Former NBA player Gilbert Arenas is full of stories from his NBA career and insightful comments and advice on how younger players should behave in certain situations. In a recent interview for Fubo Sports, Arenas talked about the first time he played against Vince Carter, and as a rookie that didn’t get much playing time, it felt like he wasn’t ready to face players skillful like Carter.
According to Arenas, there was a moment in the game when Carter threw down a dunk that immediately made him realize he is in the big boys league where things are done differently. At that time, Arenas was fascinated by Carter’s athleticism, and what scared him the most was the fact he doesn’t have the same type of skillset as Carter and some other players in the NBA he faced during his rookie year.
In my first game, we are playing against Vince Carter, and I am in there cocky. He missed two straight shots, so I’m thinking this dude is trash. And then he got mad, came to the post, did a spin move, and cocked it at the rim. I jumped out of the seat, and it was the best dunk I’ve ever seen. I’m thinking I can’t even play in this league, bro. I got so depressed just from the dunk, realizing I don’t have this type of athleticism. I spent the first half of the season thinking I can’t do this.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
Having the right mindset is essential if you want to succeed in anything you do in life, and basketball is no different. It took some time for Arenas to understand that he is superior to other players in certain aspects of the game. As soon as he realized that, his perspective changed, and became more comfortable and, therefore, a better player.
Start looking at what they can’t do. You have speed, and you can shoot, you can score. Now, look at the game like that. Now, look at the position you play and whether those players can stop what you do. From that moment, I started to look at the game differently, and my whole perspective changed. Once I got there, I took off. It’s the way you look at the game. We tend to look at what we can’t do because someone else can do it instead of looking at what they can’t do.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
Being ready in the NBA doesn’t just mean being physically prepared but also having the right mindset to compete daily and understand your strengths and weaknesses. The points Arenas made are great because they can be applied to pretty much anything in life and not just basketball.