Gilbert Arenas is a huge part of the reason I got back into the NBA. Back in 2004 the Redskins stunk and the Caps weren't even playing games. But pro basketball seemed to be coming back from the late 90s, when I openly wished they'd lock out the players and never let them back in.
Suddenly, for the first time since the Webber years (the end of which probably led to me giving up on the NBA in the first place) I was at least able to watch a relevant team again. Better yet, the straw that stirred the drink was a funny, engaging, open book of a sniper who didn't take anything too seriously. He was the exact antithesis of the Vin Bakers and Shawn Kemps of the league and I didn't feel bad about being a fan. When he hit the shot that sunk the Bulls I figured it was the beginning.
We all know what's happened since.
I still see flashes of the guy that single-handedly brought me back to the NBA (he may not write again anytime soon, but his twitter feed last night was a throwback and a half), but the last three years have gone a long way toward turning him into just another overpaid player with more problems than Don Draper.
And now this. After Sean Taylor, I understand players having guns. As much as I hate that it comes down to that, pro contracts, ESPN, and adidas ads are all a big red target on a person's back. But my god. Stupid petty crap like this (if it's true; I have no reason to believe it isn't now that it has been picked up by ESPN and SI) makes a mockery of the second amendment and the people who respect their guns and don't use them for gambling debts that could almost certainly be covered out of pocket. So much for being able to relate to a guy.
I guess it's Ovechkin's turn to disappoint me. If I'm lucky he'll do it by winning only 5 MVPs.