'Agent Zero' Has Become NBA's Clown Prince

Discussion in 'Washington Wizards' started by Shapecity, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Shapecity

    Shapecity S2/JBB Teamster Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 30, 2003
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    <div class="quote_poster">Quote:</div><div class="quote_post">LAS VEGAS - The equation in Gilbert Arenas' hyperactive, calculating and often clownish mind was simple: The crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center -- for the NBA All-Star Game! -- was dead during a timeout in the second half. The Elvis impersonators had just missed a couple of dunk attempts off a mini-trampoline. And the self- proclaimed Mr. Excitement was in the building, all warmed up.

    So Arenas, in his Eastern Conference All-Star warmups, grabbed a ball, tore downcourt and vaulted off the tramp, slamming home a fantasy dunk to jolt the fans awake.

    Uh oh: Eddie Jordan, the East coach who happens to be Arenas' sideline boss with the Washington Wizards, stared slack-jawed at his best player and resident goof.

    "Oh, he seen it. I don't think he was too happy at first," said Arenas, who attributed the stunt to a dare from Shaquille O'Neal and claimed that Miami's big man now will write a seven-figure check to charity. "But once I dunked it and landed, everybody was happy.

    "You know coaches don't want you to go out there and get hurt. But I don't know, I was no higher than LeBron [James] and Dwyane [Wade] when they jump."

    Oh, you could find a few people who might argue that Arenas, day in and day out, is higher (naturally or otherwise) than just about any other player in the NBA. More than ever, the Wizards' scoring star (28.8 points per game, second in the league) gets a buzz by creating a buzz. With both his mouth and his antics, he makes "Agent Zero" (his current nickname of choice) a lightning rod of attention, then charges his batteries from it.

    So much so that -- in the wake of Arenas' third consecutive All-Star appearance, as he and his Washington teammates resume play tonight by playing host to the Timberwolves -- the tough question is: Is he one of the best zany players in NBA history or one of the zaniest good players?

    "Today, we're so concerned about our image, nobody wants to [have fun] anymore," Arenas said. "I didn't really have the big name, so I'm going to go out there and enjoy myself."

    If the Wolves' Kevin Garnett is the Grim Reaper on an NBA floor, glaring and molars grinding, Arenas is a court jester. Obviously, there is room for both.

    "He's entertainment," Garnett said. "Not a lot of hype. Things Gilbert does is a lot of fact. Gets buckets. He's the reason that team wins when they win. ... He, at times, man, is a little bit over the top. But he's well-deserving of everything." </div>


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