The following interview can be found in Dime #35, on newsstands now…
10 Things Straight From Agent Zero
Three-time NBA All-Star, Blogger, 25
Heading into last season, Gilbert Arenas declared that 2006-07 was going to be known as “The Takeover.” True to his word, Gil ripped through the regular season, averaging more than 28 points and six dimes a night. He scored 30 or more points 35 times, highlighted by a December run that saw him savage the Lakers for 60 points and then blitzed the Suns for 54 just a few days later.
At the same time Gilbert was laying claim to the unofficial title of “Eastern Conference MVP,” he was leading the Wizards in a battle with the Heat for tops in the Southeast Division. Then, with just two weeks remaining until the playoffs, he tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee, ending his season, and for all intents and purposes, Washington’s season as well. The Wizards limped into the playoffs minus Gilbert and Caron Butler (broken hand) and were summarily swept by the Cavs.
When we last caught up with Gilbert, he said rehab on the knee was going well. He had just wrapped shooting a commercial for his latest gig as the cover guy for EA Sports’ NBA Live 08, and rapped with us about his rehab, video game cover curses and Jessica Simpson.
1. The rehab for my knee injury is going excellent. I’m way, way, way ahead of schedule. I bike, like, 18 miles a day. I’ve started making cuts on the court, slowly. I like to say I’m “keeping a San Antonio pace.” Pretty soon I’ll be able to go full throttle.
2. I’m gonna work out with DC United, the soccer team, this summer. I’m gonna do a lot of stuff with them, conditioning and like on-the-field soccer. I just need to try different things.
3. I shot the cover of NBA Live ’08 with Kevin Durant while he was doing the cover of the NCAA game. Kevin Durant, aka “K-Smooth.” I’m like a big brother, father-type to him. He’s part of the frat now. I’ll give K-Smooth the same type of advice that I give to all young guys: Learn to manage yourself. Learn about business. Get yourself a nickname the kids will like. Stuff like that.
4. Video game curses are a football thing. The year Dwyane Wade was on the cover (of NBA Live), he won a championship. The year Tracy McGrady was on the cover, he played in the the most games he’s ever played in. Same with Vince.
5. The rudest thing someone ever said to me was Gary Payton, my first year in the NBA. He scored 16 straight on me in the first few minutes, so I’m nervous. I’m scared. He says, “You’re lucky I’m not an A.I. type of player. I would score 50 on you in the first half.” To this day, I have to try and score 35 in the first quarter every time against Gary Payton.
6. One time in Dallas, someone said, “We’re gonna treat you like some hoes. We’re gonna get a little ass and get on out of here.” I say that now.
7. People say to me all the time, “You guys could have beaten Cleveland if you were able to play.” At the end of the day that doesn’t really mean anything, though. If I was healthy, we probably wouldn’t have even played Cleveland in the first round, you know?
8. I’m the face of my team, but I’m not involved in player personnel decisions at all. I’m really not. I’m just a player. It makes my job and my life easier that I’m not mixed up in that stuff. I’m not going to be one of those “Trade this guy” or “Package these guys for picks” type of guys. That’s how your teammates start to hate you.
9. Right now I’m working on a book. I’ve only been in the League for six years, so there’s no point in doing a biography yet. It will be a funny Gilbertology book.
10. I want to do some type of advertising/business show. That will be funny because I don’t know anything about business. I’ll be like Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. Or I’ll be saying things like Jessica Simpson, telling people I can’t eat buffalo wings because I don’t eat buffalo.