Yesterday, on invitation from the fine folks at EA Sports, we talked to Wizards zuperstar Gilbert Arenas at the NBA Store in Manhattan for exactly seven minutes and 16 seconds. Here's a complete, exact transcript of the interview, which was almost entirely about his blog. We didn't take a picture, because we thought asking someone to shoot one would be helplessly dorky.
Hi, I'm Will. I run Deadspin. A lot of our readers are fans of you.
The blog guy, hey. You're the No. 1 blogger, yeah.
I wouldn't say that. I think that's Wilbon. [laughs uncomfortably, alone] That guy you were talking to before me, that's the guy who does your blog, right?
Yeah, that's Dave [McMenamin]. He's the guy behind the guy.
How long are the interviews, usually? He just calls you up and asks you questions and writes it up?
Usually about 15-20 minutes, depending on how I'm feeling and the topic. During the season, it's once a week, but he's going to Europe next week with Boston, so that hampers it a bit.
How much time do you spend on the Web, personally?
Not as much as you'd think. I check out my MySpace. I'll go on sites to see what's funny on YouTube.
Do you have any regular sites you check out, sports sites, whatever?
No. Well, yeah, but I can't tell you, I can't put those out there.
So you're saying only porn?
Excellent. I think one of the reasons you've become popular in a different way than some other athletes have is because of your blog. Do you get a lot of reaction from the site from players or people in the stands? Do you hear a lot about it?
When I do the blog, I have things in my mind that people catch on to. For a while, it was the Hibachi thing that got big. The 10 dollar thing, the making bets with the fans thing, and me getting in trouble for it, people like to yell that out at me too. That was funny, because they're actually paying attention.
I think you appeal to a certain type of smarter fan, like the Wizznutzz crew, who aren't necessarily the Paint Your Face And Scream Obscenities. (Ed. Note: Nope. They just dress up like Wizards.) I think the blog is a large part of that.
Well, some people would rather not go to arenas, they'd rather just sit at home and watch the game at home, or play on the computer. There's a lot of people like that. You've got your video gamers, who just sit at home and play video games all day. So by blogging, and playing video games, I'm actually getting to them.
Have you been to Wizznutzz?
My dad is more into the stuff like that, the RealGM, the Wizznutzz, those types of things. He tells me what's going on. He was sitting there for five, six hours, posting under fake names, "how do you like that Gilbert Arenas? He's a jackass, huh?" Just to see what the response is.
Do you at least go to ESPN? Do you have an email account?
I don't, no. If someone tells me someone wrote something about me, I'll go check it out, and I'll "log in." [makes actual air quotes]
Do other players come to you and tell you they want to set up a blog, or talk to you about it?
I don't think they know how big it is. There were three other players who blogged, but it didn't really catch on. The business people know about it, but I don't think the players do.
So if you — or, well, Dave, anyway — called out somebody on the site, they wouldn't know about it?
Unless someone in PR told them or something. I talked about Penny, and he came to me and said, "My PR guy told me you mentioned me in your blog. Thanks!"
Has there ever been anything in the blog that Dave's put in that you've asked him to take out?
It's usually the other way around. There's some stuff I wanted in there that they wouldn't let me put in. [points to Dave] Hey, Dave, we gotta give a shoutout to Wizznutzz.
Was the idea to do the site yours?
They actually came to me about it. At first I didn't think I had the time for it, but I thought if Chris Paul has the time to do it, I can.
And nobody reads Chris Paul's site.
That's what I'm gonna outsell him in video games this year. Nobody reads his site.
Do you guys ever scramble to come up with stuff for the site?
That's what it's surviving: I have an entertaining life. I thought I was boring. When I went through my life, I was like, "I sit around and play video games all day. Nobody wants to hear about this." But once I started doing the site, I was like, "Yeah, I do have an interesting life!"
Well, Dave makes it look interesting, anyway.
Totally. I always have something going on.