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Gilbert Arenas: Unsupportive Teammate?

4/13/2007

Gilbert Arenas has never done the best job of talking like a teammate. His fascination, at least in interviews, is with proving his own worth to all those who ever doubted him. But that's a misdemeanor, right? Who cares what motivates him as long as he prepares like a maniac and plays the right way?

Now he's blogging that he can't even bring himself to watch whole games of his team on TV:

Unfortunately, I've been catching glimpses of my team.

I try to watch the good parts ... so I won't watch the last four or five minutes. I'll watch the good part of the game.

Caron pages me every day.

He has never paged me in the two years he's been here and then when I get hurt, he pages me every day.

He keeps saying, "I'm going to page you every day."

I'm like, "Lord have mercy."

When he says every day, he means every day.

But all my teammates have text or called me. I even got outside messages and calls. Jermaine O'Neal called me. Salim Stoudemire called. Melo sent a text. You know so, that was a joy to see people support me and see how I'm doing.

Need to Stop Watching Hoops
I'm one of those guys, I can't watch basketball without wanting to go play. You know, so when I'm watching it, I'm sitting there dribbling the basketball.

And then I get all anxious and I'm like, "Man, I think I can just go shoot or something. I think I can shoot ... Let's go in there and shoot..."

And then I'm like, "No, you can't go in there and shoot..."

So I'm like, "Well, I can't watch then!"

You see somebody do a move and it's like, "Man, I remember when my leg was good. I could do that move ..."

So I just try to watch movies ...

I get it, that it pains him so to be reminded what he can't do. Can't fault the man for making the tough decisions that come with the de facto depression that must result from his last few weeks.

But does it even enter his thought process that he has the power to give his teammates an emotional lift? That he might inspire them?

Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog has supported Arenas all year. But he read the passage above and felt all icky:

Not to make too much of this, but Caron Butler is visibly wrenching his body in misery, courtside, exhorting his teammates on while the Wizards are losing these games, and Gil can't even bother to watch the end on TV? Because he's gotta watch another X-Men movie? I've supported this goof through virtually everything, on the theory that sports are entertainment and all entertainment is better than no entertainment, but that kinda turns even my stomach.

I'll tell you what: Caron Butler is looking good throughout this entire process.