Arenas: "Nobody wants to live in Milwaukee"
It's been a very good month in Milwaukee. Summerfest and Bastille Days ended successful runs. The Brewers landed CC Sabathia and the Bucks traded for Richard Jefferson.
Because of these marquee names and events, Milwaukee, a city that we all know and love, is getting a ton of national publicity. Even some from an NBA star and blogger Gilbert Arenas, of the Washington Wizards.
I'm never one to believe that Milwaukee has the greatest national reputation. The fact is that cities our size usually fly a bit under the national media radar. That's fine.
But, reality is that too many people (sports "stars" included) have outdated or flat-out wrong impressions of what Milwaukee is. Add Arenas to this list.
Arenas writes a regular blog on nba.com called "Agent Zero: The Blog File." It's mildly entertaining, especially for big NBA fans like myself. Seems, though, that he isn't a big fan of the Mil.
In his July 14 blog, he writes about the many free agent signings and trades in the NBA, among other things. About new Bucks forward Richard Jefferson, he says:
"Richard Jefferson going to Milwaukee .... HAHAHA! Oh man, now that is funny. When I heard that, I started laughing. Oh man, did I start laughing. You know why? Because every player hates Milwaukee. Nobody wants to live in Milwaukee. I'm sorry, Milwaukee, to come down hard on you, but no one in the NBA wants to play in Milwaukee. From him going from New Jersey, actually from New York (because he lives in New York), from New York to Milwaukee is like going ... let's just say it's not going to sit well with you. That was a funny one when I heard that one. I know Yi is happy though."
"Every player" hates Milwaukee? Come on, Gilbert! It's no secret that Milwaukee isn't New York City or Chicago. But we aren't some two-cow town in Iowa either. It's tough, yes, for many corporations and sports teams to recruit "stars" to smaller market cities. But, the days of "Bush League" are gone and Milwaukee can and is competing. See forbes.com, which ranked Milwaukee the ninth best city for young professionals.
So, I take Arenas' comments with a proverbial grain of NBA salt and chalk them up to naivety and, frankly, a pure lack of first-hand perspective as to what Milwaukee is and isn't.
Arenas, by the way, just signed a new deal with the Wizards. It's reported to be a six-year, $111 million contract.
Use the talk backs to react. Maybe Arenas will read some of them while he's surfing the Web to find fodder for his next blog.
Miltown | July 18, 2008 at 11:18 a.m. (report)
I find it interesting that jsonline just blogged about this today, several days after OnMilwaukee. Don't they have like 200 reporters over there? Anyway, Arenas has never really even experienced Milwaukee. Whatever, I say.
Great points about not having the kind of night life that Chicago or NYC has, where is he going to spend all of his time while he's hurt during the season? It doesn't matter if he plays anyway because the games are fixed. Irrelevant comment. Irrelevant person.
I have to aggree with Arenas in a way. Milwaukee definately cannot offer or compete with cities like New York, L.A, or Chicago just to name a few. If you are a high paid athlete then the smaller markets are definately less attractive. I love living in milwaukee but im also not a NBA player making millions. If I was my perspective might change too.
Give me a break - this guy is going to pass judgement on a great blue-collar city. A city full of workers, not slackers. A city of ethnic diversity and educated people. Arenas can take his educated 111M and stay in DC - hope you have a safe stay. Leave me the brats, the beer, the festivals - the Brewers, Bucks and Packers!
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