Gilbert Arenas was worried that he was going to receive some boos from the crowd during the halftime celebration. I was in attendance for last night’s game, and let me tell you something. I did not hear one boo from any part of the arena. When Arenas was introduced, he received the biggest standing ovation from the fans who were in attendance. 12 years after he was traded from Washington to Orlando, fans still love Agent Zero.
As fans, we remember how badly Arenas’ Wizards tenure ended. We lived through it, and don’t need a reminder. The franchise and fanbase did everything it could to move on. A year after Arenas was traded, the Wizards changed the uniform colors and logo. The fanbase marched forward with the Wall and Beal led teams.
Arenas himself did what he could to move on. After being traded from Washington, he would play one more game in Capital One Arena (then Verizon Center) in 2011 before avoiding the place altogether. Over the years, John Wall would invite Arenas to home games. An invitation that Arenas would decline.
Time heals everything
The big three reunion was of course not all about Gilbert Arenas. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were great players in their own right. Without them, Arenas would not have had the success in Washington that he had. But Arenas gets the blame for that era ending the way it did.
In the years following 2010, Jamison and Butler have been a part of the Wizards organization. Jamison has been a part of the Wizards’ front office since 2019. Butler was a commentator for the Wizards during the 2019-2020 season. Two members of the big three were still associated with the organization. But the most electrifying player in Wizards’ history wasn’t.
But time heals everything. After 12 years, you start to remember the good more than the bad. With the big three era, there was definitely more good than bad.
I became a Wizards fan in 2006, the height of the big three era. When I look back on that era, I don’t think about how it ended. The playoff games, epic buzzer beaters, and high scoring performances are what come to mind. As Wizards fans, we are past the point where we dwell on what happened from 2008-2010.
It was time to celebrate the big three for their accomplishments. It was time to bring Gilbert Arenas back to Washington DC.