Rest easy, sports fans. Some of you have been concerned that, between his recent knee surgery and heartbreakingly discussing his painful upbringing, that Gilbert Arenas had mellowed out a bit. But he’s back in full force, with a wide-ranging interview in DIME that should reassure even the most apostate Gilbertologist that the patron saint of crazy hasn’t lost a step.
“I think I do enough things off the court that keep me relevant,” says Agent Zero, as the universe nods its head in agreement. From calling the Cavaliers “a bad NCAA team,” to how running off at the mouth is great PR for the Wizards, to a so-insane-it’s-brilliant comparison of the NBA to a tree, Arenas proves once again that if he’s not crazy, he might just be too smart for the rest of us mortals to comprehend him. (Our savior speaks, after the jump.)
Via Dan Steinberg’s D.C. SPORTS BOG, the meat of the story is Arenas ripping the Cavs after their incredibly entertaining first-round playoff series last year. Gilbert still believes his Wiz squad was the better team and chalks up the loss to injuries, saying that’s just part of the NBA.
You can’t do anything. We played them last year in Washington and LeBron was injured. We were beating them by 30-something points. I told them, “You guys look like a bad NCAA team.” I was like, “Yeah, it ain’t easy when LeBron ain’t out there. You guys are s**t. You guys are garbage. You look like our practice team.” They’ve got one megastar who’s carrying them, but you take him off the team and they’re the Cleveland NBDL team.
He pats teammate DeShawn Stevenson on the back for calling LeBron James “overrated,” dismissing the notion that it riled LeBron up. Instead he praises Stevenson for creating a rivalry:
LeBron’s scoring 30 because LeBron always scores 30. It’s not like he’s scoring 30 because he’s mad; that’s what he does … People like Charles Barkley saying DeShawn’s an idiot for getting LeBron riled up; you didn’t need stuff to get riled up when you were playing against Michael Jordan and those guys? Everyone talked so much trash, but that was the No. 1 watched series in the first round. We had Jay-Z making diss tapes. We had Soulja Boy. We made money for the NBA. It was an exciting series. What more do you want? People are saying DeShawn is stupid–he can’t be that stupid if he made one comment and now we’re playing them on Christmas Day. I’ve been in the League seven years and never played on Christmas. That one comment got us a Christmas game. That’s called marketing to me.
But the Gilbert we know and love really shines when he breaks out a zen parable that I’m going to assume he made up on the fly, and may be the most insightful thing you’ll read all day:
I think what we don’t realize as players is we’re like leaves, and the NBA is a tree. And when the wind blows, some of us are out of there. At the end of the day, all of the leaves on the tree are gonna be gone, and there’s gonna be new leaves. I’m just a leaf on a tree right now. We’re just passing through, but in that time when you’re passing through, get what you can out of your time here. What can you stamp on that tree that will make you special, you know? And some people’s marks are bigger than others, but no one is bigger than the tree. No one’s the tree. I don’t think players realize that. Then when it comes to an end, they can’t live with it.
You’ll notice this post has an awful lot of quotes. That’s because I’ve learned that any blog can be made ten times more interesting with a healthy serving of Gilbert Arenas.