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gameface_one
04-28-2008, 07:16 AM
Agent Zero coming to town
By Joaquin Henson
Monday, April 28, 2008
Philstar.com

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is scheduled to visit Manila on July 5-8 and a grand welcome awaits one of the six NBA stars from the celebrated Adidas brotherhood.

Arenas, 26, will fly in to launch three new signature shoes, visit Adidas stores, conduct clinics for kids, endorse socially-oriented projects like “Gawad Kalinga” and witness the UAAP basketball game between La Salle and Ateneo as a guest at the Araneta Coliseum on July 6.

The three shoes will be known as “Agent Zero,” “Hibachi” and “Black President”– all nicknames of the flamboyant Arenas, a corporate social responsibility ambassador for Adidas.

The Adidas brotherhood is made up of Arenas, Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Tracy McGrady.

Arenas will plane in with three companions from Beijing where he is slated to stay four days. From Manila, he returns to the US.

Arenas was tagged “Agent Zero” for wearing No. 0 on his jersey, a remembrance of when he was told by critics in high school he would play zero minutes in college. He was also dubbed “Hibachi” because like the grill, he sizzles on the court. Arenas got the nickname “Black President” in reference to his campaign to prove himself worthy of playing in the All-Star Game and his personal commitment to support Barack Obama.

Arenas’ itinerary will be finalized after the playoffs. At the moment, Arenas is locked in battle for the Wizards against Cleveland in an Eastern Conference first round series.

Arenas, a clutch shooter with nerves of steel, is in his seventh NBA season after he was drafted in the second round by Golden State in 2001 from the University of Arizona. He was the NBA’s Most Improved Player and MVP of the Rookies-Sophomores game during the All-Star Weekend in 2003. Arenas was voted to start for the East team in the 2007 All-Star Game. His NBA career high is 60 points.

This season, Arenas saw action in Washington’s first eight games then underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee before returning to play in five of the Wizards’ last eight games entering the playoffs. He averaged 19.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 13 contests.

Four years ago in Shanghai, Arenas was introduced to Manila journalists Bill Velasco, Anthony Suntay and Jinno Rufino during an Adidas camp. Adidas’ Goody Custodio, who was in Shanghai, said Arenas came across as a fun-loving, regular guy who’s friendly, approachable and accommodating.

“Gilbert is the ideal ambassador,” said Adidas’ Odette Velarde. “He’s got a smile for everyone. He’s like Allen Iverson without the mother and attitude. He’s talkative and outgoing. Filipino fans will love him.”

A prankster, Arenas is notorious for his lockerroom antics like hiding players’ jerseys. He once took a shower at halftime of a game, disguised baby powder for sugar on donuts he offered to teammates and ate 12 cheeseburgers on a road trip in Canada.

After every game, Arenas tosses his jersey to the crowd. It’s become an Arenas ritual at home or on the road and fans go crazy trying to grab his uniform.

Arenas was raised by his father who has roots in Cuba. His mother, a drug addict, abandoned him as a child. Arenas has a son Alijah and a daughter Izela Semayah. He is hooked to playing video games and owns over 400 autographed NBA players’ jerseys in his collection.

As a pro, Arenas has made it a habit to win games with buzzer-beaters. Last season, he buried a 32-footer to lift Washington to a 108-105 win over Milwaukee and drained another triple as the Wizards beat Utah, 114-111. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was once quoted as saying Arenas is one of the most difficult players to defend in the NBA.

Next year, Adidas will bring in Garnett for the first time to Manila. The plan is for two NBA stars to visit. The Boston Celtics forward was supposed to come over two years ago but McGrady arrived instead when he went to China and India in a last-minute change.

Raging Blue
05-06-2008, 11:03 AM
Coca-Cola International could perhaps consider signing up Gilbert Arenas as an endorser of Coke Zero if the latter's contract with Adidas does not contain any impediment. His moniker is already a brand in itself, though not yet popular outside basketball circles.

mighty_lion
05-06-2008, 11:21 AM
^ LOL. Pwede. Sana meron silang shoot that ball from mid-court challange ni Ritualo.

OT: I asked this question before kung bakit kailangan meron Coke Zero and Coke Light if same 0 calories naman. Coke Zero's target market is the male species daw yon Light naman is for the women. I find it ironic kasi sa bahay ako yong mahilig sa Light yong mga kapatid kong babae preference Zero. ???