The White Chocolate era is over, Gilbert Arenas is in trouble, and more drama for Stephon Marbury

09.27.08 9 years ago 33 Comments
Gilbert ArenasGilbert Arenas (photo. Tim Tadder)

For anyone who was fortunate enough to follow the NBA when Jason Williams burst onto the scene back in 1999, a common reaction to yesterday’s news that “White Chocolate” is retiring was something along the lines of, “Damn, I feel old.” Yes, it really was nine years ago when J-Will first started to own the highlight reels. Yes, he is 32 years old now. For anyone who remembers WC as simply “Jason Williams” from his run where he won a ‘chip with the Heat, they’ll unfortunately never get the gravity of the era that ended yesterday. As a ball-handler, passer and simply as a showman on the court, J-Will was really before his time. Had he come around today, in the age of YouTube and six million basketball blogs and too-realistic-looking video games, he’d be a megastar. He won’t ever get anywhere near the Hall of Fame, but dude had one of the sickest handles and creative minds you’ll ever see on the court … This is the the final weekend before NBA training camps open up, and eight days from today, the preseason officially tips off (Oct. 5, Pistons/Heat and Warriors/Hornets on the docket). A few teams had their Media Day yesterday, and most notable was Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards getting fined $15,000 apiece for Gilbert not speaking to reporters. That didn’t stop the Wizards’ media session from being dominated by Agent Zero talk, though. As DeShawn Stevenson put it, “Making $111 million, it’s gonna be like that.” … Speaking of fines, did you see where the Giants and Plaxico Burress are actually negotiating his fine/suspension terms for going AWOL for two days? Is that what it’s come to? (No surprise that Plax’s agent is Mr. “Next Question.”) You know Monta Ellis is hearing this story thinking, “Can I negotiate my punishment?” … If you’re in the Atlanta area today, you need to get to the Lenox Square Mall for the Sprite Slam Dunk Showcase, where 16 of the sickest dunkers in the world will be on display. The contest kicks off around noon, with open tryouts being held for anyone who wants to go up against the experts. Check out some of the competitors HERE, and come back Monday when we’ll have a recap of the dunk contest from our people down in ATL … reader “Kobeef” had an interesting take on the Raptors and their leader: “Chris Bosh is a notch below the best players in the League, which is why the Raps are a notch below the best teams in the league.” In our ’08-09 Toronto Raptors preview, we put their ceiling at the second round, but it’s also not out of the question they barely sneak into the playoffs. Even if Bosh does play like a true superstar, a lot rests on the health of Jermaine O’Neal, which is never a safe bet … To no one’s surprise, Eddy Curry reportedly showed up to the Knicks’ facility out of shape — or at least not in the kind of shape Mike D’Antoni hoped for. A couple weeks back we told you about E-City supposedly having spent a lot of time at Chicago’s ATTACK Athletics gym, but we never said he was spending that time actually working out. D’Antoni did get half-a-season of experience working Shaq into his system in Phoenix, but Eddy isn’t even as athletic/motivated as Shaq these days, is he? If you’re D’Antoni, do you have to go small with this roster and start Zach Randolph or David Lee at center? Because after Curry, your options at a legit five are either Jerome James or coaxing Herb Williams out of retirement … No matter what, the big man situation in New York is inevitably going to be completely overshadowed by what’s going on with Stephon Marbury. The Knicks’ flip-flopping on what they want to do with Steph currently sits at Donnie Walsh saying he’s going to give Steph a fair chance to prove himself — but that just seems like a recipe for an awkward situation when Steph shows he’s clearly better than Chris Duhon and the Knicks still want to get rid of him … Injury update: Shane Battier (foot) will be sidelined for about 3-4 weeks, Mike Dunleavy (knee) and Yi Jianlian (ankle) will be limited at least at the beginning of camp, and Danilo Gallinari (back) isn’t expected to be 100 percent until the start of the regular season … Should Mavs fans be worried that Brandon Bass is apparently buddies with Pacman Jones? The two co-hosted a celebrity beach volleyball event in Dallas last night, where Josh Howard, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea were there repping the Mavs. We’ve gotta find out if they played the national anthem before the match, and if everyone was watching J-Ho at that moment … We’re out like J-Will …

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