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basketball

Basketball / Hibachi!

I'm plan­ning to write a man­i­festo regard­ing cel­e­bra­tions in pro­fes­sion­al sports — Are they ever appro­pri­ate? I think so. But when? Where? How should they be reg­u­lat­ed? All good ques­tions. As I was look­ing for evi­dence of dif­fer­ent styles of cel­e­bra­tion, I found myself read­ing a lot about Wash­ing­ton Wiz­ards guard Gilbert Are­nas. In the past, he cel­e­brat­ed made bas­kets by exclaim­ing, "Hibachi!" In the Wikipedia entry for "hibachi", he is quot­ed as explan­ing it thus­ly, "You know, a hibachi grill gets real hot. That's what my shot's like, so I've been call­ing it that: Wel­come to the hibachi!'"The NYT not­ed that he also shouts "Guar­an­teed, yea-ah!†or "Let's make it hot-aaah" to punc­tu­ate a bas­ket. Add "Qual­i­ty shots!" to this list, after Kobe claimed that he takes too many bad ones. All of which prompts me to exclaim: I love this game! Are­nas reminds me of weirdo 70's base­ball play­ers, like Bill "Space­man" Lee (claimed his mar­i­jua­na use made him imper­vi­ous to bus fumes while jog­ging to work at Fen­way Park) and Mark Fidrych (talked to him­self while on the mound). His volu­mi­nous Wikipedia page con­tains dozens of anec­dotes, and links to many more. He has also inspired many excel­lent entries in Wash­ing­ton Post sports columns and blogs, includ­ing a clas­sic: "Gilbert Are­nas: I'm Not Quirky," which includes this scorcher:

When [Are­nas] was in Gold­en State, he once broke into Chris Mills's house, stole his throw­back jer­sey, then wore it on the team plane to upset him. "That's not weird. That's just fun­ny," Are­nas said, laugh­ing to him­self.

Hibachi!