Thursday, June 28, 2007

Role Models - Cycling vs The Hibachi

Some of you may have seen footage of NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton riding a road bike in the 70’s (the 7 footer's head tube was about as long as my arm) and many of you may be aware that current All-Star LeBron James has recently invested in Cannondale. Obviously cycling and hoops go together like…well, actually they really don’t go together like anything. Regardless, it seems that the NBA has another cycling advocate in the person of one Gilbert Arenas, also known as “Agent Zero” or simply “The Hibachi.”

The former Second Round pick for the Golden State Warriors (the only reason I care, even though he’s a Wizard now) regularly updates a phenomenally strange blog to which I was directed recently. It seems as though Agent Zero has been getting in some spins during the off-season and had some things to say about his bike skills and sense of self-preservation. Or lack thereof. Let the Hibachi start cooking below:

“My fear that I was having was falling, that was my biggest fear – falling on my leg. Wouldn't you know, we were riding on the freeway and I had to get off and go on the pike towards the airport and Crystal City. The people behind me were too close so I couldn't break and I had to just jump the curb going at least 15 miles per hour.

Whoo! That wasn't a pretty sight. I had grass stains and all sorts of stuff. I fell on my good leg so it was nothing to worry about. All the cars were stopping and asking, "You alright?" I was like, "Yeah, you know, my ego is hurt but that's about it."

I wasn't wearing a bike helmet. The only people who wear bike helmets are 13-year old girls and Tony Hawk, but that's skateboarding and he's doing flips and stuff. I'm going straight. Ha, well I guess I did end up doing a flip off my bike, but it wasn't a planned one.” – Gilbert Arenas, Agent Zero

Nice. My favorite parts are that he was riding on the FREEWAY, that he makes it seem as though 15 mph is fast and that grass stains were a concern. I know DC is a big city, but there have to better places to ride than the Freeway or the Pike, right?

My least favorite part is when he directly heckles everyone besides 13 year-old girls and Tony Hawk for wearing a helmet. But you may have guessed that would be an issue with me already. Now...I can’t say how worried the Hibachi should be about crashing on his leg but I think he should probably worry more about his skull and brain.

Then again, judging from Agent Zero’s blog and personal history of odd behavior, I really don’t know what is going on in that melon and he may have already suffered a couple dingers. For a quick reference, please enjoy some of the many flavors of Hibachi cooking via Gilbert’s Wikipedia page below. Note – I wish I could make this stuff up. My swag was phenomenal? That’s Gold Agent Zero, Gold!

Courtesy of Wikipedia...

“Gilbert Jay Arenas Jr. (born January 6, 1982 in Florida) is an American professional basketball player currently with the NBA's Washington Wizards.

Arenas was most often nicknamed "Agent Zero," but has increasingly been referred to as "The Hibachi."

While with the Warriors, he once took a shower at half time in full uniform. Before every game he would take a teammate's jersey and hide it in the locker room to make them look for it. Warriors teammate Adonal Foyle called him a "lunatic," and Troy Murphy said he used to lick or put baby powder on donuts he was forced to deliver to the team as a prank.

Arenas has been said to play online poker during the halftime of games, instead of resting or preparing for the second half. He disputes the accuracy of these stories, saying he was misquoted. Arenas says he does not play for money nor does he play online; instead, he plays on a DVD game of poker. On road trips, he will often eschew team outings on the town in favor of sitting in his room, ordering products from infomercials, such as a colon cleanser. In the same interview he said he preferred sleeping on the couch than on his bed, and that he once ate 12 cheeseburgers while on a road trip with the Wizards in Canada.

Arenas agreed to become a team captain for the 2005-06 season after declining the previous year because he said that many times he didn't even believe the things he was saying to his teammates. He has recently been given the nickname "The Black President", and calls himself the "East Coast Assassin", in reference to his quest to prove his abilities to those who did not vote for him to be a 2006 Eastern All Star reserve. Arenas has also begun to refer to himself as "Agent Zero"

During the 2003-04 season, Arenas tried to vote himself into the All Star game, trading a pair of shoes and a jersey for a box of ballots.

During the 2006 NBA season, he began to shout the word hibachi as he took field goal attempts in games, explaining, "You know, a hibachi grill gets real hot. That's what my shot's like, so I've been calling it that: 'Welcome to the hibachi'." He has also stated that while he is scoring on opponents, he is "cooking chicken and shrimp" in reference to his "Hibachi grill," and that if his opponent wanted to double team him, he would "cook filet mignon" as well.

