Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gilbert steals the show at media day

It was media day today for the Washington Wizards, and if you know the Wizards well, you knew that Gilbert Arenas was going to find a way to amuse and entertain. Sure enough, according to this ESPN.com article, Gilbert surprised us all once again, announcing that he is planning on hiring a company to install a tent that will simulate a high-altitude setting.

You heard that right. Instead of going to train in high altitude, Gilbert has decided to bring the high altitude to his own home. Not only that, but he's also having the company install a portable high-altitude tent for him to bring on the road.

WASHINGTON -- Take a deep breath, and get ready for the latest in Gilbertology: Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas is thinning the air in his house.

"I had my house converted to the Colorado altitude, so I am always above sea level," Arenas said Monday at the Wizards annual pre-training camp media day.

Say what? He's going to live at high altitude in the nation's capital?

"You know, that's kind of weird," Arenas said.

He'll get plenty of nods with that statement, but, yep, he's really doing it. Instead of going to the mountains to train -- as some endurance athletes do -- Arenas has hired a company to simulate those conditions in a home environment.

"I had to put a tent in one room, and then they are going to come during training camp and fix the whole house," Arenas said. "Then I have a portable tent I'm taking on the road."

Arenas hopes the living arrangement will give him more energy in the fourth quarter of NBA games, when everyone else is getting tired from breathing the same old heavy air.

"How I start the game is how I finish the game," he said.

Gilbert also took the time on media day to apologize for his Team USA rant earlier in the summer.

Shortly afterward, Arenas vented his frustration, telling The Washington Post that he was going to exact revenge on Team USA assistant coaches Nate McMillan and Mike D'Antoni by scoring 100 points each on their respective teams, Portland and Phoenix.

On Monday, Arenas apologized -- not a bad idea if he wants to make the Olympic team in two years.

"I said some things, and I vented out against Phoenix and Portland, but those teams actually had nothing to do with anything," Arenas said. "That was wrong of me. I really want to say sorry for it and I want to say sorry to Mike D'Antoni. That was the immature Gilbert two months ago. I'm growing as a person, and I'm ready to be a leader for the Washington Wizards."

Even so, Arenas said the snub means he will be more motivated this year.

"There always someone out there who keeps me going," he said, "and I like it."

I wouldn't read too much into the apology. It seems that Gilbert still has his head focused and I wouldn't be shocked to see him actually score 50 against Portand or Phoenix, considering that both teams aren't exactly defensive juggernauts.

Most of the time, strange actions like these can be a bit of a distraction to the team. The difference, however, between a Gilbert Arenas and a Terrell Owens or Keyshawn Johnson is that Gilbert always reminds us that he's not bigger than the team. In some way, Gilbert brings some attention to the team itself or the importance of him becoming a true leader. Today, it was his apology, which ended with the comment that he is becoming a better person and is ready to be a true leader for this Wizards team.

I think it's safe to say that no athlete is as simultaneously amusing and serious in sports than Gilbert Arenas. He's able to joke around and be completely ridiculous, but he is able to also take his job very seriously. Anyone who criticizes Arenas as being a distraction and a jerk are completely short-sighted. Until we see Arenas engage in behavior detrimental to the Wizards, he has the right to say and do whatever he wants, whether it be installing high altitude in his house, switch his jersey at will, or play online poker at halftime.

What other star athletes historically have been as goofy as Gilbert Arenas? Do you think the act is getting old, or can we simply allow Gilbert to be Gilbert?

(image via The Hype)

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Blogger Lil Dice said...

Having a portable high altitude tent further justifies my love for Arenas.

7:46 PM

Anonymous thehype said...

"That was the immature Gilbert two months ago. I'm growing as a person, and I'm ready to be a leader for the Washington Wizards."

No Gilbert, I think you're ready to be the leader for our hearts. Arenas is a rare gem in today's "I'm here to take care of business" NBA, he should conduct his own post-game interviews for all I care.

*waves to SG/lil dice (jesus, you're everywhere!.. I'm tailgating of course)*

8:54 PM


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