Gilbert Arenas hasn’t played in the NBA in nearly a decade, but even the youngest NBA players still show respect to the former Washington Wizards point guard.
After Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges hit a clutch three-point shot in the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns, he was given a nickname by the broadcast team that should sound familiar to Washington Wizards fans: Agent Zero.
With 3:30 left in the game, Miles Bridges slammed home a LaMelo Ball assist to put the Hornets up 112-110. Then, on the next possession, Bridges came down and hit a three-pointer.
Five big points from Bridges and the announcers were excited. But Agent Zero? That’s not Bridges. That’s Gilbert Arenas. And even Bridges agreed.
While Bridges is a lot of fun to watch and is having a solid season thanks largely to his new lob-throwing partner LaMelo Ball, he’s not in Agent Zero territory. This season, Bridges is averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds off the bench for the Hornets.
When Gilbert Arenas was at the top of the NBA, he averaged 27.7 points and 5.7 assists from over three seasons (2004-2007). He was selected to three All-Star Games and named to three All-NBA teams during that time. He was a force. He was (and still is) Agent Zero.
I love Bridges’ game, but he’s right to turn down the nickname. And it’s pretty impressive that he had enough respect to tip his hat to one of the legends of the mid-2000s. When Arenas was first named to an All-Star Game, Bridges was just six years old. When Arenas had his infamous locker room incident that accelerated the end of things for him in Washington, Bridges was 11.
This is not the first time this season that someone has bowed at the altar of Agent Zero. Russell Westbrook gave up the number zero after wearing it for all 12 of his previous NBA seasons and his two seasons at UCLA. He’s now wearing number four, and despite his stated reasoning for the number switch, I’ve got to think he would have kept wearing zero if that number wasn’t tied to Gilbert Arenas in Washington.
Funny that Arenas keeps popping up in these odd, off-court ways while Bradley Beal is in the midst of the best offensive season we’ve seen from a Wizards since the Arenas days. Despite his less than graceful descent, it’s good to see Arenas still revered. At his apex, he was unstoppable.