as if closing a zipper."

Antawn Jamison, for his part, just wants his team to focus on...wait...what are they paid to do again? Oh, yeah! Play basketball! "We have to find a way to turn this around, so we really have to put this behind us as quickly as possible," Jamison said. "It is what it is right now and we just have to focus on basketball. It's been awhile as far as us doing, but that should be our main and most important objective right now."

Good luck with that, Antawn.

The New Jersey Nyets: For the New Jersey Nyets, the hits just keep on coming. They already suck chocolate salty balls, and last night they had to play on the road against a decent team with something to prove. The Hawks had dropped four straight games, and in their previous loss to the Heat in Miami, Atlanta scored a season-low 75 points.

Fortunately for them, the Nyets were coming to town.

The result was a foregone conclusion even before the Dirty Birds held a players-only meeting the day before: a blowout victory. Like, a total blowout. Like, by 30 points. And the Nyets were down 17 points after the first quarter, so it's not like the Hawks slowly pulled away or anything. This was like old school Mike Tyson knocking somebody the hell out in the first round.

How hard did the Hawks smack the Nyets in their collective mouth? This hard:

Said Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe: "We came out and we missed a bunch of shots right at the rim. We got anything we wanted and for some reason the basket had a lid on it. And that just gave them tons of confidence. Again, this is a very difficult time for us right now, where we're sort of stuck in mud and you've got to slug it out."

It's a slug or be slugged world. And the Nyets are feeling awful punchy.

The Orlando Magic: Speaking of struggling teams, what the hell is up with the Orlando Magic? I mean, I know the Craptors have been playing better, but what the hell? The Magic -- playing at home, by the way -- were down 18 points to start the fourth quarter. And while they made a run, their rally still ended in fail. Check out this excerpt from the AP recap:

The reigning Eastern Conference champions are in such a rut that Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said his team was "lifeless" during the latest defeat. Forward Brandon Bass even told the team at halftime that it looked "shell-shocked" because it couldn't believe what was happening to it.

"My point is it's not happening to us. Some things happen to you. Those things are out of your control. We're the ones doing this. We're the actors," Van Gundy said. "We've got to change this around. It's us and we've got to do it. It's not going to happen because we miraculously do it. It's going to happen because we make it happen."


Mired in frustration, many Magic players -- including Carter, Rashard Lewis, Matt Barnes and Jason Williams -- left the locker room without speaking to reporters, rare for the usually calm veterans. But those who stayed said nobody is pointing fingers.

"I think that the problem is everybody," Redick said, bluntly.
By the way, Hedo Turkoglu scored 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting while Vince Carter went 2-for-7 and finished with only 7 points. Vinsanity is now 10-for-47 (21 percent) in 2010. I'm just sayin'.

The Miami Heat: The game was tied at 99-all with 5.5 seconds to go in the fourth, and the Celtics had the ball...until Dwyane Wade pilfered the ball from Ray Allen and streaked down court to throw down what probably should have been the game-winning dunk. All the Heat had to do was play defense for 0.6 seconds!

I'm sure you can guess what's coming...

I'm also sure you can guess which team went on to win this one in overtime. Without Kevin Garnett.

By the way, according to ESPN Stats and Information: "Dwyane Wade scored 44 which is tied for the most by a player this season in a losing effort. The Hornets' David West also had 44 in a loss to the Rockets on Dec. 29."

Mario Chalmers, quote machine: Chalmers was responsible for guarding Rajon Rondo on that end-of-regulation play. And here's what he said about it: "That play could happen to anyone."

Uh huh.

The Minnesota Timberpoops: Last night's home loss to the Gol_en State Warriors was their fifth in a row. What more can I say?

(Other than, you know, they gave up 26 points off 19 turnovers in a 6-point loss...while giving up 21 layups and 3 dunks. As always, I'm just sayin'.)

The Detroit Pistons: Last night's blowout loss to the Spurs was their 11th straight loss. What more can I say?

(Other than, you know, they missed 11 free throws while letting the Spurs nearly 60 percent from the field and from downtown. And they finally have everybody healthy and back in the lineup, so there really aren't any more excuses for their crappy play. Again, just sayin'.)

Rockets-Suns: Both of these teams receive a WotN. The Suns built a 16-point lead in the first quarter before, unbelievably, falling behind by 16 in the second quarter. Seriously.

Suns coach Alvin Gentry -- who's been in the coaching biz for 30 years, by the way -- said: "It's as crazy a game as I've ever been in. I looked at the stat sheet and we had a 16-point lead, then they had a 16-point lead. That's a 32-point swing."

He can't coach defense...but at least he can add.

