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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gilbert Arenas, Rep. Jim McDermott, and the Sexy Queen of Jordan

posted by on October 25 at 1:48 AM

Knowing how much I dig NBA point guard Gilbert Arenas, several friends have pointed me to the November issue of Esquire. The magazine has an NBA 2007 preview. And unlike this week’s Sports Illustrated NBA preview, which predictably features LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, Esquire’s contrarian article stars Arenas. Esquire calls the Washington Wizards guard, “the NBA’s most unheralded superstar.” (True! 6 apg, 29.3 ppg, and a league-leading playoff average of 34 ppg last year.) Arenas is featured in the centerfold picture and featured in a goofed out “new journalism” interview.

There is a sidebar (ha!) on King James.

As Wizards fans know, national exposure for Jillbert is long overdue.

Here’s the excerpt my friends kept telling me about:

ENTRY 15: SELF-IMPOSED COMMUNICATION BARRIERS When I get a new cell phone, first thing I do is turn it off and call from my house phone and leave stupid little messages to myself. Like: “It’s me.” “It’s me.” “This is Gilbert.” “It’s me.” “It’s Gilbert.” I just fill it up, so no one can leave messages. If you don’t, you leave for an hour and thirteen people have called. So there are thirteen new messages you have to listen to and it’s like, Oh, man. I don’t feel like hearing people’s stories. Most people love leaving messages that they don’t want to tell you in person. So I cut that off.

And here’s the part I liked best:

ENTRY 16: SELF-MOTIVATIONAL MECHANISMS The subject steps out of his dressing closet holding a list he keeps there of every player in the 2001 NBA draft who was selected ahead of him. All thirty. He runs his fingers down the page. He has scratched out each player who is no longer in the league. “Hmpff,” he says, pausing on a name. “I got to get the pencil out. Utah. Raul Lopez? Ain’t seen him much lately.”

And here’s an excerpt I’m not sure I understand:

ENTRY 8: UNUSUAL SLEEPING RITUALS SUBJECT [interviewed while playing two-man Halo in his bedroom]: You can’t see very good. I’ll sit down on the floor if you want.

OBSERVER: No, I can tell you like to play on the bed. I’ll stay here.

SUBJECT: I just started sleeping in this bed after three years. I used to sleep over there.

OBSERVER: Where? On the couch?

SUBJECT: Yeah. I trained myself to sleep on the couch.

OBSERVER: Why would you do that?

SUBJECT: You know.

OBSERVER: Not really.

SUBJECT: I don’t like women all up on me, touching me. So I get up and go.


SUBJECT: Then they get up and go. [Subject points to the video-game screen.] Stay there. Wait for me behind that door.

OBSERVER: What door?

SUBJECT [shaking his head]: I discovered that women don’t like that much.

It’s also Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” issue. They go with Scarlett Johansson.


And they’ve got all these other super foxy women too. For example, Queen Rania of Jordan! No burqa for her.

Extra Bonus
There’s also a great feature in the magazine on the upcoming mid-term elections. They choose the 9 worst members of Congress (the Cynthia McKinney Awards!) including: Frist, Santorum, Pelosi and Hastert. And they choose the nine best members of Congress, including: Hagel, Feingold, and Rep. John Lewis!

Then they make endorsements in every U.S. Senate, House, and Gubernatorial race in the country. I went right to Washington state to see if they get it. And they do: They endorse Burner over Reichert, Goldmark over McMorris, Cantwell over McGavick, Inslee (of course!) …and…something I wish the Stranger Election Control Board had the guts to do: They don’t endorse McDermott. I took that as proof that they did their homework.

Oh, there’s also a bubble-gum beatnik essay by Chuck Klosterman on why the NBA is cooler than other sports. A pseudo intellectual excerpt:

Basketball is different. Pro basketball changes with culture. It’s a youth game, it’s a street game, and it’s an artists’ game…its style of play reinvents itself every five or ten years. Basketball is dynamic, and basketball is reflective; if you profoundly understand the NBA, you can partially understand America. This is why the NBA is important.

Klosterman spouts the same Larry Bird/Magic Johnson 80s worship that everyone is so full of (way Overrated, in my opinion). Otherwise, it’s quite the re-bop write up.

RSS icon Comments


Go to bed, Josh.

Posted by Paulus | October 25, 2006 2:02 AM

I'm fast asleep Mr. Paulus. I future stamped this post to post.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 25, 2006 2:18 AM

The Esquire article was the best I've seen to date about what is at stake in these elections. My only hope is that a Democrat-controlled Congress would be keen on actually taking action on key issues, as opposed to following the same model.

Posted by bma | October 25, 2006 6:58 AM

Gilbert Arenas is a very good player and scorer, and certainly a star. However, his PPG numbers are vastly inflated by being the only Wizards player who's a consistently good scorer. Many good players on bad teams have made entire careers out of being THE go-to guy in a cast of jokers.

Posted by Gomez | October 25, 2006 7:31 AM

Your puerile little snark against Jim McDermott has been noted. Run along home, little boy, and take your nappie. Tomorrow is another day to play at being a journalist.

Posted by ivan | October 25, 2006 7:48 AM

Rember kids, crack kills

Posted by StrangerDanger | October 25, 2006 7:56 AM

I was really impressed with the article on the election. They really did their homework. I also enjoyed the nine worst and nine best in Congress.

Posted by Charlie | October 25, 2006 8:03 AM

were you drunk when you wrote this (almost 2am)? just channeling your inner jock?

Posted by wf | October 25, 2006 8:26 AM

Yo -- just read the Esquire yesterday, and yeah, the election preview was fantastic.

Josh: Even the most pedestrian basketball fan knows that Mr. Wade spells his first name "Dwyane."

Posted by horatiosanzserif | October 25, 2006 8:29 AM

Uh-huh. So Josh, you’re saying that you wish you had not endorsed Jim McDermott, one of the only Dems to have the courage to speak out against the Bush Administration when all the others were jumping at the sight of their own shadows? (They still are, by the way.)

This is why Republicans win elections: They have party unity which voters see as strength. Voters have proven over and over again that they would rather vote for someone who’s strong and wrong than someone who’s nuanced. It’s a pitiful commentary on the mental capacity of American voters, but it’s a fact of life.

It’s time for us to close ranks and win this so we can make this country a better place.

Posted by Andrew | October 25, 2006 8:49 AM

Thank you. Dwyane it is.

But Gomez, you're about 100% wrong. For the last two years, Arenas's Wizards have had the top-scoring trio in the NBA. In 2005-2006 it was Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison (20.5) and Caron Butler (17.6) ... and in 2004-2005 it was Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Larry Hughes. The Wizards traded Hughes to Cleveland after the 04-05 season. And guess what: Alongside LeBron James, Hughes's scoring average dropped. With Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards, Hughes PPG was 22.0. With LeBron James and Cleveland, he averaged 15.5.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 25, 2006 9:27 AM

Oops, then. Fair enough, though I want to see Arenas take the Wiz deeper into the playoffs more routinely.

Posted by Gomez | October 25, 2006 10:40 AM

Do you mean excerpt instead of expert? If not, I'm not sure what the heck you mean.

Also, Gilbert rules.

Posted by GGG | October 25, 2006 1:20 PM

yeah, I meant excerpt. It was late.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 25, 2006 2:52 PM

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