Hope At Last
I'd been getting depressed about the Wizards' prospects for next season. The center of the team is Agent Zero, Professor of Gilbertology who, by all accounts, requires a steady diet of perceived slights in order to motivate himself. Recently, though, the slights hadn't been coming. After being snubbed for the All-Star Game, he wound up as David Stern's replacement for the injured Jermaine O'Neal. Then came the playoffs where I kept hearing national television commentators describing him as "underrated" and explaining to the fans that he, like LeBron James, is one of the best young players in the league. Then he's named to the Third Team All-NBA and selected for the Team USA roster where he wound up not making the final cut allegedly due to injury. All-in-all, Arenas was at risk of getting too fat, happy, and satisfied. But now he's bringing the bitterness:
"No joke, I felt like I was the 16th man on a 15-man roster," Arenas said. "You are there to support your team and support your country and be happy to play but you know, I did everything they wanted me to do; but if I did everything they wanted me to do, why am I on the bubble of getting cut? I sacrificed. You've got LeBron being LeBron. You've got Carmelo being Carmelo. You've got D-Wade being D-Wade. Why can't I be me? Why do I have to transform? I did that and now you are going to cut me?"
Right on! Fuck those guys. Let Gilbert be Gilbert! Yes, of course, it's true that there was nothing actually unfair about this, but as long as Gilbert feels it was unfair we're on solid ground. His apparent good attitude about being asked to transform himself into either a traditional point guard or a spot-up shooter (again, the right things to ask of him as a member of Team USA) was indicative of a distressing lack of egomania. Now we're in good shape. Indeed, if I believed for a minute that Darius Songaila was going to add "toughness" to the team (that's what the front office wants us to believe), I'd be downright optimistic.