This, more than anything, bothers me about Gilbert Arenas' surgery. In case you aren't aware, this is what Arenas told Mike Wise yesterday in response to questions about the news. Arenas' theory is that this surgery will get him back sooner rather than later, even though everyone felt he'd be back by training camp feeling just fine.
Now, I've defended Arenas from a lot of the criticisms he's received. My position has always been that he makes much more of an impact on the court than most think. It's no accident that guys like Larry Hughes, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Jared Jeffries and even Antawn Jamison have been extremely effective playing with him and in some cases have never been better without Arenas in the lineup. Off the court, Arenas is outspoken, but is bashed for things that are really unfair. For example, people are saying he screwed the Wizards even though he did exactly what the doctors told him. If you want to blame anybody, blame those doctors for thinking that rest would cause debris in his knee to go away.
But this is just too much. That quote makes me really mad and I can't defend it.
What's everybody "tripping" about Gil? Here's a list.
- You just signed an 111-million dollar contract for six years
- You are the franchise player
- Your team has not advanced past the first round of the playoffs in three years
- You haven't actually played like yourself in two years
- You've told people not to worry before, and things haven't worked out
- While you're gone, your teammates have stepped up, meaning that if you return, we can expect a lot for this team
- You haven't said anything about your rehab progress until now
- You said you were going to skip training camp anyway, which is news to us
- You could have not listened to your doctors in May and looked for a second opinion
- You could have insisted on the operation in August so you'd be back in time for the season
- You were a breath of fresh air after the Jordan era, and fans want to see that return to the court
- You said you didn't feel the need to tell Eddie Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld directly when they invested so much time and money into you
- You haven't said anything about how your teammates will respond
- You're playing for a franchise that, oh I don't know, has a history of bad luck with these kinds of things
Now, I don't necessarily subscribe myself to some of those reasons, but many of your other fans do. To wonder why everybody is "tripping" insults those people who believe in you and the franchise.
We'll stop "tripping" when you return to the court and pick up where you left off in saving our basketball city. Until you do that, there are zillions of reason for all of us to worry.