Gilbert Arenas remains one of the NBA’s biggest enigmas. The guy could score. I mean really score. And during his peak years, there weren’t many guys in the league who did it better than him.
Just remember the 05-06 season when he put up 29.3 points per game, becoming the fourth-leading scorer in the league. I’m telling you, the man could put the ball in the basket. And he did it consistently, playing in 80 regular-season games. He had another similar season the very next year but was never able to get on that level of play again.
Off the court, stuff got the best of him. It all went downhill after he tore his lateral meniscus in ’07, forcing him to have season-ending surgery. He was never the same after it. His troubles on the floor transferred off it, as Arenas got in a series of firearms violations. It resulted in a string of suspensions, marking the end of Agent Zero as we remember.
Other than his incredible scoring ability, Arenas has always been known for his goofy personality. I mean, the guy joked about his gun trouble playfully pointing his index fingers in a gun imitation at his teammates. He obviously didn’t know the boundaries, but it sure didn’t stop him from goofing around.
He’s always been like that, even during the pre-draft workout. It’s the time when everyone brings their A-game, hoping to showcase their talents in front of NBA scouts. If there’s any time for the NBA player to be serious and do his best, it’s during a pre-draft workout. Not for Arenas, though. He taught it was on him to put on a show. Boy, was he wrong!
“During the rookie transition, all of the rookies and NBA people are going around passing the mic to players to talk about themselves, and Gilbert said ‘I wanna be a pimp.’ They give him a second chance to correct himself, and while everyone was laughing, he said ‘I wanna be an international pimp.’ The guy was frustrated and told Arenas if he will be a misogynist who objectifies women, there will be no place for him in the league. He went after Gill and actually thought it will have some sort of impact.”Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson, the guy who told the story, and the guy who was there when it happened, believe that was the reason Arenas was drafted 31st overall. Because he sure was talented enough to go higher. I guess NBA people didn’t find it funny. It was neither the time nor the place for it. Arenas admitted he was just having fun and how at that time, he was a kid trying to show off in front of other young players who were attending the workouts.
And Arenas was far from done. He didn’t learn his lesson, as he continued to lower his draft stock even more. When it was time for a 20-minute treadmill workout, General showed up in Chuck Taylor’s shoes. He started the workout, and hopped off the treadmill after one minute, saying it would mess up his Chucks. It certainly wasn’t the right way to leave a good impression. But that’s just who he was.
“I didn’t take none of that seriously, and it didn’t mean anything to me because I was always in shape for playing basketball.”Richard Jefferson
This statement best describes his mentality. Basketball came easy for him. It was something he’s been doing his whole life, and Arenas didn’t see it as a challenge. He knew he could play, and he knew he would get the chance to showcase his talent. He obviously didn’t care when or where will he be drafted to.
Hence why all the extra stuff. And I’m not just talking about the pre-draft workout. I’m talking about his whole career. Arenas never took basketball seriously enough to focus solely on it. There was always something extra to him. Something out of the ordinary. It’s what makes him the person he is, but it’s also what deprived him of making a more significant impact in the NBA. He sure had the ability to do so.