The Phoenix _efense surrendered career-highs to both Aaron Brooks (34 points) and Carl Landry (31), but the rest of the Rockets were only 18-for-51 (35 percent).

As for the Suns, they shot at their usual blistering pace -- 54 percent from the field, 52 from beyond the arc -- but compensated by (as usual) being careless with the ball, to the tune of 17 turnovers for 25 points going the other way. And here's a bizarre little factoid from the AP recap: "It was the second time this season the Suns had rallied from a 16-point deficit in back-to-back games, their only two wins in eight tries in back-to-backs."

I have no idea what to make of that.

On the flipside, here's another factoid: "This was only the third time this season the defense-minded Rockets had allowed more than 113 points."

It was a crazy game. A fun game. An high-scoring game. And yet, oddly enough, kind of an ugly game. If that makes any sense.

The Memphis Grizzlies: The newly plus-.500 Griz fell back to .500 with a 117-94 blowout loss to the Utah Jeckyll and Hydes. What had to leave a crusty taste in the mouth of every Memphis players is that Utah was missing it's best player (Deron William) and blasted the Grizzlies anyway.

What's more, the Jekyll and Hydes -- who, again, were Deron Williams-less -- shot 57 percent and racked up a season-high 39 assists on 46 field goals. That's right. Utah tallied an assist on 85 percent of their baskets. That's...kind of incredible actually. Utah's bench had almost as many dimes (14) as the entire Memphis team (15).

Said Jerry Sloan: "When you pass the ball, and share, you get a lot of easy baskets."

No kidding.

Of course, it was one of those typicl back-to-back game situations for the Griz, who were coming off a tough 109-105 win in Portland the night before. Said Zach Randolph: ""They outworked us tonight. We came off a hard game last night and I think we were fatigued."

O.J. Mayo, on the other hand, felt his team didn't need no stinking excuses: ""Everybody in the NBA plays back-to-back. We just came out maybe a little timid. We need to play harder than we did tonight."

Mayo has a point. I mean, Memphis had 19 fast break points, so they must have had a little energy. Of course, they couldn't shoot, defend or hold onto the ball (20 turnovers for 26 points going the other way), and those are all telltale signs of weary legs.

Lionel Hollins, quote machine: Regarding his team's rematch with the Jazz on Friday: "If you weren't happy by the whoopin' that you got tonight, then you'll come back and compete the next game." I love it when a coach uses the word "whoopin'."

Ron Boone, Jazz Color Commentator and unintentionally dirty quote machine: This totally awesome quote was submitted by Basketbawful reader Jenna W. regarding CJ Miles' first quarter of 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting: "Well, when a guy is hot, for the most part, you wanna milk him."

As Greg Focker once said, you can milk just about anything nipples...

The Los Angeles Lakers: On the subject of weary teams playing the second game of back-to-backs...the mighty Lakers had just pulled back on top of most of the NBA Power Rankings before losing to...the Clippers.

Yep. The Other L.A. Team.

Were the still Pau Gasol-less Lakers lagging in the leg department? You tell me. They shot only 38 percent from the field (thanks largely to Mamba's 10-for-30 stink bomb), got outscored 54-34 in the paint, and gave up 26 fast break points.

Said Kobe: "They played better than we did. We weren't able to keep them out of transition. We lost because of our transition defense. We just gave up way too many easy points." Well, that and your shooting...but yeah...

Mike Dunleavy Sr., quote machine: "All these Laker people on the radio and all these Laker hangers-on, they're touting all those streaks, that we lost the last nine straight," said Dunleavy, who once coached the Lakers. "But we've had guys in the medical ward. In a fair fight, we're a good team."


Phil Jackson, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Regarding the Clippers', ahem, domination of his team: "They were down our throats all night." [Thanks, Adam. Yes, I saw you all the way down there.]

Mark Jackson: As Baron Davis (25 points, 10-for-18, 10 assists) was lighting up the scoreboard, Jackson exclaimed: "This is the Baron Davis who can be one of the premier point guards in this league." No offense to B-Dizzle...but he was playing against Derek Fisher's corpse, which tends to make opposing PGs look pretty darn good.

Jeff Van Gundy: For some reason, Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Van Ghouly always end up getting into a "Greatest Lakers" discussion. I hate this...especially because Van Ghouly always insists on the controversial viewpoint that Kobe Bryant either is or will be the greatest Laker ever.

Look, Magic Johnson is the greatest Laker ever. Period. Maybe that'll change. Maybe it won't. But until it does change, can we please stop discussing it? Thanks.

