crying indian
Crying Indian sheds a single, dramatic tear for Gilbert Arenas.

Gilbert Arenas -- formerly Agent Zero, Hibatchi, The Clown Prince of the NBA, etc. -- was a real poopy pants during training camp. It may be hard for a lower middle class schmuck like me to imagine how somebody making nearly $18 million dollars this year to play basketball could be so forlorn and miserable, but Arenas is accomplishing the hell out of it.

And I thought Iron Eyes Cody had mastered the Sad Face. Not so!

Gil's latest words of woe, via Michael Lee of the Washington Post, are as follows:

"I lost all feeling a long time ago. Basketball is basketball now, no matter what floor I'm on," Arenas said with a shrug. "It's just basketball. It's not rocket scientist. You go out there and you just play."
Well, I'm glad to know basketball is "not rocket scientist." And could that "I lost all feeling a long time ago" line be any more emo? Even the most die-hard Twilight fan would be too embarrassed to scribble that line onto their official Forks, Washington stationary right before crying themselves to sleep in the arms of a Team Edward teddy bear.

And that's saying something. I think.

Here's another one. After giving the semi-cold shoulder to former teammates Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler before last night's exhibition game against the Dallas Mavericks, Arenas said:

"My job is to not make friends. My job is to help this team win and saying hello to my old teammates was not part of the job."
Huh. I guess Gilbert forgot to take his human being pills yesterday.

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Anonymous kazam92 said...
He's at two extremes. Its like if he hits a game winner, he won't give a shit. I kinda miss 2006 Gil.

Then I realize how much money he's made

Blogger Will said...
you could've had had fun with this one, Bawful. you could've played Guess That Disgruntled Athlete with the quotes. I would have gone with the LA Clippers in unison.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The thing about Gil is he has always been a child...he does incredibly childish things and then when he's punished, he sulks like a child. It's as if he thinks he either has to be full-on happy-go-lucky Gil or morose Gil. There's no middle ground with him. Just black and white. And that's an indication of someone who's never grown up.

Anonymous Barry said...
The man's downright dispassionate about this whole thing now. This doesn't bode well for the Wizards.

Which bodes well for us at Basketbawful.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey Bawful, just so you know:

In the anual NBA GM Survey, some GM actually voted for Joe Johnson as the most UNDERRATED player aquisition.

Oh and some moron also thinks Tyson Chandler will make the most impact of all the players who changed teams. Kahn just never changes, does he?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Gilbert was ahead of his time with regards to using Internet social media to interact with fans.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
You forgot this gem:

“It’s a double-headed sword,” Arenas said.


WV: lowsie- as in, Gilbert's English is lowsie

Blogger Unknown said...
How many Cure albums did Gil listen to in prison? Maybe he's a Smiths fan? Are these references too old?

Please have a high-scoring offense, Washington, so we can dub your backcourt "Run and Gun."

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Sounds awfully familiar. Am I the only one thinking this could be a hormonal issue?

Blogger Unknown said...
i guess he just realized Wall's potential, wonder if he can keep this up 'till 2014

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
If there is any justice in the internet, "It's not rocket scientist" will become a meme.

Blogger Unknown said...
If I'm not mistaken, Gil's got a lot to pissed off about with his old teammates... if there's any truth to the statement he made here about the gun joke

"They asked me to do it,'' Arenas said.

Anonymous said...
Anyone who can roll Arenas, emo and Iron Eyes Cody into a post, is deserving of some award.

Anonymous JJ said...
$111 million dollar says he can't keep this up for the whole season.

Anonymous RT said...
Sorry to be off-topic but I saw a very interesting vid (got it off of Yahoo). It looks like there's been a Dream and Dwight connection in the offseason.

I've said it here before, and I'll say it again, give Dwight quality training time with Hakeem and he'd be all kinds of basketbawesome.

That is, if he actually uses what the Dream teaches.

I mean, Dwight with more than 1.5 post moves and a fadeaway jumper? Scary.

Anonymous Original said...
@RT: In the brief highlights I saw of the first Magic preseason game, Dwight worked the paint pretty nicely. We'll have to see if this is a real improvement, but it would be pretty sweet if it were.

