When something as big as the Gilbert Arenas/Javaris Crittenton gun story happens, it behooves us to talk to someone who can cover all angles of the story. Therefore, Kyle and I return to podcasting with a bang, pun intended.
We spent an hour plus talking to one of the leading NBA bloggers of all time, Bethlehem Shoals from Free Darko and (formerly) Sporting News. Shoals is also an author of The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats and Stars In Today's Game. The forward to that book was written by none other than Gilbert Arenas. Shoals has also written extensively about Arenas for Free Darko and The Baseline (you could say Arenas is the most "Free Darko" player in the NBA), so he feels the pain of this story as much, if not more, than us Wizards fans.
What did we end up talking about? It was a long discussion, but we hit at several of the key issues, namely:
- The media coverage and how Peter Vescey's original New York Post article shaped perceptions of the story.
- How the local reporters (Mike Wise, Michael Lee, Mike Jones) were the guys who took a more measured approach and got the story right.
- How stories like these just spiral out of control as people write before knowing all the facts.
- "Finger guns" and all of that.
- David Stern's ultimate decision to suspend Arenas indefinitely, and whether the a) timing and b) language of that suspension was appropriate.
- The reaction by the Wizards to basically tear down all remnants of Arenas in the Verizon Center. Is that appropriate?
- A discussion on why we hold athletes to such a high moral standard when politicians and musicians get in arguably more trouble.
However, to break this discussion down really wouldn't do it justice. Of all the podcasts we've recorded, this one was the a) most free-flowing and b) most from the heart. I may be biased, but it really comes across like three huge Arenas/Wizards fans talking themselves through the twists and turns of the story. Normally, I wouldn't explicitly advocate listen to the whole thing rather than listen to specific parts, but I will this time. Shoals was an incredibly interesting person to talk to and I hope you all think so too.
Also, you might notice the old "You Da Man" music at the beginning and end of this podcast. That's going to become a staple, and we have Rook to thank for that. Rook reached out to Dana Mozie, the producer of that song, several weeks ago to see if we could use that song on our podcast. Mozie finally wrote back this week, and not only did he say yes, he said he loved the idea. We eventually got that version of the song from Wizznutzz. So, thanks to Mozie, Wizznutzz and Rook for making that happen.
Other songs used (and yes, they were deliberate).
- The Clash - "The Guns of Brixton"
- Kings Of Leon - "Sex On Fire"
- The Rolling Stones - "Play With Fire"
- The Beatles - "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"
- Neil Young - "Ohio"