Wednesday, February 14th, 2007...1:42 am
Gilbert Arenas Uncensored
My buddy Jon is the best at sending out dopey links to annoying content that isn’t worth the time it takes to view it. Most of the stuff is truly horrible, but you almost have to click on the link just to see how bad it really is. Here is a perfect example. You see, you just got VAN DAMNED. One of these days I’ll aggregate some of Jon’s stuff and turn it into an amazing blog post.
So last week when Jon sent me a link I was prepared for the worst. The link was a Youtube video of Gilbert Arenas and DeShawn Stevenson in a high stakes three point shooting contest after Wizards practice one day last week. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on. Arenas was shooting one hundred three pointers from the college line with one hand. Stevenson shot his normal jumper but from the NBA line. The rest of the team was tallying up the shots from the bench. The video gets really good near the end as Arenas gets pretty imaginative and goofy as he tries to distract Stevenson from making his shots.
I’ve watched the clip a few times since then. A few things stand out to be super interesting to me. First, the clip was published by the Washington Wizards website. The video is so raw and unedited I assumed it was smuggled out of practice by a reporter that was secretly taping the event. In fact, the tape alludes to a $20,000 bet that the players have riding on the contest. Kudos to the Wizards for realizing that this is the kind of real, unedited, inside stuff that fans eat up. The video showed Arenas and the Wizards as fun-loving normal guys. The NBA tries too hard to adhere to an image of excellence for its players. This suffocates the personalities of the players and leads to even more embarrassment to the league when players don’t live up to these lofty expectations. Arenas is one of the few players who enjoy himself on and off the court and he cherishes the opportunity to speak his mind. I respect him for that (although sometimes he would be better off if he shut up).
I did my share to help this video go viral. I immediately sent the link around to a few friends, I watched it with my sister over the weekend and I’m posting it to this blog. I even have a little anecdote to show the rapid popularity of the video. On Saturday night I went out to a bar in the East Village with a few friends. I heard one guy at the bar trying to explain the video to his buddy. Then my friend asked me what it was all about. Finally, as we were leaving the bar two other guys were talking about it. At that point I had a few drinks in me and I told them to gather round as I gave them the play by play. My final line to them was “you got to feel bad for DeShawn Stevenson…he got bitched…on YOUTUBE…nothing is worse than that.”
The video has been viewed over 300,000 times on Youtube. I got to imagine the Wizards gained some new fans and that is what makes the video a success.