Nine months to the day after he put his professional basketball career in jeopardy -- when he mocked his gun investigation by playfully shooting his teammates in Philadelphia with his fingers shaped like pistols -- Gilbert Arenas was back on the court, in an NBA uniform, bearing little resemblance to the player most remember.
He's ditched the No. 0 -- and the Agent Zero persona that came with it -- replaced it with the No. 9 and is growing out a thick, scraggly beard that serves as a figurative shield from the outside world.
The ball, the Washington Wizards franchise for that matter, has been taken from his hands and given to fresh-faced rookie, John Wall, who based on the stubble on his chin has a while to go before he compete with Arenas's facial hair. But during the Wizards' 97-94 win on Tuesday, Arenas appeared to have no problem deferring to Wall and assuming the role as complementary shooter.