Bullets Fever

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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A follow up to yesterday

A day has passed since yesterday's entry, and Gilbert Arenas has somewhat addressed the issue of his inconsistent start in his blog. The entry still gave me the feeling that he's overthinking a little too much, but he does bring up a couple interesting moments that lead me to think that he's going to be okay.

The first was his meeting with Ernie Grunfeld. Grunfeld correctly mentioned to Arenas that he's improved in many other facets of his game.
He felt I was down because he asked me, “How do you think you’re playing this year?” And I told him, “Oh, I’m not playing very well.” And he was like, “Numbers don’t lie.” So he showed me the numbers, he said besides the shooting percentage, everything is up. Steals is up, rebounds up, assists up…
The other was this seemingly offhand statement.
You know what’s funny? As much as I’m complaining about not getting to the free throw line, I’m having more free throws than I did last year.
I sometimes wonder whether Arenas is self-aware, but I've started to realize that he is more aware of his actions than it seems. His brain seems to function in a way where he understands that his complaints are sometimes unnecessary, but also truely believes that he's right. It's a subconscious inner conflict that can cloud his mind at times when it should be more open.

Again, this is mostly my personal theory. I'm no psychologist, but as a college student trying to involve himself in many causes, I get the same struggles to concentrate as Arenas seems to get.

A few bloggers have also responded to the situation. True Hoop had this to say.
This season everyone, especially Gilbert Arenas, had the idea that Arenas was going to be an MVP candidate. In years past he was seen as a good player, even a great player (especially for a second-round pick). Now he's supposed to be outdueling the likes of Dwyane, LeBron, and Kobe every night.

And that changes everything. Because it used to be that if he had an OK game, that was OK. Now if he has an OK game, everyone--especially Gilbert Arenas--needs someone to blame.

It also means that on nights when he's just not scoring effectively--which hasn't been all that rare--well, the system, driven by the expectation that he's this team's savior, still seems to be in place for him to keep firing away. Just in the month of November he has had games of 2-12, 6-20, 6-23, 5-19, 7-20, 9-25, 8-26, and 1-12. Ouch.

Brett Edwards of The Association and NBA Fanhouse takes Arenas' side and agrees that the officials, particularly Steve Javie, are giving Arenas a raw deal.
The real problem here isn't Arenas, or his alleged need to adjust to the officiating. It's the refereeing of one Steve Javie. Now unless you've been a close follower of the top teams in the league, you may not recognize this official as being any better or worse than the rest. But after sitting in person at several playoffs and Finals games where Javie was involved, I can assure you that this guy has it in for star players, especially in their home building.
DC Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg feels like this will all boil over and Arenas will be back to his sniping ways.
Seriously, you usually think of guys popping off about the officiating when they're still in the heat of the moment, but I see this more as Gil's very straight-faced ruminations on the changing whims of referees, which is why he's saying the same thing in the same words on his blog. I wouldn't worry, all you people worrying about his well-being and focus and distractions and all that. He'll go for 40 or 45 within the next week.
I realize that people probably got the wrong idea from the last line of yesterday's post. Looking back on it, I realize I came off a little too strongly against Arenas at the end. I don't necessarily believe he should explicitly stop blogging or stop sponsering his HALO as I seemed to suggest. I'm really just saying that I think Arenas has to prioritize more effectively. This is not to say that he believes outside endeavors are almost as important as basketball, but it does mean that he needs to realize the limits of his own mind and try to scale down to casues he truely believes are important.

As much as I love Gilbert Arenas the person, at the end of the day, he's paid to play basketball first. If he's playing below his potential, it's a problem. I believe he'll turn it around, but if Arenas continues this inconsistent act, the Wizards are going to continue to struggle.

How much of an issue is this latest controversy? Is it even an issue at all?

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