Sunday, January 07, 2007

#1 Zero

When Wizards Team President Ernie Grunfeld signed an under-sized, free agent, shooting guard in 2003 he probably didn’t know that he would grow into one of the leagues most dominant players.

He couldn’t have seen a player whose points per game would increase nearly five points every year. He didn’t know that he had a community leader, league MVP, franchise player, and probable savior of professional basketball in D.C.

He didn’t know that he had Gilbert Arenas.

The things that Arenas has done have never been done in Wizards/Bullets history. His personality is infectious, talents are undeniable, and his greatness has yet to reach its full potential.

The NBA must be even more excited about the emergence of Gilbert Arenas. They have entered an era littered with a slew of under-25 stars that will carry the product for years to come. Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Arenas will provide the league legitimacy it’s lacked since the first retirement of Michael Jordan.

If last seasons 29 points per game wasn’t evidence enough the month of December should awaken the world to the Arenas epidemic.

Grunfeld made a great argument, comparing the impact over numbers that Steve Nash had to win the MVP award last season. Nash averaged just 18 points and 9 assists last season. But without his presence the Suns would struggle to remain relevant in the top heavy Western conference. Such is the effect that Arenas has, but, he has the numbers to back up his claim.

At this point in the season Arenas averages 30.5 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. Not to mention his new found defensive ability. Arenas is 5th in the league averaging 2.09 steals per game, almost two steals more than DeShawn Stevenson who was brought in during the off-season to improve team defense.

Arenas has followed through on his promise to dominate and lead by example on both ends of the court, but most of all, he’s showing that this IS the takeover year.

Who knows how much Arenas will grow. As far as I’m concerned if he doesn’t improve anymore he’s okay with me, but don’t count on that happening. Arenas is a workaholic. Late nights at the Verizon Center shooting baskets under the emergency lights have made him what he is…the best!

He’s the best free agent acquisition since Shaq went to the Lakers in the 96-97 season. He’s the best player to wear #0 in the history of the NBA (not counting Robert Parrish #00). When all is said and done he’ll be the best player, in any sport, to play professionally in Washington D.C.

Write that down too!


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