It’s amazing how it seems like weeks can go by with almost no news on the Gilbert front, and then in the span of about 36 hours, Gilbert gets on Jeopardy, he has an epic interview with SLAM, and he updates his blog. The main subject on this week’s entry is Gilbert’s relationship with his mother.
He was like, “I was in college at the University of Miami and she was living with her parents and me until she moved out to the projects with me in Tampa, Florida.”
So, she was in Tampa and he was in Miami going to college and he came down to visit her early one time to surprise her and me and long story short, she was there with somebody else and doing drugs. They broke up right there and he went back to school.
Back in Miami, he ended up breaking his leg and had to leave school to come back to Tampa to be closer to me I guess. While he was coming back to Tampa, he didn’t know it, but she was going up to Miami to move with the other guy because she was pregnant by the other guy.
Now, my mom had another kid by the dude she was moving to Miami with whose name is “Blue” living with us in Tampa. So when she ran off, she left me and my stepbrother Blue with the dude’s mother. The dude’s mother called my father and said, “I’m going to give you a second chance to be a father.”
She was like, “Francis,” (my mother’s name is Francis), “Francis hasn’t been here for months. She hasn’t seen her kids in months and I’m getting ready to turn your son over to the state. You can come down here and pick your kid up.”
So my dad drove down and picked me up right before the foster care was coming to get me. I guess my dad and my mom talked about it a couple months after he got me and they agreed that she was going to come and get me back. And she never did.
Next, he explains his encounter with his mother while he was playing for Golden State:
So it’s before the game, we’re on the court and I hear this woman screaming my name. I’m thinking, “I know I don’t have any fans like that in Miami. I mean, I know I get buckets, but I ain’t got no fans …” and then I turned around and saw the lady and she says to me, “I’m your mother.”
All I can remember is all the anger from all the years of beating up kids from them talking about my mother, it just got charged inside of me after I saw her. I played that game so angry that I got kicked out of the game for throwing my headband into the crowd.
After the game she met us by the bus and fell into my arms crying and said again, “I’m your mother.” Then she said her name. That was the first time I had ever seen her. I never even saw a picture of her before. I didn’t know if she was dark skinned/light skinned, I didn’t know nothing. She gave me her number and we had to go, so I got on the bus and I called my dad.
“Yo, what was my mom’s name?”
“Well, I think I just met her.”
He asked for her number and he called her and that was the last I ever heard of her until my dad told me the story after the Cavs series and it was the last time I ever saw her Mike Wise’s story included a picture of her. When I saw her by the bus it was all a blur, I didn’t really have an image of her in my head. The first time I got to see her see her was when that article came out.
After explaining how basketball and other people helped fill the void created by not having a mom in his life, he went on to talk about his role as “Coach Arenas” while he’s sidelined:
I look at it like this: I remember hearing stories of people playing with Jordan and people playing with Charles Barkley and some of the older cats and they were seeing these guys party and go out to clubs and they’re thinking that that’s what the NBA is about, but they didn’t see these guys when they were in their 20’s and working hard every day. They just saw the fun part of it.
So you had some of our young kids coming in the league and just partying and getting all ahead of themselves. Whenever there is a young person that comes to the team, I try to show him the right light. They’ll make their decisions after that.
I’m like, “Look, I work hard. I come in three times a day. I’ll call you. What’s up? You’re working? You’re coming to work? You need to work? OK, let’s go get some shots up. Let’s go in early. Let’s do this, let’s do that.”
You give them the right way to be a professional and from there they can make their choices.
It’s just like when I was in Golden State, I had Larry Hughes, I had Antawn, I had Erick Dampier, I had Marc Jackson and Chris Mills. I had all these people to look at and see what these guys did.
His latest entry might not have the humor that a lot of his posts have, but that’s not a bad thing, especially in a post like this.