On January 3, 2007, Arenas hit a very long game-winning three-point shot to beat the Milwaukee Bucks. In a post-game interview, Arenas stated that he did not shout "hibachi" or "quality shot." Rather, he told reporters that "My swag was phenomenal."

Arenas is donating $100 for every point he scores in each home game this season (2006-2007) to local D.C. area schools, while team owner Abe Pollin is matching that contribution for each away game. He also mentors a D.C. boy who lost his family in a fire at age 10. Arenas takes him shopping, bowling, got him a job as a ball boy for the Wizards, and acts as a brotherly figure towards him.”

.....What can I say other than...”Wow.” I wish professional cyclists were as interesting as the Hibachi. Here is a guy who may very well be crazy, but he’s a heck of a player and all in all, a pretty solid human being. I mean, he’s never really gotten into trouble and by all accounts is deadly serious about his profession. The fact that he took $20k off of his teammate Deshawn Stevenson during a shooting contest at practice is a testament to his competitiveness at least.

But as fascinated as I am by the Hibachi, I really have to take umbrage with the helmet comment. What an unnecessary thing to say. If I were a 13 year old girl I would be terribly offended. And as a staunch supporter of helmet use, I am far more disturbed by his blog comment than say...this:
Anyway, the main issue is that some young kid who idolizes Arenas could refuse to wear the helmet his parents bought him because of these comments and end up on a ventilator for the rest of his life (or worse). I would never specifically blame Arenas if this happened but it would have to be noted that, as a role model who clearly appreciates his fame, it is TERRIBLY irresponsible to make such foolish and potentially damaging comments. Read the rest of the Hibachi's post on "A Bicycle Built For Zero" to get a better understanding of his popularity with the kids. MEN wear helmets too Gilbert. Responsible men who realize the consequences of our choices and actions and are concerned for the health and safety of the kids that look up to us. "Wizards Season In Jeopardy As Agent Zero Slips Into Coma After Bike Accident" might not be a great headline for a future post on the blog.

Anyway, keep an eye out for Gilbert Arenas if you are ever riding along the Freeway or turnpike in Washington DC. He’s dangerous and potentially running at a very high temperature. But if you are a professional or competitive cyclist with a blog...please ask him for some advice because he is likely far more interesting than you. In the words of Snoop...”Don’t get mad, I’m only being real.”


Nrjetik1 said...

NBA star - no helmet, riding on freeways? Brilliant.

hey Jeremy, I sent you an email via your gmail account. did you get it?

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

It was his trainer that put him up to it too. So when are you going to start training your clients on I-80 Nancy?

Maybe get over to the MouseTrap for some intervals?

Some tempo work on the Bay Bridge?

Who knows, maybe he's on to something...

Nrjetik1 said...

HaHa...Do you remember 2 years ago on January 1st, the tide was high and it was raining so hard that the Sausalito bike flooded. I was out there and got stuck. I opted for waiting for a friend to rescue me but I recall seeing some cyclists take the Freeway on ramp. IN the POURING Rain to boot! DOH.
Maybe they use the same trainer :)

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

I always wanted to do the descent from the Waldo Tunnel down to Sausalito on 101.

Yeah, it's hard to swim in Sidi's.

We were in Ross last year and Shady Lane became Shady River for a while.

I still can't decide if snow is worse.

Velovera said...

even riding rollers may warrant a helmet. but a pro basketball player may be lacking some iq as well.

read your blog as i just moved to Colorado from SF so I too am a Calirodian or whatever...

All I know is I have valid tags on a CA plate sitting in my house.

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

Nice. There are lots of us out here. I think there is a time warp from the GG bridge to the Flatirons.

California -

Helping to increase home prices and wine sales in a Colorado town near you.

Velovera said...

have yet to purchase wine here as i forget i have to go somewhere else than wholefoods or trader joes' (le sigh...)

wine was delivered last week from it's trip from sf via nj! now i can start drinking again.

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

The whole Dry Sunday thing still kills me. No matter how long I live here I will never get used to it.

For reference, the Boulder Wine Merchant is nice (the smartest crew in CO) and you MUST go to Liquor Mart at some point. I don't drink (much) but that place is pretty cool. And the wine department is as big as my house.

Did you know that it's easier to ship a gun (not that I would know) than wine. Literally. I'm not kidding at all.

USA! USA! Good that we have our priorities straight.