We here at the DC Optimist haven't bothered wasting time covering the non-issue involving Gilbert Arenas and his financial desires. The non-point, non-issue became further moot after Gilbert eased all Washingtonians' fears as well as delighted all of the internets once again with a fanciful blog post that addressed his contract situation along with other important concerns like riding a bike without a helmet, Larry Hughes's undergarmets and video game championships. Of course that didn't stop frequent 'tism-hater Tom Knott from wagging his fingers all over his laptop in a column bashing the Agent's contract decisions. Thankfully, the bloggers have responded and Knott was once again left to look Sally Jenkins-esque in his foolhardiness. But we thought another voice was needed to K.O. Knott. In a "war" of printed words last year, Wizards center Etan Thomas got into "debate mode" over his dual role as both a mediocre center and a thoughtful public speaker with the gruff Moonie-paper columnist. Thomas came out the victor of this brief beef, and unlike many of his games, he was consistent with his points. We sought out Etan for his thoughts on the recent bashing of his teammate by the MC Eiht to his DJ Quik. His response is below:
The other day I was driving my hybrid through the dilapidated streets of Washington DC, searching for a place to park so that I could enjoy a serving of fresh falafel, free of slaughtered animals, when I encountered a copy of your "great republican" newspaper, serving as a bed-sheet to a homeless transient. Ironic, I thought, that it is Knott's blowhardiness serving to warm this disenfranchised soul. After offering my 20-oz jug of wheat grass juice to the man in exchange for his bedspread (he took 20 dollars instead), I read over your latest bashing of African Americans living in this country. How long will we have to live with your racism, Mr. Knott? My teammate Gilbert Arenas may not have the wherewithal to deliver me the rock when I am free on the low block, but he is true with his intentions as a business person in America. What is wrong with a brother looking to maximize his financial means?
I was once a hungry rookie on the Washington bench, fiending for the opportunity to show off my potential to the Wizards' management, and after my impressive 03-04, I was rewarded with a contract that is critical to the team's success. I knew that with my financial future on the line, I would play as if my dreads were posessed by Jah himself, and afterwards, I would reap the rewards. I only see the play of Gilbert as going in the same direction, granted he passes me the ball every four or five posessions. The new contract, like the haters, will be his motivation, much like annihilating prejudice from the minds of bitter, unathletic sports columnists has always been mine.
Maybe you didn't know that while I was earning my degree from the prestigious Syracuse University, I was also serving as captain of the debate team, poet laureate and all-time shot block leader. I feel obligated to speak my mind when it comes to issues that involve racism, as most of your columns tend to do (and don't think I didn't notice your labelling of me as "The Poet" once again, as if having a literary-mindedness somehow is cause for jokes). I also have a problem with these websites that attempt to imitate my writing style in an effort to draw laughs at the expense of me and my mission. Laugh it up in your office cubicles; you are not out on the front lines speaking for the disenfranchised. Since everyone loves to affix me with this "poet" label, here's some battle rhymes I wrote for all of you:
I see you affixing your labels
eyes like post it notes
neon with hatred
none will attach
when my hands is slippery
Try to move me
but I won't budge
paper motivation like one sentence paragraphs
*author may not be Etan Thomas