Lacktion report: Despite persistent finger cramps from keeping us all up-to-date on the latest Gilbert Arenas news, chris still provided his daily lacktion update:

Nyets-Hawks: Despite a steal in 4:14, Jason Collins downed a foul for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Bullets-Crabs: With top lacktator Dominic McGuire as his teammate, the fabulous Fabricio Oberto had to be gunning for a career-defining non-performance in the wake of Agent Zero being pulled out of Washington's arsenal. Locked and loaded into the lineup as starting big man, Oberto did not fail to disappoint at the Q with four fouls in 11:06 for a +4 suck differential AND a 4:0 Voskuhl that gives him a shot at worst starter in the Association this season!!!!

Warriors-Wolves: Nathan Jawai bricked once in 4:12 and added a rejection to earn a +2 for the Timberpups!

Pistons-Spurs: Jonas Jerebko tossed two pieces of masonry (once from the Riverwalk) and took a rejection for a +3 in 2:08 for Detroit, with teammate Austin Daye earning a +2 in 3:50 via giveaway and his own miss behind the arc.

Rockets-Suns: Louis Amundson radiated one foul in 4:08 to shine with a +1.

Grizzlies-Jazz: Jerry Sloan celebrating ending the Grizzlies' brief dalliance with a winning record by putting Kosta Koufos on the floor for a celebratory +1 via foul in 3:10 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Lakers-Clippers: Despite the shocking victory that Team Dunleavy earned at home against their co-tenants, Phil Jackson was able to send out Sasha Vujacic to lack it up, garnering a +2 via brick from the Million Dollar Theater and a foul in 6:16.

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Blogger Unknown said...
Whee, thanks for the credit!

I only watched the first half of the Clippers-Lakers game before going to bed (and even then I couldn't come in until the second quarter because of the stupid football game on ESPN going into TWO overtimes), but man they couldn't defend to save the world let alone their lives. Back-to-back games or not, Pau being out or not, there's no excuse for lazy defense.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
You gotta put that "Gilbert Don't Shoot" pic up.

Also, 17 turnovers is actually low for the Suns, having 8 games this season with more turnovers. Ughh.

Anonymous kevo said...
lol great arnold reference there. also from that movie:
"hey christmas tree! hey lighthead!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You wrote the Magic comment in that fashion just to fire up the Kobephiles. Even if it's true.

And it's about time you busted out the Running Man line.

And as a follow-up to favorite tweets, mine so far is "The Finger Shots Heard 'Round the World."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- You're right...I was more trying to highlight the points surrendered off those TOs.

I just added that pic.

By the way, I just got an e-mail from PETA...about Gilbert Arenas. In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, Gil apparently shot an add for PETA before threatening to shoot his teammate. Seriously.

"'Arenas shows that you can have a killer look without killing animals,' says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. 'Few industries on the planet are as foul as the fur trade, which bludgeons, electrocutes, and skins animals alive for the sake of vanity.'

"Arenas hopes that by participating in PETA's famed "Ink, Not Mink" campaign, he will spotlight the fact that for every cuff, collar, piece of trim, or coat made from real fur, an animal suffered a miserable life and an agonizing death."

I wonder how PETA feels about threatening to blow up a teammate's car?

Blogger chris said...
Didn't Larry Legend call out his teammates famously in the 1984 Finals? So maybe he thought they could cover for his Waltonized skeleton at that point, and wondered why that was too much a task...

CAPTCHA: "zootorr," i.e. "Agent Zero took a zootorr with PETA representatives to show that his actions these last few weeks were designed to protect animals in captivity from dangerous objects."

Blogger chris said...
AND...Magic Johnson gets the forearm shiver (figuratively) by Madison Square Gaaahden after his criticisms of Zeke.

Blogger chris said...
You know you've made the big-time when your locker room antics get featured on the Wikipedia article about the obscure card game you played.

Blogger Unknown said...
You pull that assist stat in the Grizzlies/Jazz analysis like it's some kind of great revelation. Memphis doesn't have as many assists because they have so many 2nd chance points and points from post players.

Blogger Silva said...
James and Bryant, I will never know who's better. (James is)

Behind the backboard shot:

To Mario Chalmers: damn you're stupid. Have you ever seen Rajon Rondo play? By the way is he the PG with the worst FT% ever?

Blogger Cortez said...
"...and forcing passes to guys like Joe Klein."


I had completely forgotten (purposely) about that lump.

And now thanks to you I just remembered Michael "The next Larry Bird" Smith.

You better wear a helmet when I see you!

Anonymous Million Shot Man said...
As an Agent Zero fan, I think this post is very true. I loved to follow Gil's persona. His antics not only made following the league fun again, but he made everyone feel like he was just one of the guys that you would want to hang out with. My basketball brain would shutter at times when he would jack shots without conscious, but he was very engaging as an individual.

