It’s no secret – I love Gilbert Arenas. Ever since he was drafted by the Warriors (and yes, I’m aware he was once a Wildcat but prefer not to discuss that) I’ve been a big fan. It’s one of things I always put in those games you play with your friends to see how well you know someone. So take notes.
Given my fanatical status, imagine my surprise when I just discovered today that Gilbert has been blogging since October of 2006! NBA.com said this about his blog:
Quite simply, Gilbert Arenas is the first “blog superstar.” Beginning in October 2006, Gilbert started to entertain fans with more than his scoring and jersey tossing on the court, but with an inside look into his whirlwind life with witty insights in his weekly posts on NBA.com. His Agent Zero Blog File was there for his scoring predictions, his 25th birthday bash and his All-Star experience in Vegas and continues to be considered the top blog of any pro athlete today.
Agent Zero: The Blog File is still alive and well as part of NBA.com’sFan Voice. Although posts only appear about once a month (and a little more frequently during the season), but he covers A LOT in each post. His most recent posts talk about his third surgery, his dad’s reaction to his surgery, the Redeem Team and a funny You Tube clip featuring Baron Davis.
Giving Gilbert a blog seems like a genius strategy for the NBA, the Wizards, and Gilbert himself. He’s one of those eccentric players that everyone loves to watch and read about. Sports Illustrated and other sports magazines have done features on his unique personality, dedication to game and his role as prankster in the locker room. Even without a blog, he shows his goof-around personality on the court and makes connections with fans. For example, Gilbert throws his jersey to a member of the crowd after every home game. I can’t think of another NBA player whose thoughts would be so well-received.
Not only is he putting a personal angle on the NBA, but I’m sure it helped Wizard fans get through the frustrations of surgery after surgery and so much time on the bench. As a frustrated fan, I’m sure reading though Gilbert’s experience and rationale for each surgery eases the pain. When he shows that he’s just as upset (if not more) as the fans, explains why the surgery was completely necessary and talks about everything he’s doing to make a speedy recovery, you can’t be mad at him.
Finally, a blog furthers Gilbert’s connection with fans and enhances his image. When or if Gilbert becomes a free agent again, I’d argue the his following and positive image he brings to a team is considered. Especially when a team needs help securing an enthusiastic fan base after years of losing seasons, having a well-liked player may make a huge difference. Not that he doesn’t need to be healthy as well… but you know what I’m saying.