Friday , Nov , 16 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Gilbert Arenas: Agent One

“Agent One” as in “one-and-done”. Gilbert Arenas’ career has jumped the proverbial shark. Last year’s PR breakout – his blog, Agent Zero and “hibachi” – has done him in. A look at the numbers indicates he may have peaked.

Year
Team
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
OFF
DEF
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
TO
PF
PPG
01-02
GSW
47
30
24.6
0.453
0.345
0.775
0.9
1.9
2.8
3.7
1.5
0.2
2.06
2.40
10.9
02-03
GSW
82
82
35.0
0.431
0.348
0.791
1.2
3.5
4.7
6.3
1.5
0.2
3.54
3.20
18.3
03-04
WAS
55
52
37.6
0.392
0.375
0.748
1.0
3.6
4.6
5.0
1.9
0.2
4.11
3.20
19.6
04-05
WAS
80
80
40.9
0.431
0.365
0.814
1.0
3.7
4.7
5.1
1.7
0.3
3.03
3.10
25.5
05-06
WAS
80
80
42.3
0.447
0.369
0.820
0.7
2.8
3.5
6.1
2.0
0.3
3.71
3.60
29.3
06-07
WAS
74
73
39.8
0.418
0.351
0.844
0.8
3.7
4.6
6.0
1.9
0.2
3.19
3.40
28.4
07-08
WAS
7
7
39.7
0.377
0.182
0.732
0.3
4.1
4.4
5.6
1.9
0.1
4.57
3.00
21.7
 

Everything, with the exception of a slight increase in free throw percentage, went down last year. The year before that (the 2005-2006 season) was his best year as a player. Last year, however, was his most visible year. Coincidence? Will he be able to return to his 2005-2006 form?

Last year, he was the most entertaining player in the league. He had other players and coaches joking along with him. When he promised to drop 50 on the teams of the Olympic coaches that cut him, Mike D’Antoni said he’d like to see what Arenas could do against Duke. That’s funny. Everyone was in on it.

What about the time he started to walk off the court before his game-winning shot connected? Pure marketing genius. 

 
I can’t get sick of watching that.

Not only did his numbers decline, but he may never be able to live up to his image. 

Remember, his team are, at best, in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. That is where they have been for the last several years with him, and that is where they are again.

Worse than that, his image is failing. First, he guaranteed victory against Boston in their home opener. Then, he backed off of that prediction. Why? It was so much fun when he had more confidence, but now his confidence is lacking because his game is lacking.

He is off to a slow start because of his knee injury, but the end of last season could be the beginning of the end. 

From some of the news articles I see, he probably should not even be playing. He is probably only toughing it out because he wants to explore free agency next year. He is not doing himself any favors; by not playing well, it is going to be tough for him to cash in, and by staying on the court he may be doing long-term damage to himself. 

The other option, sitting out, will not do him any good, either. He would face criticism on the home front and skepticism on the free agent front.

Like Bart Simpson says, it’s a paradox and “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

Thanks, Gil, it was nice while it lasted. Now go join Fonzie on the other side of the shark.

Oh, in case anyone thinks I’m overreacting, I’m not the one who has decided to nickname myself “Nacho.” That’s a much better self-appointed nickname than “hibachi.”