Gilbert Arenas has seen his popularity and public image fall faster than my GPA when Halo 2 came out.
After a boneheaded incident in the locker room during which Arenas pointed guns at teammate Javaris Crittenton over a gambling debt owed last Christmas Eve, Arenas has seen little to no good publicity over the past six to nine months.
He's been in and out of court for the incident, on suspension for said incident, and the Wizards have gone so far as to move the franchise on without him, drafting Kentucky star John Wall as the new face of the team.
For Arenas, though, falling out of the spotlight wouldn't be much like him.
It's no surprise then, that he'd be willing to do anything to get some good press. Unfortunately for Arenas, his latest attempt has appeared to blow up in his face.
Arenas missed a preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Wizards home opener, and his return to the Verizon Center, a place which used to be adorned with his name and image, in homage to his years of great play for the team. Now, the team has moved past that era, but Arenas doesn't intend to let it come to an end just yet.
In an attempt to earn some good will in the media, Arenas has come out and said he missed the preseason opener not because of injury, like he told coach Flip Saunders; instead, he missed the game so his teammate, former USC guard Nick Young, could get some playing time.
On the surface, this is already a sketchy move.
He lied to his coach, who went as far as to tell the media, "His knee is acting up and is a little sore, and it looks like he's going to sit this one out."
Now that's just wrong.
Not only do fans pay for preseason games, they expect to see the Wizards that they call their team. Whether Arenas is in good graces with the team and its fans or not, he should have been there.
I get why he did it. He was getting playing time for a teammate who was frustrated by being buried in the playing-time chart. Sure, that's nice and all, but don't go running and telling the media, Gilbert.
He offered this gem to the media:
"I told [Young] I'd sacrifice playing tonight so he can get some time in because I know he's kind of frustrated ... I told him I'll go and fake an injury or say something's wrong with me so you can start."
Get out of here with that crap, Mr. Arenas. With all due respect to you and your "motives" for skipping a game, one can only draw the conclusion that you are just trying to stick your head back into the media again.
Unfortunately, it worked.
If Arenas really wants to get back into the good graces of the media, the Wizards and perhaps most importantly, the fans, he'll need to do it with his play on the court.
He'll need to return to the game-winning shot Arenas, the one who defenses drew up plays in the sand on the go, to defend against his creativity and abilities.
If Arenas can return to 75 percent of what he used to be, he and the Wizards both will be better for it. Only time will tell if "Agent Zero" will be successful with his latest mission.
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