I shat on Agent Zero. Then I almost shat on myself.
Written by Nick Grant (@NicholasGrant)
It was the summer of 2004, and Gilbert Arenas had just come off his first season with the Washington Wizards, averaging nearly 20 points per game. He was well on his way to becoming an All-Star and establishing himself as one of the most exciting players in the NBA. I was just coming off a decent freshman year playing ball at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, a cool 1,000 miles away from my hometown of Northern Virginia, where I was back for the summer doing hoodrat things with my friends every night.
So, basically Gil and me were, like, one and the same because the Wizards were (and most likely always will be) a mid-major team, just like my Bulldogs. But he was still a potential superstar who had the innate ability to bust a motherfucker's ass with very little effort. He had also just signed a six-year, $65 million contract. The highlight of my year was hitting a clutch triple-overtime beer pong shot for the W. Same diff.
On the Saturday of our fateful encounter, the crowd at Georgetown's McDonough Arena was packed like sardines. Every metro area citizen and their mother had put their afternoon on hold to come watch Arenas give some lowly scrub infinite buckets at the D.C. Pro-Am Kenner League. But I don't think anyone could have possibly foreseen what would transpire.
I'm silently weeping inside. I don't want to play anymore. I hate basketball.
The following—and I swear that this is all true—is what transpired that Saturday:
After a night filled with lascivious acts and copious amounts of alcohol (some of which is still in my system), I take the court with some other dudes who play college ball somewhere just as small and insignificant as me. Hibachi strolls into the gym in some unlaced Adidas, so I'm immediately thinking: "Okay cool, he's probably gonna tie those real tight in a minute." NOPE. Gilbert starts the game with untied shoes. Who does this dude think he is? Ugh, I'm already annoyed he isn't taking me seriously. I hope he tweaks his ankle.
The game starts. I still have Henny on my breath and my stomach has definitely been percolating for some time, but of course, I am stuck guarding him because none of my pussy-ass teammates want to get embarassed. Fuck it, time to strap up.
The first half is only a partial ass-busting. Not as bad as I suspected. He's hitting some dumb shots from near halfcourt because he's definitely got some psychological problem that tells him this is acceptable behavior, even in actual NBA games. But I'm fairly quick and strong and, most importantly, can actually jump. So even though Gilbert is probably playing 50 percent, every once in a while I get by him and score.
Before long, of course, Gilbert kicks it into high gear and fucking Usain Bolts down the court right at me with the ball, making some ridiculous move at the last second that leaves me defenseless. He does this a few more times. Going left. Going right. Then, as Gilbert brings it down on me yet again, I start to make another 50-50 decision on which side to defend—until he decides I'm in his way and bulldozes me over like a little bitch and tries to dunk on me! THE NERVE. Crowd goes wild. I'm silently weeping inside. I don't want to play anymore. I hate basketball. Luckily Gil misses the dunk attempt, but the ref calls a foul on me, which only exacerbates the situation and the fact that I am the intended victim. This I could not stand for.
We're neck and neck and I'm not letting any of this go. I start trying, like, really hard. I want him to pay. By the second half, it's a close game and I'm finally warmed up with (most of) the booze out of my system. Then it happens: I'm cutting down the left flank, someone throws a pass to our center at the foul line, who then feeds me a smooth bounce pass. I take two steps—Agent Zero with me stride for stride—and take off with my left hand gripping the ball, cock back, and...BOOM SHAKALAKA.