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Gilbert Says Wiz Are Better Without Him


Cheerleader, Ukrainian. (By David Liam Kyle - NBAE via Getty)


Like everyone else in the world, I've said less-than-complimentary things about Gilbert at various points this season. But last night was just classic Gil. When the locker room opened before the game, he was lounging around and laughing and acting like a goof. I asked about his health, since this was clearly not his usual pre-game mood. "I'm done," he said. Then he began talking about whatever--"Harold and Kumar," for example. Then there was a pause. And then he spent 30 minutes with the media discussing his health, his blog, his knee tattoo and every other topic under the sun.

And then he went out there in his crazy yellow coat and cheered the team on, including a post-game leap. After the game, I told him I had gotten an e-mail during the game, praising the coat. And, I swear, he thought I meant I had gotten e-mails praising my plain gray Jos. A. Bank blazer. "Oh, really?" he said, of my blazer. No, silly; your yellow plaid coat.

Slate's Gilbert dis track made some strong points about Gilbert vs. LeBron, but I just go back to the two guys' signature moves. Gilbert throws his jersey to kids in the stands after the game is over. LeBron puts his hand in chalk, creates a theatrical puff, raises his arms and scowls before the game has even started.

Anyhow, here's how Gilbert described his role for the rest of these playoffs.

"You go out there and you cheer your team on," he said. "I'm just glad I got the opportunity to come and play in the playoffs, no matter what Skip Bayless says. No, that's ok," he said, laughing about talking head criticism. "It happens. You've got to take it like a big boy. I understand. I knew they were playing better basketball without me this year. But sometimes as a competitor, you want to go out there and play, too; you want to be a part of it. Sometimes your knee says, 'Hey, it's not your year.' "

He was asked about the reaction from his teammates; "they understand," he said. "I got an opportunity this year to play in the playoffs. I did I everything I can. I went out there, wounded and all, just to play in the playoffs. And it's my duty to go here and let these guys go ahead out there and just fight, put out some healthy bodies. We need healthy bodies to go out there and beat this team. I can't go out there hobbling, trying to help this team win, because at the end of the day it's hurting [the team]."

And he was asked whether he should have been playing at all on that knee.

"Hmmmm," he said, actually thinking about the issue. "You know, I don't know," he finally said. "One thing, I didn't want to look back here 10 years from now and say, 'Damn, I had a chance to play, and I didn't.' It's still the playoffs. There's still players in this league that haven't touched the playoffs."

Ivan Carter followed up, saying he also could be looking back 10 years from now like Grant Hill, staring at an injury that refused to go away.

"Yeah, you're right," Gilbert said. "Now I've got a chance to actually heal it before I did any big damage. But still, basketball is basketball, and at the end of the day when you look back, you're gonna say 'Hey, I went out there and gave it 110 percent.' "

I know, holding a 30-minute press conference right before an elimination game, talking about tattoos and the end of his season without even telling his coach he was done....it's still Gilbert being Gilbert. It's still all about him. But it's still bloody fun.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 1, 2008; 12:37 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Gilbert On the End of His Blog and His New Tats

Comments

Hibachiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: prescrunk | May 1, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

he blows

Posted by: gilsuck | May 1, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Gil is going to do with all this free time. I think it'll be videogames. Is he going to promote his Rock Band - "Bury My Hibachi at Wounded Knee"? Or Is he going to be playing Grand Theft Auto IV? Or maybe some Mario Kart Wii with his kids? Well, at least his EASports NBA Live 08 curse is over. It's time to put LeBron on a cover other than Vogue.

Posted by: greg | May 1, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I really like gil but i dont think he is helping us out

Posted by: Jesse | May 1, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Yellow plaid coat courtesy of the Georgetown Urban Outfitters.

Posted by: StetSports.com | May 1, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Gil is the man. I've said it before, but EJ needs to improve his ability to be a player's coach instead of just a tactical coach. If he can manage Arenas, get him to play a Chauncey Billups-style PG, this team will be DIRTY next year. You simply can't replace the skill-set of a guy like Arenas.

Posted by: psps23 | May 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Steinz, I know you're trying to raise a kid, but you gotta get some better threads than Jos. A. Bank. Bad, cheap clothes defined.

Posted by: R.J. | May 1, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@ R.J.

i doubt bloggers for the post get paid much. At least Steinz isn't borrowing way-too-large jackets from other people anymore. One step at a time. Dan, show this thread to your bosses and demand a raise!

Posted by: Icantfeelmyface | May 1, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Fashion is vastly overrated. Behavior counts more.
Dang, I need to get off my soap box today.

Posted by: Arlington Pimp | May 1, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

If Gilbert behaved a little poorly, or a little self-absorbed, people should cut him a break: basketball is his life and it's breaking his heart that he can't play right now. So of course it's all a bit much and over the top.

I still wonder whether Gil's knee would have been injured at all if he had gotten to that game on time -- the game where he injured it. It's as if someone is trying to tell him that submitting to the chain of command might, for him, be a good thing.

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Posted by: kely | May 5, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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