@everyone: Like Anonymous 1 pointed out, Gil has very child-like reactions to things. Maybe he never got a chance to truly grow up, which probably happens a lot with NBA players, especially stars. LBJ certainly comes to mind. The price of celebrity is the sanity of these individuals. Sure they are great basketball players, but what IS that in the grand scheme of things? Celebrity creates delusions of grandeur at the very least -- yes, these people are 'grand' in the sense that they are known by many people, but, in the case of NBA players, they are not doing much besides playing basketball, making a lot of money, hopefully donating to charities. Yet the attention they get creates an illusion that they are far beyond normal man. But at the basal level, they are still the same creature as us. Honestly I feel a little bad for Gil because he's probably clinically depressed considering what he's gone through, but must remain in the limelight. For what? For a bunch of money? Are millions upon millions of dollars worth it when, in order to get it all, you are severely compromising your mental well-being? I'm not sure. Then again, what else is he going to do? It's a tight rope and, all things considered, I'd probably rather not walk it. Best of luck to Gil, maybe he'll figure it out. Maybe he's a lost cause, who knows?

On an unrelated note: Bawful, are you going to talk about any preseason games? Maybe run us through some of your thoughts? Always very insightful stuff. Thanks for the quality writing.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
@RT + Original: Dwight looked great in that video. The question is.. why hasn't he been working his ass off at that stuff in the offseason for years?

Blogger zyth said...
let's be a jackass and give y'all some sleepless nights.

wow. good thing this is amar'''''''es preseason and not, you know, learning to hustle on the boards or something

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
The problem with that video of Dwight and Hakeem is that it doesn't address Dwight's #1 weakness in the post: reading the defense. Sure he can do all those things against nobody in an empty gym but when the game starts he has no sense of the post whatsoever. He decides what move he is going to use before he even knows if that is what the defense is giving him and if it is taken away, well, it's too late to do anything about it (which is why he so often winds up shooting some fade-away hook shot from near the free throw line).

What Dwight needs is a coach to toss him entry passes and a Shawn Bradley and Oliver Miller to practice posting up against over and over and over. He also needs to work on his release which is usually way too low.

Seeing that video, did anybody else think Hakeem can still beat Dwight 1 on 1 today? The dude was still quick as hell.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Gil's last chance of becoming a player worth much is over. Sad.

Hakeem, eh? Dwight won't come close to Hakeem because he'll never have that baseline fadeaway. Unstoppable. Dwight has no delicate shooting touch, so he'll never be able to do most of that stuff. That caps his skill level. As soon as he loses his athleticism with age, Dwight isn't worth much, because he just doesn't have the brains and skills of top centers. That's why Dream is one of the best ever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Who cares if Howard doesn't have Olajuwon's fadeaway? So what? I'm no Howard fan but the guy gets shat on way too much for as historically great as he is. He doesn't need the fadeaway to take it to another level. All he needs is to hit at least 65-70 percent of his FTs and he'll be an unstoppable weapon. His shooting numbers are ridiculously great and they're not solely from dunks. His jump hook is very good. The guy is one of the greatest defensive players ever. It's remarkable that the Magic are as good as they are defensively despite starting Carter, Nelson and Lewis and it's all because of Howard.

I loved watching Hakeem but he had his faults as well. Looking over his numbers, I was surprised at what an underwhelming FT shooter he was--mid to low 70s most years. For a guy who is legitimately considered one of the most skilled big men ever, a lowpost innovator, the FT shooting numbers are surprising. Then there are his percentages from the field, which were mostly in the low fifties. Up to his age 29 season, he was sort of a volume scorer, with average to slightly above average TS percentages. Whether it's a gorgeous drop step move or a stiffly released jump hook, they all count the same and it's the rate you make them that matter most.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Dwight Howard one of the greatest defensive players ever? It's a good thing you posted anonymously because there goes your credibility.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So Howard is not a great defender? Maybe it's a little premature to include "ever" on a historical scale, I'll grant you that, but I don't think it's hyperbole to state that he's one of the greatest defenders the NBA has ever seen on a peak scale. Orlando basically sells out for an offensive lineup with a small point guard, a stretch four, a below average defending wing player, a defensive marker in Barnes and Pietrus who are only just above average defenders and yet they've been a top three defense the last two years. That's a credit to Dwight.

