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!â€ 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.