I can't stand it anymore.
I can't stand haters, the glass-half-empty crew, the ignorant "get your opinion from ESPNers", the bandwaggoners, the guys who'll expect a break in their lives when they screw up but will cut others no such consideration.
I stand before you today in appreciation of Gilbert Arenas. First, I stipulate the following:
-- It's dumb to bring guns to your workplace.
-- Gilbert has a big contract (which was based not on him holding a gun to anyone's head, but based on his on-the-court performance).
-- Gilbert -- and every other NBA player out there -- live a completely different life than I do.
Okay, that being said:
-- Gilbert has paid his price. He went through the legal system and has served his time - to my understanding as a model individual. Legally, his debt to society is paid, it's the way our system works. And if it's good enough for our legal system, it's good enough for me.
-- Think about all of the good things he's done in our community. He's been accessible, charitable, and an outstanding member of our community.
-- He put the Wizards on the map again. For those of you with short memories, I remind you of a team including Anthony Goldwire, Tyrone Nesby, Ike Austin, Chris Whitney (I liked him, though), and Laron Profit. No other player in recent history - except MJ during his comeback - did more to put our franchise on the map and infuse the then MCI Center with a sense of excitement.
-- We all were, both around town and in this virtual space, the community of "hibachi!" Of Agent Zero. Of the Steve Buckhantz "DAGGER!" as you gaze onto the court and see Gil, right arm raised in the sky and wrist cocked post-jump shot, looking as if that 35 footer was a free throw.
I believe in redemption. I believe in second chances. I am an unabashed fan of Gilbert.
A few years ago, I talked to Gilbert's dad over the phone - I' wanted to interview him, but he called me while I was driving in traffic and I couldn't pull over to take notes. Anyway, Gil's dad talked about his son's drive and determination. And as I recall, he also talked about the web and how there were people who just didn't know what they were talking about posting all kinds of tripe.
Gil, if you or your peeps read this, I hope you take all of negativity and put it into that place that only you know - the one that will drive you to make your comeback truly successful. And then, you can look at all of the negativity, the blogger, the whoever and you'll know who has won.
Gilbert Arenas is my guy. I'm a fan. Period.
Gilbert Arenas Shrine opener.