Jusuf Nurkić has said it, ‘there’s a line, and you don’t want to cross that line.’ Whatever happens on the court, you have to make sure it stays there. Especially if you are teammates. Stuff like practice altercations and fights are locker room disruptors, and players have to leave those on the floor.
Steve Kerr did it with Michael Jordan. Kobe and Shaq, in some sense, were also able to do it. But no one did it the way Steve Blake had done it. And the best thing about it, he was the initiator, as Gilbert Arenas got on the receiveng end of Blake’s punches. But as soon as the practice was over, so was the altercation between the two. At least that was Steve’s way of thinking.
Arenas couldn’t believe it. One minute they are wrestling on the floor, the next, he’s inviting him for dinner to talk plays. To make such a shift in such a short period of time was unfathomable for Gil. And he didn’t have to go along with that. The guy did just try to hit him. Arenas’ was entitled to a cooldown period much longer than what Blake offered him. But that’s just how Steve rolled. He took crossing the line thing literally, and he went to a whole different place once he was off the basketball hardwoods. But while on them, ‘his whole demeanor would change.’
When the game tips off, you love to see a guy like that wearing the same uniform. But he usually comes with the baggage of being a time bomb that doesn’t choose its victims. There’s a big chance for it to blow up with teammates around, and if that’s the case, not letting it become the chemistry disruptor is crucial.
But it’s a two-way street. Because Arenas could’ve said no to Blake’s proposal. In fact, most people would’ve said no. But Steve acting as nothing had happened led Gil to do the same way, as the two went out for dinner, holding no grudge between one another. I’m just wondering, did Steve offer the same thing to John Gilchrist?
The moral of the story is this: don’t mess with Steve Blake. Because he will punch you, and he will take you out for dinner the very same day.