Picture yourself on business travel, sitting in a restaurant having breakfast. You open up the USA Today that was left outside your hotel room door. Flip open to the sports section and begin reading the story about Gil talking about the Wiz’s chances this season and BOOM!!! The first shot is fired across the bow:
“No matter if Etan is the starter or the backup, he’s going to give you the same kind of energy and the same kind of play,” Arenas explained. “Brendan will give you three-four (strong) games (off the bench) because he’s mad, then he’s going to tank it.”
While the content of the quote does not surprise me, the timing does. Maybe this was a way for Gil to remind Wiz management to do everything in their power to get rid of him. And if they are unsuccessful, it could serve as a verbal kick to Brendan’s pants. What also surprised me was that the quote was buried deep in the story, I would have thought that the writer would have lead with the quote. I am also a bit surprised that it has not gotten much play in the local media as well.
Maybe the issue is that Gil only said what we all knew. We can see Brendan quit on his team nearly every year. For someone who is as consistently inconsistent as him, he – like a number of athletes – feels as if he is owed some respect, for under performing. I do give Gilbert credit for saying publicly what we all see. Often it is rare for an athlete to call out another athlete. But, there comes a time when you have tried all other methods that you are left with “spanking that ass” publicly. If the Wiz cannot successfully move Haywood, maybe Gil’s comments will serve to light a fire inside Brendan that lasts beyond December 31. Oh, never mind I am talking about Brendan Haywood. Sorry, I forgot.