It has been a very depressing comeback tour. I understood that he needed to focus on returning from his injuries, but Gil lost a lot that had made him Agent Zero. His charm turned into cut throat wit. He became worried about his persona and wasted energy worrying. With the release of his new website and twitter account, it looked like things were starting to turn around. Now it's all changing again. It's like having the best joke in the world but not being able to use it out of fear in offending someone.

I wish Gil nothing but the best and hope that he is able to become an underdog that proves his haters wrong yet again. I posted some more thoughts on this situation on my blog

Blogger Silva said...
Mario Chalmers reads this blog right?

Blogger geremy said...
ugly or not, as a suns fan i'm just happy to see the "W" following a back to back game, let alone a win against a team above the .500 mark!

Anonymous Matt said...
I wonder how PETA feels about threatening to blow up a teammate's car?

I think it depends on whether there are any animals in the car. If not, they're good with it.

Blogger chris said...
Considering the tunefulness of the most recent recap of what went on at the Phonebooth, this Freudian slip is all sorts of bawesome:

I'm just saying that, considering the circumstances and everything we knew about him going into his surgeries and his singing of that otherworldly contract, his ugly downward spiral really isn't all that surprising.

As Bawful can attest to, I was already at the point of comparing Gilbert to Jon Koncak, weeks ago! Maybe not on skill, but certainly "effectiveness."

Blogger chris said...
BREAKING SNOOZE: reports THERE MAY BE VIDEO of the DC edition of Reservoir Dogs!!!

And here's a great comment on the situation at the Washington Post -

I think it was on this blog where there was an entry about some of the old jokes Gilbert used to play in Golden State - how he once broke into a teammates house to steal his jersey or something. And Brendan Haywood had a quote like "that's not funny, that's breaking and entering."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
You pull that assist stat in the Grizzlies/Jazz analysis like it's some kind of great revelation. Memphis doesn't have as many assists because they have so many 2nd chance points and points from post players.

The point is the Jazz had amazing ball movement...and the Griz did not. Guys weren't cutting, moving, getting easy shots. Everything was a struggle, a fight, a one-on-one play.

Cortez -- Well, you got me right back by mentioning Smith, whom the Celtics chose ahead of guys like Tim Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, B.J. Armstrong, Vlade Divac...hell, even Sherman Douglas, whom they later traded for (but only because Brian Shaw undercut Larry Bird in a practice after Bird had back surgery, which caused a whole new series of back episodes).

Blogger tonious35 said...
Really aggressive attempt at the man-love @ Orlando.

Blogger chris said...
Hardwood Paroxysm offers its thoughts on the continuing saga on the shores of the Anacostia.

Blogger Boris Tilov said...
Good post.

I gotta say, I am always a little disappointed (and surprised) when I don't see my Hornets mentioned around here, then I remember that this is Basketbawful, and that is probably a good thing. :D

Two big ones on the road puting them above .500! Nothing Bawful about that!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Boris -- Exactly. The Hornets got plenty of early-season burn around here. But they're trying to un-bawful themselves. But I promise you that, as soon as they warrant mention again, they will receive it with extreme prejudice.

Blogger chris said...
Hey Bawful, this WOTN is the lead at Ball Don't Lie right now!

Blogger chris said...
The Washington Post puts up a timeline of Gilbert Arenas's practical jokes, summed up by this stinger:

"He's definitely 21 going on 12," Mills said. "His mind hasn't caught up to the number on his birth certificate."

Blogger jiggly16 said...
I never understand why fans get pissed at a player for signing a huge contract and then not playing up to potential. Most of the time it's bad GMs who panic or don't know the real value of a player or are poor negotiators against an agent.

In Arenas' case, the Warriors threw $110 mil at him and the Wizards had to match to keep him. You just don't turn down $110 mil guaranteed.

Blogger chris said...
While we all know about the pre-game skit against the Sixers, I'm not sure if this got covered:

After the incident went down, and Gilbert's gun possession in the locker room became public, he made a jumper against Memphis and then playfully holstered his pretend weapons. Now, the world hadn't yet heard about the locker room incident in any detail, and most of us were still taking him at his word that he was just trying to get the guns out of his house, but Gilbert and his teammates all knew what had happened.

Anonymous Lucas said...
If Michael Vick can return after being involved with fighting and executing dogs in a way that would make Ted Bundy proud, then we'll see Arenas again.

Blogger chris said...

Apparently, the Association tried to do to the Arenas Pregame Photo what LeBron and Nike have attempted to do with The Dunk.

