Skip to main content

Gilbert Arenas on Wizards-era Michael Jordan: "Those young kids weren't ready for him mentally"

Michael Jordan & Gilbert Arenas

According to Arenas, the Wizards weren't mentally ready for Jordan

Gilbert Arenas had an interesting 2003 NBA offseason. After being selected in the second round two years earlier, Arenas put up monster numbers donning the Golden State Warriors jersey. Multiple teams were suddenly interested in his services, one of them being the Washington Wizards, who were also in negotiations with Michael Jordan.

In a recent interview, Arenas revealed what went on behind the scenes in Jordan's last year with the Wizards. Apparently, the NBA icon was looking to return for a third season, but not everyone in the Wizards organization was for it.

"When I went there that was one of my questions. My dad's question like 'hey, what's up with the Jordan thing? Why didn't you sign him back?'. And Abe Pollin was like 'I love basketball, I love the players. So, I asked the players what did they want. The players said they didn't want Jordan back," Arenas said, ">djvlad.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Vlad surmised that the team did not want him back because Jordan's mindset was already different then. He wasn't "Dream Team MJ" who wanted to win by any means. However, Arenas corrected him. While Jordan was in his 40s, he was still mentally tougher than most. And this intimidated the young guys on the roster at that time.

"You're talking about MJ still. Mental MJ, too. The Last Dance MJ. The mentality. Those young kids wasn't ready for. They're looking at this icon who becomes this bad guy to them," Arenas added.

Arenas is right. Jordan dealt with grown men in Chicago when he won all those titles. They were fully-formed professionals who understood what Jordan was doing up to a certain extent. Meanwhile, the Wizards were a rebuilding team back then. It was filled with young guns still adjusting to a new lifestyle. Jordan, the wisest of them all, could've helped them get through. But as Arenas pointed out, Jordan's way of teaching is not necessarily for everybody. 

Laker center Shaquille O'Neal

“He bought a new Rolex for every single guy on the team” — former Laker Mark Madsen reveals Shaquille O'Neal's generosity

Just when Madsen thought Shaq buying him a car would finish the shopping spree, O'Neal decided to buy every Laker a brand new Rollie.

LeBron James admits he started taking care of his body pretty late in his career

LeBron shares his top three players of all time: "This is tough!"

Back in 2014, LeBron had a lot of trouble picking just three guys.


Tracy McGrady calls out Rudy Gobert: "What the f**k are you doing in the off-season?"

T-Mac just can comprehend Gobert hasn't added any moves to his offensive game over the years.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan once went from judging a dunk contest to destroying the winner in street clothes

MJ's future teammate Jo Jo English was one of the first people to learn an important lesson - never talk trash to Black Jesus.

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh promotes healthy eating that keeps him in prime shape despite being retired — “It gives me the energy I need to go forward”

Fully aware his NBA days are behind him, Chris Bosh explained why he still eats healthy and works out every day.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan goes up against Utah Jazz player Bryon Russell

“There's no 'Jordan rules' when you play 1-on-1“ — Bryon Russell claims Michael Jordan 'chickened out' from a 1-on-1 challenge

After being called out by Michael Jordan during his Hall of Fame speech, Bryon Russell hit back and challenged MJ to a 1-on-1 game. According to Russell, Jordan "chickened out."

Lower Merion High School senior Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant had a “kill list” of 56 players who were ranked above him in high school

Trust Kobe Bryant to make any rankings lists (that has him as an underdog) look foolish