by Jack Maidment
The dreaded knee. Is there a piece of the human anatomy that strikes fear into the hearts of fans and franchises alike more than the K word? How many times have we seen a player seemingly destined for stardom or more brought crashing down to the earth by a knee injury.
Kenyon Martin. Joined the League with some of the scariest hops and most ferocious game ever seen but micro fracture surgery later and K-Mart’s future instantly became less stellar.
Shaun Livingston. Most hyped point guard, the next Magic, humbled and struggling for a roster spot in Oklahoma by a devastating knee blow out.
The list is long and the story is always a damn shame. Robbed of greatness by an innocuous jump or step.
There is no other stigma more damaging than a guy who has come back from, or is on the way back from knee surgery and rehabilitation. The cloud of doubt remains over their future, forever labelled with a question mark and the accompanying fear that what has happened previously might rear its ugly head for seconds.
It is with a mix of trepidation and excitement then that Gilbert Arenas is ‘back’ and, according to his coach, ‘better than ever’ after having his knee fixed up a number of times in the past 2 years.
Don’t call it a come back, but Agent Zero, one of the League’s absolute premier assassins, is playing ball again and his appearance at pro-am games suggests that there is no doubt in his own mind of his fitness. He is ready. Otherwise he wouldn’t be allowed within 10 miles of an outdoor asphalt court and a gang of amateurs gunning for the Hibachi.
Apart from the 2 games he came back for last year which were essentially non events due to his conditioning, Arenas has been confined to street clothes for what seems an eternity and the Washington Wizards faithful will be praying that there is substance to the sunshine coming from the mouths of Gil’s people.
Hell, its not just the Wizz who should be getting Holy right now: every fan in basketball should be offering up to the higher power of their choice for the return of Arenas, all fixed up, because the truth is we miss him.
We miss his buzzer beaters, his end of quarter heroics, his wit. Quite simply, we miss the man.
Welcome back Gilbert Arenas. May your stay be long.