We can't remember Gilbert Arenas without remembering some of the pranks he pulled on teammates during his time in D.C. We do that in the next installment of Gilbert Arenas Tribute Day.
It is sad to think that Gilbert Arenas prank stories are now going to take on the same wistful and nostalgic tones that one reserves for one's own golden days. And by all rights that's how it should be, because we should never forget how lucky we were to have one of the most humorous athletes ply his trade in the Nation's Capital. Los Angeles can have their dour and removed superstar, Boston can have their creaky and cranky warriors and Miami may have their unintentionally funny King, but we had the guy who would steal your car keys, mail them back home to a friend and have your rims removed.
The word "prank" of course now carries with it a dark connotation, as it is forever associated with Arenas bringing guns into the locker room. But we should also remember that the organization, to a degree, endorsed the silly behavior and encouraged it. Heck, the Wizards once had a free giveaway where they gave every fan a poster of Gilbert presiding over a box of doughnuts.
Sports are supposed to be fun. I think it's one of the lessons that we forget as as we grow older and grow disillusioned with professional athletes and how games are played. Sometimes, sports and athletes can both be comical. Gilbert Arenas, whether you loved him or hated him, reminded you during his seven-year tenure that the best remedy to a dire situation is to laugh about it. Or possibly, turn a fire hose upon a teammate.
As part of Gilbert Arenas Tribute Day I propose that from here on out we rank Washington sports pranks on a scale of 1-5 "Gilberts." After the jump, I look at some of Arenas' most famous pranks and rate them according to this new system.
Ah yes, the infamous "choose one" situation which landed us in this mess. Stupid at the time, still stupid now. However, we now know that guns are never funny, no matter what the setting.
Verdict - Zero Gilberts
Pooping in Andray Blatche's Shoe
I understand what people think because of the perception of me. They read the funny stuff, like me taking a crap in [teammate] Andray Blatche's shoes. But nobody is going to ask what Andray did to deserve it.
Scatological humor has its adherents but I am not one of them. I think this is a prank where it is only funny to the prankster and never to others witnessing the prank.
Verdict - One Gilbert.
Endless Prank War With Nick Young and Dominic McGuire
This of course requires a bit of explanation. It all starts with Nick Young and Dominic McGuire stealing GIlbert's IPod. It then quickly escalates into car theft. First let's hear from Gilbert from his NBA.com blog:
So I was sitting in my house playing Halo and I'm looking at my surveillance camera and I see Dominic and Nick creep up to my property all decked out. They parked across the street and they're running towards my house wearing masks and helmets. They came around the side of the house, jumped the wall, and came in through the garage. But by the time they did all that, I already was out of the house and jumped the other wall. They were in the house looking for me and I was across the street flattening their tires so when they decided to leave they'd be on flats. They looked around the house and couldn't find me so they came outside and saw me across the street flattening their tires. I called my friend and had him come pick me up and take me back to the house.
When they left the house, they stole my daddy's toaster! I like making toast! So I told them, Since you don't want to give my toaster back, it's war.
EDIT: User ThaCaronic pointed out that I left off the culmination of this epic tale. Because no story is complete without an appearance by Andray Blatche's chubby cousin.
I told them, Since you don't want to give my toaster back, it's war. He wanted his stuff back, I wanted my stuff back so I told them that we were going to have a paintball shootout.
We all went to the store like Sports Authority and bought all these paintball guns, like eight or nine new ones (because I already had three), then we bought the CO2 cartridges and like 12,000 paintballs and I even bought a couple paintball grenades.
We tried to make the teams fair.
It was Nick and Dominic and then Nick recruited last year's rookie, Andray Blatche. I thought Andray had enough of the pranks, but I guess he didn't. Andray brought his two friends, to make it five on their team.
My team was me, my friend John and three guys who were at my house hooking up stereo equipment.
