During the mid-2000s, Gilbert Arenas was the leader of the Washington Wizards and one of the most unstoppable scorers in the NBA. During his best year, Gil averaged 29.3 points along with 6.1 assists per game, solidifying himself as one of the most challenging defensive assignments for defenders all over the league.
But Arenas wasn’t the only great point guard at the time, as he himself had problems guarding particular guys. Gilbert went on the “All The Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and shared who was his toughest matchup in his prime:
“My hardest matchup was J-Kidd. Because you gotta remember he’s 6’4”, all of 220, you know what I mean. I couldn’t bully through him and my speed; he neutralized it. Because he was just as fast, but he was quick. So when I got to take off, he can get to that spot before I gain. So when I played against J-Kidd, I had to really actually think. I scored 30, but it was one of those 10-21 type games; I never just dominated J-Kidd. He gave me a run for my money all the time.”Gilbert Arenas, All The Smoke
Jason Kidd was one of the rare point guards of that time who was a triple-double threat on a nightly basis, playing ahead of his time and making his defenders earn their money, dealing with J-Kidd doing everything with excellent efficiency. To add to that, Kidd’s size for the point guard position made him a real problem, as Arenas himself pointed out.
Arenas would have a couple of impressive seasons with the Wizards, but after a few brutal injuries and off-the-court troubles, Agent Zero ended up never being the same player and out of the league in 2012. But still, his run with the Wizards was one of the most electrifying basketball moments of the decade.