Dumbassery and professional sports go together like red beans and rice. My favorite recent example is the trouble Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas has gotten into overpulling a gun on a team mate. Arenas is now saying the whole thing was just a joke. Obviously. I don’t know about you but nothing tickles my funny bone like having a gun pointed at me. Hardy har har. The District of Columbia has very strict gun laws so Arenascould face chargesand wind up being lionized by the NRA.

An interesting sub-plot to the Arenas story is that the Wizards used to be known as the Bullets when they had a good team that won a championship and had some great players such asEarl (The Pearl) Monroe, Elvin HayesandWes Unseld. But yet again, I digress: the team nickname was changed by ownerAbe Pollin in 1996 because of his concern that the old name glorified gun violence in a city wracked by it. Way to go, Gilbert: dishonoring the memory of the recently deceased owner of your team.

It occurred to me that the word that best describes the hoop star Arenas is one frequently used by Deadwood’s master of invective, Al Swearingen. Gilbert, you sir, are not only a hoopster but a fuckinghooplehead.

Cross-posted at Adrastos.

2 thoughts on “Hooplehead

  1. I’m sure you know this, but the Bullets referred to bullet trains, popular in the area at the time.
    I also remember reading about the old ABA and the guys like Levern “Jelly” Tart who used to keep guns in their lockers. In fact, half of the old Indiana Pacers used to dress like cowboys and bring their six shooters into the locker room.
    One of the things Stern has tried to do is limit the “thug image” of the league with things like the dress code, the “NBA Cares” thing and being strict on players who act out. I’m hoping the Wizards use the moral turpitude clause in the contract to cut him and save the cap space. He’d be a pretty good example for others…

  2. I do recall the train thing. They were also the Zephyrs for that reason.
    There was a really good story about guns and pro athletes on HBO’s Real Sports a few months back with the focus on the NFL.

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