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How Gilbert Arenas nearly blew his deal with Adidas: "I'm an idiot but it worked"

After he kept his end of the bargain and became a 2007 All-Star starter, it was time for Gilbert Arenas to negotiate his deal with Adidas. To no one's surprise, things got interesting
Gilbert Arenas negotiations with Adidas in 2007

Gilbert Arenas negotiations with Adidas in 2007

"I'm an idiot, but it worked."

In many ways, this is the best way to describe Gilbert Arenas' NBA run. But what the former 3xAll-Star said about himself in an episode of "No Chill with Gilbert Arenas” has nothing to do with his "up-and-down" decade-long stint in the Association. 

The story Gil referred to took place off the court due to his All-Star level play with the Wizards. With great numbers came great benefits, and in 2007, coming off his career year, Arenas was offered a huge shoe deal with Adidas. To no one's surprise, he nearly blew it.

Creating the leverage

Adidas initially offered $500,000; Arenas countered $2 million. At that point, the German company didn't think Gil was famous enough to justify that asking price. That's why they gave him an ultimatum -- "Start in an All-Star Game, and you'll get your $2 million."

Arenas knew his play alone wasn't enough to get him there. That's why he decided to pull a Vince Carter and throw a birthday party and have everybody there fill out the All-Star ballots. Millions of dollars and 7,500 people later, he became a 2007 East All-Star Starter.

2007 East All-Star Starters, including Gilbert Arenas / Getty Images

2007 East All-Star Starters, including Gilbert Arenas / Getty Images

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That brings us to his negotiation with Adidas.

"Bluffing" his way to $40 million

After keeping his end of the bargain, it was time for the other side to do the same thing. But what they didn't know is that Arenas had rethought their pre-All-Star offer. Going into their meeting, the Wizards' star had a plan.

"I said, 'No matter what number they say, I'mma get up and walk out.' At this point, I'm asking for $2 million so they're like, 'Yeah, we're gonna give you eight-year, $2 million a year contract.' I'm like, 'I knew they was gonna do this,' and got up and walked out.

"This is how everyone gets messed up because you turn down guaranteed money," Arenas continued. "I'm sitting in my room like, 'I think I really messed up. I'm about to call these people and just be like yeah, yeah, I accept. Then they're gonna turn it down, they're gonna be like $1.5 million or take some years off.'"

Minutes later, someone knocked on Gil's door. It was his agent, Zach.

"They want to know what do you think you're worth," he said to Arenas. "So I'm confused; I get to make up my own number? He said, 'Yeah, what do you think you're worth?' Man, tell them like 40."

Ten minutes later, he called Gil to let him know Adidas agreed to his counteroffer, making him one of their biggest basketball endorsers in the Association. But their partnership didn't last long.

In 2010, after an infamous Javaris Crittenton incident, Arenas lost his sponsorship deal. He was once again an idiot, but this time, it didn't work.


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