D.C. Sports Bog: Gilbert Arenas expects to get booed

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By Dan Steinberg
Thursday, February 3, 2011; 4:19 PM

Gilbert Arenas is a basketball player who says crazy stuff. That's all that I feel comfortable saying after listening to a radio interview in which he accused the mother of his children of trying to destroy him, said someone killed his sharks by throwing pennies in their tank, said going to the halfway house was what he needed since he got good rest there and learned how to play chess, and said he would be disappointed if he wasn't booed during his return to D.C. on Friday night.

I'm going off my quick typing, and not taped audio, so this might have a few changed words or omissions here or there. It was good radio, though. This all came on 106.7 The Fan's Mike Wise Show.

On whether he regretted his blog persona: "You know, I thought about that probably a year ago when I decided to cut the blog off, because I felt everybody wasn't enjoying it for entertainment. It was like, what I say in my blog is not who I am as a person. Just like you go watch a Denzel movie and he plays a bad guy: that don't mean he's a bad guy in real life. He's acting for you, and that's what my blog was, it's entertainment....So that gave me the chance to say the stupid stuff I think and other athletes think without being criticized.

"To say I wish I didn't do it, I would be lying, because I had fun doing it and I know that people actually enjoyed it, loved it. So for the people who hated me for it, it was just entertainment. That's all it was. My whole persona now is basically from my blog. When people think about me, that's all they think: he's crazy, he's psycho, he's this. No, that was just my blog, that was Agent Zero, that was my persona that I was putting out there. And eventually that all caught up with me. My in-the-gym persona got caught up with my real life, and that's what I'm dealing with now."

On John Wall's future with the Wiz: Being a number one pick is gonna always have its pressure. It was more pressure on him coming in because he's coming in as the white horse, that keeps saving the organization, so that's a lot of pressure in itself. Any person that would have came in, him or Evan Turner, they're coming in as damage control. Now you've got a guy who's replacing me and he's feeling so much pressure, that's why I tried to take the pressure off him by saying this is your team, go out there and play basketball."

On whether these Wiz are mentally fragile: "Well, for the most part, the whole team is young. You have a couple veterans sprinkled in there, but for the most part, nine of the players who play never really played basketball at a high level. The oldest player that plays is 'Dray, and he's never really played the game of basketball. His best year was last year...he doesn't really know winning basketball. So he doesn't really know how to win yet. None of those players actually know how to win, and that's just the downfall of what's going on right now."

On telling Blatche the fans would turn on him: "I was like yo, when I leave, you gonna be the man in charge, and they gonna boo you just as fast as they booed me. Because at the end of the day when you get paid and you haven't really produced -- and that's what 'Dray did, he got paid for his potential, Ernie paid him for his potential -- so once I'm gone, they can't look at me no more. They can't criticize me any more. So the next person they criticize has to be you....People are gonna be looking at you and see how you played, so when they talk negative they're gonna be talking about Andray Blatche, not me any more."

Oh whether his sharks are alive: Unfortunately not....A simple remedy of somebody throwing pennies in the fish tank."

On his message to D.C. fans: "Um, we'll start with the people that's upset. You know, some people just can't forgive. And that's just the way life is. You know, I can't forgive some things, either. At some point I hope they can forgive me as a person. Maybe not as a basketball player. Maybe i wasn't worth the contract. Hey, I don't think anyone's worth $100 million if Michael Jordan wasn't, but hey, that's what Abe Pollin thought I was worth, and if someone put $100 million in front of you, you're gonna take it, too....So for the people who can't forgive some of the stupid things I've done and did, I was just trying to be entertaining. And when I got hurt and I'm sitting there, I can't do anything, so I'm just trying to entertain you somehow. And the people who love me, I just want to say thank you for hanging in there and I love you guys and all the support you gave me."

On his welcome Friday night: "I probably would be disappointed going into a building and everyone cheered and no no one booed me because it is basketball."

On being in the halfway house: "It's hard to recover from you being the man and then you get dropped to nothing, so I just tried to look at everything as a learning experience. So when I was in the halfway house I actually learned how to play chess.... Something I always wanted to learn to play....To be honest with you, that was some of the best rest I ever had....I wasn't getting no support at the house because I guess that was a way of her jumping on the bandwagon too, of beating Gilbert Arenas down, so me going in the halfway house with other people like me, so great. These people can't actually judge me because they're like me, too. So I got rest in, and for some odd reason this was what I needed at the time. I just needed to get away, be alone and just hide."

On his D.C. memories: "There's always gonna be good and bad, but hopefully there's more good than bad."


© 2011 The Washington Post Company

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