The scary thing is how good Orlando's defense could be if they ever put a strong defender at PF next to him, one who could also rebound and block shots. They'll suffer offensively but they would have a chance at being one of the best defenses of all-time. That might be Orlando's best way towards a championship, one because it'll counter the offensive weapons of Miami but also because teams with historically great defenses usually have won championships.

Anyway, there are not many guys who have the ability to anchor an all-time defense like Howard can. That list only goes Russell, Duncan, Robinson, Garnett and so on.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Reading what I typed I was a bit rude and I apologize. Here's the way I see it:

Howard is an average, at best, 1 on 1 defender. He gives up position too easily, is bamboozled by anyone with a decent post game and doesn't even bother to get into much of a defensive stance when forced into the perimeter which means his man often gets by him without much difficulty. For such a great rebounder, he also forgets to box out at times.

He undeniably excels at weak-side shot blocking but his penchant for jumping at everything that comes his way means he often gives up easy putbacks and layups. He can also get faked off his feet too easily.

I also think you're underestimating his teammates. Pietrus and Barnes were strong 1 on 1 defenders (as is Gortat, in my opinion), and pretty much everyone in Orlando save Rashard Lewis is a decent to very good team defender, including Vince Carter and JJ Redick. The Magic run a defensive system where Howard's abilities (hops, reach) are maximized and his deficiencies (basketball IQ, lateral quickness) are minimized. He IS the anchor of that team on D and irreplaceable to them on that end but he is also a limited defender. He is a lot closer to Marcus Camby than David Robinson (in my eyes the best weak-side defender ever) and nothing at all like Russell or Garnett who were extremely versatile and as good at 1 on 1 defense as they were at anchoring their teams. I think that if there were more post players in the league there wouldn't be so much of an effort to crown Howard Defensive Player of the Year season after season. With the lack of back to the basket bigs though, he can pretty much coast on that end 4 nights out of 5.

I do agree with you that the Magic need a real power forward more than anything. If they could somehow trade Vince Carter for a Udonis Haslem type (then again, any team worth its salt would kill for a Udonis Haslem type) they might be on the same level as LA and Boston instead of a tier below. This is assuming that the lack of an extra shooter on the court wouldn't affect Howard's offense which it very easily might.

Anonymous Mladen said...
What Hellshocked said. I mean, seriously, Howard has been one of the greatest disappointments for me in the last few years. First, he wasn't getting much love, possibly because the previous #1 pick was James, and guys like Okafor and Gordon were getting the spotlight. At that time, I kept pointing at Howard's numbers and telling people that he's actually a pretty awesome and consistent player. Then he went and took all that HGH and turned into the most impressive-looking player in the NBA. Everybody, including Bawful (and myself, of course) was in love with him, comparing him with all-time greats and gushing over his animal-sized double-doubles. Then came the 2009 Finals. I had already watched some videos, which quite handily explained his weaknesses and how to exploit them. Against the Lakers, where I foolishly expected him to prove (the small number of) naysayers wrong, by dominating the marshmallow-like Gasol, and the handicapped Bynum, he sucked like hell. He blew donkey balls. I'm sorry for the language, but that's what he did. He seemed flabbergasted at the sight of a big defender standing between him and the basket, and he was definitely not used to the increased defensive pressure - you know, the kind of pressure that one should expect in the playoffs. After that, in my opinion, it was all downhill. He started spending more time goofing around in commercials, than working on improving himself. Unlike James, he had a solid team built around him (with the exception of Vag Carter), and especially for him, yet in the playoffs, freaking Perkins managed to shut him down with single coverage. You can crown him all you want, but everything that Hellshocked pointed out stands.
Don't get me wrong, though. I'd love to see him improve his game, and take it to the next level. I hope that working out with Hakeem actually left an impact on him.