Lesson 8: The Black President

Posted by on January 15th, 2007 in Lessons

Gilbert Arenas became the hottest free agent over the summer. Fans began noticing his quirky antics when Gilbert said he decided between the Wizards and Clippers by flipping a coin 10 times. When the Clippers’ side came up eight times, Arenas says he knew what he had to do: go “against the odds”, although he later said he made up the story for “fun and entertainment.” He gave himself the nickname “Black President” and finished the 2003-04 season leading his new team in minutes per game (37.6), points per game (19.6) and assists per game (5.2) but missed 27 games after sustaining an abdominal injury.

In his second year in Washington, Arenas led the Wizards in scoring with 25.5 points per game. He was named to the All-Star team and became the first player from the 2001 NBA Draft class to earn All-Star recognition. Arenas finished in the Top Ten in the NBA in minutes per game (3rd), three-point field goals made (5th), steals per game (6th), points per game (7th) and free throws made (8th). He became the first Wizards player to earn a Player of the Week honor since Michael Jordan did it in on March 2, 2003.

In the 2005 playoffs, Arenas averaged 23.6 points, 6.2 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game in 10 games with the Wizards including a game-winning basket in Game Five of the first round as time expired against Chicago before being swept by the Miami Heat in the second round. Arenas was named to the All-NBA Third team during the summer for the 2004-2005 NBA season.

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