Tuesday , Jan , 05 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Too little, too late for Gilbert Arenas and Wasington Wizards

Gilbert Arenas could’ve neutralized some of the hoopla, backlash, and drama by issuing this, a full and unconditional apology, when the story broke prior to Christmas or on New Year’s Day when it became front page news. Instead, he justified, he joked, he tweeted, he offered half-hearted apologies, and his father spoke. And now a bad situation is far worse, with Arenas in danger of falling into Tiger-like territory, making the lead on ESPN SportsCenter and gossip rags like TMZ for all the wrong reasons …

Too little, too late for Gilbert Arenas and Wasington WizardsBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News :
I am very sorry for the effect that my serious lapse in judgment has had on my team, my teammates, the National Basketball Association and its fans. I want to apologize to everybody for letting them down with my conduct, and I promise to do better in the future.” (DimeMag.com)

My Quick Take: Too little, too late.

Gilbert Arenas could’ve neutralized some of the hoopla, backlash, and drama by issuing this, a full and unconditional apology, when the story broke prior to Christmas or on New Year’s Day when it became front page news.

Instead, he justified, he joked, he tweeted, he admitted to bad judgment, he offered half-hearted apologies, and his father spoke. And now a bad situation is far worse, with Arenas in danger of falling into Tiger-like territory, making the lead on ESPN SportsCenter and gossip rags like TMZ for all the wrong reasons.

There is plenty of blame to go round for this story snowballing, though. And some of it should fall on the Washington Wizards. For years, they tolerated, encouraged, and rewarded Arenas’ bizarre idiosyncrasies with an even more bizarre $111 million contract.

This reinforced a message: the Wizards needed The Hibachi persona. Playing or sitting, healthy or not, faults would continue to be forgiven and forgotten in the name of publicity and headlines.

For instance, in 2003, Arenas was arrested by California police for having a gun in his car without the proper license. This, however, didn’t prevent Washington from signing Arenas, a free agent at the time, to a five-year, $65 million pact.

A few years later, there were threats of a paternity suit being served during nationally televised games and an excessive million dollar birthday party. All without a blink from his employer, who, even with their combo guard’s knee troubles, still tendered that massive $111 million extension.

Today’s apology is too little, too late for Arenas. And for the Wizards, it’s also too little, too late to avoid Arenas’ problems.

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