If you ever think about Nick Young and Gilbert Arenas anymore these days, it’s probably for they’re contributions off the benches of their respective teams. Before that though, you probably thought about them for being two of the four leading men of Washington Wizards during their amazing run as the NBA’s most bloggable basketball team (also known as the Knucklehead Era). It was the best of times, it was the worst shot selection of times.
Now, they’ve both gone their separate ways. Gilbert’s been shuttled away by one franchise, amnestied by another and is now a Grizzly. Nick’s in Los Angeles, thanks to a trade at this season’s deadline. It was only through a stroke of luck that their two teams would end up playing one another in the playoffs. And it was only through a stroke of internet nostalgia that Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated would write a piece talking of their reunion. It’s as beautiful as you’d imagine.
Lately, they have been seeing each other plenty. In Memphis, the Clippers are staying at a hotel across the street from the arena, the same hotel Arenas moved into when he got to town. Young’s room is just a few floors above Arenas’, not that he spends much time in it. He’s downstairs, with Gilbert.
For hours Arenas and Young hang out, rekindling a friendship that was unceremoniously torn apart. They don’t do much. They watch television. They watch game film. And they talk trash. Arenas feeds Young disinformation (“We’re going to double you here”) and Young (“What do you know? You play like 10 minutes a game”) fires back. When they are hungry, they go eat. When they want to shop, they go to the mall. When they want coffee, they go to Starbucks together.
“Gil is like my family,” Young said. “His sons call me ‘uncle.’ It’s been really good to see him.”
Said Arenas: “He keeps telling me I’m going to get him into trouble if the coaches see him with me. But that’s who we are. We’re friends.”
Some people probably won’t like that two players from opposing teams would be friends off the court, especially during a playoff series, but I’m of the mind that this is great. Of course Nick Young and Gilbert Arenas should be friends. Outside of the the fact that Nick Young could never grow a Joaquin Phoenix beard, they are two peas in a pod. I would love to stand behind these guys at Starbucks, just to see how many sugars each of them order in their coffees.
(via DC Sports Bog)