The best piece of writing we've ever read about Wizards space cadet Gilbert Arenas was the famous Wizznutzz psychological profile of Agent Zero, which includes this brilliant factoid: "Gil was at the birth of his daughter! It wasnt a tom cruise scientology "Silent birth" but Gil did put his Halo game on mute!" (And there's so much more!)
But the Wizznutzz crew has a serious challenge today from Chuck Klosterman, who digs deep into the Arenas ethos in an upcoming edition of The New York Times' sports magazine PLAY. (Full disclosure: We have a story in the next issue of PLAY as well, but it's not nearly as good as Klosterman's.) The general (and simplified) thesis of Klosterman on Arenas: His weirdness is not necessarily a construction but a pure and honest expression of a unique and consistently calculating soul. The money quote:
"Sometimes you have to create your own legacy, and that is what I have done. There is no quirkiness about me. I just lash out at things, but it's lighthearted. The freak part of me is not that I'm going to take 60 pills to get attention. I'm not that kind of freak. I just like to watch the Gummi Bears on TV. I'm not Ron Artest. I'm a character. The things I do, the things I say — these are things I sit in my house and think about. I know what I'm doing."
When you get past the "Arenas watches the Gummi Bears!" soundbite lunacy, Klosterman does an outstanding job of pointing out why Arenas' weirdness is less interesting in of itself, and more fascinating because it's so open and admitted. And why, seriously, it's damned near impossible not to root for Gilbert Arenas.
(UPDATE: Wait ... The Gummi Bears have a show?)