As we probably all know at this point, Gilbert Arenas' "big announcement" was that he was named as the cover boy for NBA Live 2008. With a smile as wide as a giddy schoolgirl, Arenas called the news "big, and said that "it makes my whole rehabbing that much better."
The spectacle didn't sit well with Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, who ripped into Gilbert in a blog entry earlier today. Wojnarowski, who clearly suffers from the classic sportswriter's disease of accepting a faulty self-fulfilling prophecy as truth, wonders whether such behavior is acceptable for a "franchise player" like Gilbert.
Here's what they don't say: "I have to pat myself on the back for that one. I have the copies of the game and I have been giving them to all my teammates. I let them know that next year, October 2, they have no choice but to look at me. Your kids, brothers, sisters, they have no choice but to look at me. I'm not only in the game, I'm on the cover of it."
It just amazes me sometimes how many sportswriters, and writers in general, react to a personality that does not fit the dominant archetype. Since when do franchise players have to conform to acting a certain way when they are injured and their team is in the playoffs? Just because past stars do it one way doesn't mean that everyone should.
Wojnarowski probably forgot how Gilbert's been on the bench for every playoff game, or that, as Gilbertology mentioned, he talked about his team later in the press conference. There's also the fact that, instead of redeeming himself after being cut from USA basketball, Arenas has decided he's not going to play this summer, instead rehabbing in order to help the team improve next year.
It's a legitimate question to ask whether Gil exercised poor judgement in delivering the news at this point. But to go one step further and question his commitment to the team, without asking any members of the Wizards what they thought of the press conference? That's the same type of action that leads to writers creating their own definitions and archetypes of "franchise players" in the first place.
As long as he's not pissing any of his teammates off, who cares whether Gilbert doesn't exactly fit the mold of a typical star? It may annoy you, the writer and the fan, but unless it's actually bothers the team, I implore writers like Wojnarowski to keep their personal opinions to themselves.