Gil Zero, an Unsung Hero

Not only does he have one of the most entertaining Instagrams but Gilbert Arenas could really hoop back in the day. Even crazier, ‘back in the day’ wasn’t that long ago. Players like James Harden and Steph Curry are out here ‘cookin’ but let’s take a moment to appreciate the original grill-master, Mr. Hibichi… No Chill Gil.

For readers unfamiliar with Arenas’s game please take a moment to watch these highlights from his 60 point game vs the Lakers below.

Star power, right? A true matchup nightmare from anywhere within 30 feet of the rim, Agent Zero could shoot and drive. From 2006-2008 Arenas’s Washington Wizards (unsuccessfully)challenged LeBron’s OG Cavs squad in the East; as a result Gil achieved the national spotlight he deserved. He lead a playoff team and validated his place among the elite NBA guards simultaneously. My mans averaged 28 points and 6 assists on his way to three All-Star appearances while playing for the Wizards. His frame and game reminds me of a more reckless version of James Harden. Agent Zero played with a fire and intensity that would lead to a fruitful shoe deal.

Agent Zero in the Gil Zero vs. Steve Nash
Minimalist design, nonaggressive branding

Adidas capitalized on the L.A. native’s popularity in 2006 and concocted the Adidas Gil Zero (he wore the number 0). The shoe was revolutionary in terms of cut. Low-top versions of popular models have always been available but the Gil Zero was one of the first pure low-tops from the get-go (years before Kobe x Nike. The shoe featured Formotion, the Adidas tech that focused on freedom of motion. Coupled with the cut, the shoe laid the groundwork for mobile, guard-centric designs. Elements from the Gil Zero would later be seen in shoes like the AdiZero Rose and Harden Volume 1. In retrospect, the GZ was just a clean, well executed shoed.

A sweet view of Formotion pods and heel of the Gil Zero

Controversy over a poor decision by Arenas lead to his line being discontinued before the release of his third shoe. The ‘sneaker free-agency’ that followed bordered on legendary once he was reinstated into the league. No shoe was safe- Gil rocked, Jordan retros, samples, Nike trainers, Adidas aaaand Dolce & Gabbana. That’s right, D&G’s even got laced up. To this day Adidas continues the common process of retro-ing old signature shoes under a new name, so the Gil Zero became the Regulate (other examples include: KB8 = Crazy 8; Kobe 2 = Crazy 2). What do you think of the Adidas Gil Zero? Did you own a pair? Where do you rank a prime Gilbert Arenas? Tell us in the comments section below!

Nick Young in the rare Adidas x UNDRCRWN collaboration which was limited to 750 pairs
The Gil Zero Mid; Adidas always released GZ’s in great colorways
Another rare pair, the All-Star editions from 2007

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