So we finished buying everything and were in the store parking lot and Nick was mad that I had all the CO2 so he started to take some of mine. I was like, "Put the CO2 down or I'm going to shoot you with the paintball gun." But then he realizes I'm really going to shoot him with the paintball gun, and he puts it back. "You see what happens when you follow directions" But as I'm closing the trunk with the CO2 in it, he takes some and tries to jump in Dominic's car. I said, "Dominic, do not close that door." Nick is screaming, "Close the door Dominic! Close the door!" So Dominic left the door open. I go to Nick, "You have three seconds to put the CO2 back. One! Two!" He started to scramble to put it back and I got him anyway. I got him like six times. So he's laying in the car all mad saying, "I don't want to play no more."
So the war is still on.
I tell them that the shootout is planned for 12 o'clock midnight in my backyard because it's pure black back there. You can't see nothing. So I tell them, "12 o'clock, be in my backyard and we're going at it five on five."
We're putting all our stuff together at my place and they're putting their stuff together at their place but they are having trouble with it so I have my boy John and my other teammate Adam to go over to their place and have them help them fix their guns. And when John and Adam showed up at their place they tried to ambush them, thinking that I was going to come too. But I wasn't. So John and Adam had to run out of there.
So it's like 11:10 at night and all you here are paintball hitting the windows. POOM. POOM. POOM. POOM. POOM. They were already in the backyard. They showed up an hour early.
So we hurried up and put on all of our gear and snuck outside through some of the vents in the house.
And then we had a nice, good old paintball shootout in the dark.
They ran out of CO2 pretty quick because my team had most of it so one of Andray's friends yells, "Aww, it's not fair!" and they started to bail and jumped back over the wall. But one the kids was a little too heavy. His name is Jamar. That's 'Dray's cousin. Jamar couldn't get over the wall because Jamar has been eating one too many Twinkies.
So Jamar got stuck in my yard with the five of us. We gave him the chance to walk out like a man, or cry like a girl. He did both. He cried like a little girl while he was walking and running while we were shooting paintballs at him. I told him, "Hey, come in the lion's den, you're bound to get hit."
They said that he got hit so many times that he had trouble putting his clothes on the next day.
We played for about an hour and a half. I haven't had that much fun in a long time. What people don't realize is that when you're in the NBA, you lose stuff like that. You're not in there with kids, you're in there with grown men that have families. By having these young kids on the team, it's fun for me because I get to have that childhood that I lost. I lost it when I came into the NBA when I got picked No. 31 because I was so determined to be the best that I didn't get to actually have fun having fun, if that makes sense.
That's the moral of the story: I had fun.
Now let's hear from the other parties:
Verdict: Long, involved and constantly funny. Three GIlberts.
Making Coffee in Andray Blatche's Tub
This is a recurrent Arenas prank. Gilbert put the instant hotel coffee in Blatche's tub and turned the water on to make a nice bathtub full of Colombian blend. He also did this to James Lang on occasion.
Verdict: Simple and not terribly damaging, I personally find this prank funny. Three Gilberts.
Cutting Up Teammates' Suits
Another recurrent prank, Gilbert would steal your suit and cut it up into shreds so you had to go home in your uniform.
Verdict: Tough to rate as I would feel bad for players not making much, but laugh at those who were making a ton. Lets say three Gilberts and leave it at that.
Dousing Awvee Storey
It drives some guys crazy, but I love it. One of my favorites was sneaking up on my teammate Awvee Storey. He has a bad attitude, and I just have to try and get him to smile. One day he was on the toilet reading the paper, and I snuck in with a water hose, turned it on him and sprayed him for, like, three minutes. He had all his clothes on, and he got soaked. It was hilarious. But for some reason he still wasn't laughing.
Verdict: C'mon, he is soaking Awvee Storey. Four Gilberts.
Making the Doughnuts
As a rookie on the Warriors, Arenas brought in plain doughnuts covered in baby powder. The next time he brought in glazed doughnuts, all of which he had thoroughly licked beforehand.
Verdict: Five Gilberts. Original and funny.
This is obviously only a smattering of Gilbert's pranks through the years. In the comments, please share which pranks were your favorites.
Let's close by quoting Gilbert for a second time. Because I think this is important. And this is the lesson I think we should all take away from the Gilbert Arenas Era.
That's the moral of the story: I had fun.