It might sound ridiculous to position these two against each other in any sort of comparison. Gilbert Arenas, the 6-2, 200-pound sharpshooter who averages a shade under 23 points per game, plays a much different game from Travis Outlaw, a 6-9, 215-pound versatile scorer who is posting a career-best 12.9 points per night. Outlaw couldn’t dream of having Gil’s jumper, and as much as Arenas would try to convince you otherwise, he doesn’t have Outlaw’s bunnies. But both players have helped their squads with late-game dramatics — Agent Zero in ’06-07, Outlaw this season — on eerily similar shots.
Take Gil’s buzzer-beater in Deron Williams’ eye: on Jan. 25 of last year, Arenas milked the clock around half-court before giving Williams a stutter-step as if he were driving the lane. He then pulled back and stuck the J with just enough room past Deron’s outstretched hand.
Almost one year later, on Jan. 21, 2008, Outlaw pulled almost the exact same move on the Hawks’ Josh Smith. Outlaw’s description of his shot also works for Gil’s buzzer-beater a year earlier: “He wasn’t really that close up on me, and then once I saw him backing up, I knew I’d have a jumper,” Outlaw said. “It was just instinct.”
OK, so that’s kind of cool. Well, it doesn’t end there. Gil would strike again against the Sonics with a runner off the glass.
Coincidentally, Outlaw finished off the Grizzlies with his own rendition of Gil’s buzzer-bank earlier this season: Off of one foot, off the glass…
What’s next for Outlaw? A blog and twenty versions of his own shoe?