KB24 and Agent Zero: Should the Lakers Move on Gilbert Arenas in 2008?
Never mind the ridiculously messy salary cap issues. Earth-shaker GM Mitch Kupchak has nine more months to figure out the numbers.
Arenas, who represents himself in all salary negotiations, is a Los Angeles native with an unquestionable desire to win. So it only seems right that he return to LalaLand to lead the Purple and Gold back to the victory circle.
And by throwing Arenas and his 28 points a game into the mix with Kobe Bryant and his 32 per, how could you lose?
Having two of the best 10 players in the league in the same backcourt—both with an ability to handle the ball in the triangle offense—sounds just fantastic.
Until you realize that it would be a complete disaster.
Gilbert Arenas is a lone gunman. He's Allen Iverson. He needs to be THE MAN.
We're talking about a player with one of the most bizarre mentalities in the league. It's Gilbert against the world...with Gilbert's supporting cast somewhere off to the side.
Mentally, I think Arenas has to have the weight on his shoulders. He has to be the best player on his team.
And he's the last person in the world to pair with Kobe Bryant.
Riddle me this: How is Gilbert Arenas going to deal with playing second fiddle to Kobe at the end of every game? How is he going to handle looking a much better player in the face day-in and day-out?
Fortunately we have a couple of case studies to reference:
Case Study 1: Arizona Wildcats
Playing alongside Jason Gardner, Richard Jefferson, Luke Walton, and Loren Woods, Arenas was hardly a show-stopper in Tucson.
He didn't stand out on a well-balanced team. He often looked lost and shaky.
What resulted was terrible shot selection and piss-poor team basketball.
And after a 4-17 shooting performance against Duke in the National Championship game, he fell into the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft.
Case Study 2: U.S. National Team
Gilbert Arenas, consensus top 10 player in the world, was cut by the United States National Team.
His ego was uprooted. On a roster with better talent, he lost the very edge that drives him.
Because he's not the type of player that finds a niche.It's not a complex point:
Gilbert Arenas wasn't born to be role player. He's not going to be number-two option. Put the guy in a situation where he has to bow to Kobe Bryant, and he'll look downright confused.
So my advice to Lakerland is the following: Unless you're planning on shipping KB24, I'd forget about Agent Zero.
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