Surely by now you've probably heard Tony Kornheiser's comments on Gilbert Arenas, but just in case you missed it. Here's what he had to say to Dan Levy on the On The DL Podcast yesterday regarding Agent Zero:
"Gilbert Arenas is the worst person on Earth. He's a coach killer and a team killer. He's a team killer, Gilbert Arenas. That's why - he got Eddie Jordan fired. He didn't play."
Personally, I think the whole thing was a bit overblown. Everyone knows that Tony has a tendency to go overboard to make a point and pretty much anytime that anyone is labeled the worst person on Earth you can classify that as going overboard. I think that combined with a really slow news day helped to turn the whole event into a bigger deal than it should've been, which is why I tried to avoid the subject yesterday.
But in the wake of all the drama yesterday, there were some really thought provoking pieces from several prominent D.C. bloggers. After the jump, you can check out some of what they had to say about Tony's comments.
I'll grant that the "worst person on earth" bit was a dash of Kornheiseristic hyperbole. But the coach killer and the team killer? Before his knee broke, Gilbert won the Wiz their first playoff series in two decades. He also filled the stands, sold jerseys, hit last-second shots, became the most popular athlete in this city and made people care about that sorry basketball franchise. That's a strange list of accomplishments for a team killer.
Broken knee aside, Gilbert didn't really force the Wizards to start this season 1-10. He didn't break a baseball bat over Brendan Haywood's wrist or throw an iron into DeShawn Stevenson's back. He had nothing to do with the fact that the Wiz's winning percentage actually increased after Eddie Jordan got fired.
What about when a healthy Arenas led the Wizards franchise to three straight playoff appearances after they went 23 years without winning a playoff series? It seems impossible to be that successful and a team killer all at the same time.
Look, I’ve railed on Gilbert Arenas plenty … most due to his comments about voting, and subsequent silliness. But I still believe in the guy (at least for the time being).
That said, not sure how many people can validly claim that Arenas is a coach/team killer … communication issues, the need to change his game, and cheap talk notwithstanding.
Say he can’t be serious, say he plays too much. But don’t call him a team killer. Especially when the Wizards aren’t much of a team without him playing.
I get that Kornheiser has to continually live up to a personal brand he’s worked hard to market, so I won’t knock him the brashness of his comment. He gets paid to do it, and he does it well.