Dec 19, 2010

Sweet Sorrow

Well, Gilbert's gone.

Most of the Zards fanbase is probably happy to see him go, and that makes sense. Gil has three seasons left on a massive contract, one that was supposed to go to an incandescent offensive talent, a fiery franchise player who would fill the Verizon Center in the depths of winter and carry the Wiz into May, season after season after season. Sadly, that's not how it worked out.

Two knee surgeries transformed Gilbert. The lethal long range threat was replaced by a wildly inconsistent shooter who mixes makes with an astonishing number of airballs and hard bricks. The unstoppable force that streaked to the basket is now a step slower, struggling to shake his man and clueless about how to finish at the rim.

Most of all, the swag is gone. Gil used to play basketball like he was speaking a language only he knew. His game was never graceful, but it was coherent and electric and fluent. He knew what he was doing, even if you didn't. Now he looks awkward and lost.

Throw in last year's felony charges and the arrival of John Wall, and the Wizards were desperate to ship Gilbert away, if only they could find a taker. Now they have, and an era is finally over. Everything over the last seven seasons, one good, three great, and three terrible, was shaped by Gilbert. He and Caron and Antawn are pretty much the reason Zards ALards! even exists. So before moving on, excuse us if we take a moment to say goodbye.

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