No surprise there.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Us heatfans are ready to put Chalmers head on a pole. That loss hurt and poor D-wade was playing 1 on 5 in OT as usual.

Bring on Rafer Alston! (yes we're that bad at PG)

Blogger chris said...
You know this story is a big deal when an outfit in the United Arab Emirates puts out its own piece on Agent Zero.

Blogger chris said...
In the least surprising update so far...

One source with knowledge of the Wizards' thinking said that Arenas' teammates who participated in the pregame gun simulation against Philadelphia have been told they will be fined.

Two sources said the fines were expected to be in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
If Michael Vick can return after being involved with fighting and executing dogs in a way that would make Ted Bundy proud, then we'll see Arenas again.

Michael Vick didn't have to deal with David Stern.

Blogger chris said...
Hey, kids: a primer on the obscure card game that started it all! It sounds like a glorified take on that old bundled app to Windows 95, Hearts.


All this over a variant of Go Fish. :p

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: And I don't think Vick called Roger Goodell "mean" in a tweeter post.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
And I don't think Vick called Roger Goodell "mean" in a tweeter post.

Nor did he pantomime a dog fight during an NFL game while being investigated.

Blogger chris said...
Update: Maybe there ISN'T a video of the shenanigans after all!

Blogger stephanie g said...
Great write up on 00 Agent Gil.

Is it bad that I'm looking forward to the 2010 free agent bonanza more than the Finals? Even though I have a sneaking suspicion that it'll be totally boring and everyone will just resign with their team for all the $$$ they can get. But there's that 1% chance of a super team!

Blogger chris said...
stephanie g: But there's probably a 2% chance of an all-crazy team somewhere around there! Think of the way the Jail Blazers were could happen again.


Nice little writeup here on how Gilbert chose absolutely the wrong time to start his Twitter feed - well short of his original plan to only start posting once achieving a million followers!

Blogger chris said...
A news outlet in the not-quite-a-suburb-of-Toronto locale of Hamilton sheds some light on the gambling aspect of this case.

And guess which all-time-great-with-a-biting-HOF-speech got some anecdotal action!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Is it bad that I'm looking forward to the 2010 free agent bonanza more than the Finals? Even though I have a sneaking suspicion that it'll be totally boring and everyone will just resign with their team for all the $$$ they can get. But there's that 1% chance of a super team!

Hm...bad? No. I'm actually kinda stoked to see who goes where. I doubt we'll see a super team, but I bet there's some movement, which is always fun. I'm just afraid that Bosh will team with D-Wade in Miami or somesuch instead of anybody going to the Bulls...leaving Chicago management sitting around with all that cash and nobody to spend it on. It happened before, which (gulp) is how Ben Wallace ended up fleecing them for a $60 million contract.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
news outlet in the not-quite-a-suburb-of-Toronto locale of Hamilton sheds some light on the gambling aspect of this case.

Jesus. Why couldn't this dispute have gotten solved with a bitch slap or a basketball to the face, like the Charles Oakley-Tyrone Hill feud?

Of course, if Agent Zero had put a bunch of guns down in front of Oak's locker, future poop scientists would still be finding fragments of those guns in the fossilized remains of Gilbert's colon in the year 3025.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Hey, maybe Gilbert Arenas will be available through no choice of his own! ;)

Anonymous hemboleps said...
"or whatever reason, fans tend to become bitter and resentful when players sign big-money contracts and don't immediately play up to (or above) the level of that contract. (For further reading, see Lewis, Rashard.)"

For further further reading, see Brand, Elton

Anonymous hemboleps again said...
this Bullets team is hurtin'. Just ask DeShawn Stevenson: "It's like a black cloud over us. Hit us over the head again and we might break.

Remember how Stevenson got that fugly scar/crack-like tattoo on his face because "that's the only way he's gonna get one"?

Blogger chris said...
So the Bullets have removed their huge Gilbert Arenas banner from the Phone Booth...while in a sad side note, a charity program for schools in the District will go unfunded due to the suspension.

quality article

Blogger chris said...
Yes, I know the comment right before this is spam but...anyone mentioning "Mario" here has to get props! LOL. :D

Blogger chris said...
Great post by Adrian Wojnaroski that pretty much echoes Bawful's thoughts of this being just as much of a tragedy of personality as it is a severe moment of doofusness.

Looking at the "Last Straw" photo makes me wonder what all the other guys in the photo think, are their smiles genuine or they are just being polite to somebody who used to be one of them but fucked up so bad and now is getting exiled (in the full and true meaning of the word, Siberia style). Hell, even Shaq and Stephen Jackson wouldn't comment...