Gilbert Arenas is a prime example of a player who didn't take himself seriously enough to fulfill his maximum potential. From day one, Arenas made himself a joke, quite literally. Literally day one - Gilbert did his cardio test at the NBA combine in untied Timberlands.
The more you learn about Arenas, it's not that he didn't love the game or work on his craft. His antics are a weird form of being a contrarian - there'S nothing Agent Zero loves more than to challenge authority. But even a guy like that couldn't ignore the charisma of Kobe Bryant.
Early in his career, Gilbert's friend met Kobe in Disneyland and told him, "my boy's gonna kick your ass when you play." Kobe asked who's his boy, and when he heard the boy was Gilbert Arenas, Kobe said, “Well, if he ever gets off the bench.” If it were anyone else, that person would skyrocket to no.1 on Arenas' target list. But with Kobe, he had a different reaction.
“My response was......he knows who I am?!?!?”
Gilbert Arenas, Fubo Sports
From day 1, Kobe was Gilbert's measuring stick. If Kobe works out at 3 am, so would Arenas. He would make sure to put in the time and imitate Kobe's process as much as possible. Arenas called Luke Walton to find out when does Kobe work out. Gilbert would show up early and watch Kobe practice and train. That's how Kobe knew there was a lot more to Arenas than the average fan saw. We got the guy with the antics; Kobe saw a hard worker with talent. When Kobe passed away, Arenas shared a post on Instagram and vowed to honor Kobe's wish.
I will fulfill the task u requested from me in this picture. You told me to use my bright basketball mind on some form of coaching on an NBA/college bench or coaching kids. Stop wasting it by being an idiot on social media...Today I'm starting my coaching career.
Gilbert Arenas, Instagram
Arenas explained how the process started while Kobe was still with us. He saw Kobe coach his daughter's team and found it interesting. When Bryant suggested that Gilbert gets into coaching, Arenas jumped to excuses - why would he deal with all the parents? Kobe shot those down right away. “Why would you have to.” After Kobe's passing, Agent Zero decided to take Kobe up on his offer.
A lot of people decided to change their ways after we lost Mamba. Shaq publicly apologized to a lot of people and worked on burying the hatchet. It reminded us how fragile life is. One of the biggest miracles that came out of it was Gilbert Arenas toning down the antics and using his basketball knowledge to help others play the game we all love.