Agent Zero was not just a player, he was a persona.
Gilbert Arenas was personality, fun, carefree and exuberant off the court and on. A real character in an increasingly corporate league.
Not any more. A bearded Gilbert Arenas was very business like at Wizards camp — Michael Lee of the Washington post described him as subdued.
After a season when he was suspended for gun charges, when he stood before a judge and pled guilty, when the Wizards stripped down the billboards of him up around the arena, Arenas seemed business like. He seemed changed. He was serious. The lessons and pain of last season were not lost on him.
Behind closed doors he’s changed, too. Although he is not quite so serious, according to quotes collected by the legendary Dan Steinberg at D.C. Sports Bog.
“Sometimes, not really,” Nick Young said, when asked if Gilbert smiles around the team. “I see a change in him. He’s working out, working hard. Gil’s gonna be Gil, he’s gonna get back to his stardom and he’ll be great again….He’s more of a captain now. He understands things more. He’s taking it more serious. Something like that could change you, but he’s looking forward to the future, and he’s gonna be all right this year.”
“He seems upbeat to me,” Al Thornton said. “We’ve been playing pickup and everything, [and] he seems friendly, smiles, joking, the usual Gil.”
“I see the regular Gil, the behind-the-scenes Gil,” JaVale McGee said. “Of course he’s gonna be professional, he’s going the professional route as of now in the media.”
There apparently will be a public and a private Arenas. At least for now. But he will be one of the more interesting, influential people to follow this season.