Gil the Hero
If you live in the DC area, when you hear someone mention the housing project name Barry Farms, ones first thought may be of fear. Long known as a notorious violent neighborhood, a place where many mothers are brought to tears at the reality of losing their kids to the drug game, neighborhood feuds, petty beefs, and jail, this neighborhood has suffered through a lot. While the neighborhood has seen a drop in the ruthless manner in which it became infamously known, many people are still looking for a ray of hope. One thing that remains a constant and brings a smile and a sense of pride to the people of this neighborhood is the annual installment of the Goodman Basketball Summer League. Run by Mr. Miles, this long standing tournament attracts most of the city’s accomplished players. While most of the areas most accomplished playground legends have played behind the gates (Curt Smith, Victor Page, Lonnie Harrell to name a few), the league in years lacked a true identity, with its annual game against Team And1 becoming its annual highlight. That changed when the Washington Wizards had the privilege of signing the” Zero Hero”, none other than Gilbert Arenas. While the Wizards have had many of all star talents, none of them has endeared their self to the community like Mr. Arenas has. If you are a regular behind the gates, you get to see the easiest going millionaire you’ll see in your life. Here, in one the notorious violent neighborhoods in DC, you see Gilbert interacting with the young kids, taking photos with everyone and pretty much having a good time. Many of people, with less of a financial portfolio than Mr. Arenas, are victim of robberies in this neighborhood. Not Gilbert! Could it be all the free shoes he gives away to the kids? Or the donations he makes to recreation center? Or maybe it’s the money he donated the league to help facilitate it facelift. All of these are valid reasons, but in reality the main reason lies in heart of Mr. Arenas itself. Unlike other basketball players in the past, Barry Farms didn’t come looking for him, he sought them out. His genuine generosity, interactions with community and unwavering entertainment value are very much appreciated by the people who count the most, the people of Barry Farms. For that very reason, Gilbert can feel at home and feel safe as a member of the community behind the gates. Gilbert, you are appreciated. At least by the people who get to see you play in the gates? If you don’t know by now, Mr. Arenas has plans on opting out his contact after this year. He’s stated that if the Wizards make move’s to improve the team and pay him what he’s worth, then there shouldn't be any worries. "Whatever", Mr. Pollin has a history of undervaluing his superstars. It has happened many times in my lifetime. My friends always laugh, saying that Washington is “rest stop” for star players, and to some extent I believe them. Agent Zero is the perfect player to lead us back to the promise land. Mr. Pollin, not only do you have a All Star guard who averages 30 points a game but one who also averages hundreds of smiles from all the people who get to see him play for free in SE each year. I know the NBA is a business, and I am no one to tell a man what to do with his millions, but yet Mr. Pollin let me give you some advice, "Pay the Man".You won’t regret it, the fans won’t forget it, and most of all, and the people who are personally attached to Agent Zero, the people of Barry Farms will finally give you some credit. Pay The Damn Man.