It’s been a long time since former NBA point guard Gilbert Arenas helped an NBA team; at his peak, Arenas averaged 28.9 points per game over two seasons with the Washington Wizards from 2005-07, but hasn’t been an effective player for a full season since that time. He’s battled knee injuries and off-court issues alike, was a victim of the NBA amnesty clause, and at 31 years old is out of the league despite making $22.3 million from the Orlando Magic this season.
But at 31 years old, Arenas wants back into NBA arenas, notably Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.
From Bleacher Report:
B/R: Do you think there is any NBA team in particular right now that could really use you and what you would bring?
GA: I know the Knicks—I’ve watched them. They need a lot of help; they need scoring. ‘Melo [Carmelo Anthony] needs an outlet. Someone who can just put the ball in the basket and take the pressure off him.
I [also] called Jason Kidd before the season and said ‘Listen, I feel that I can be better than some of the players you’re going to have.’ But they were already stacked to the brim. I thought I would’ve been great coming off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets.
Bleacher Report — Gilbert Arenas: ‘I’m Going to Try to Come Back’ to the NBA
with Deron Williams fighting ankle problems, Shaun Livingston fighting minutes restrictions, and Tyshawn Taylor fighting turnovers, the Nets have had their depth issues at point guard. But the Nets were smart not to pursue Arenas for a few reasons.
Firstly, since they had fifteen guaranteed contracts already, signing Arenas to even the veteran’s minimum — which is all they could afford — would’ve cost them up to $10 million when the dust settled. (Here’s why.)
Secondly, Arenas brought a gun into the Wizards locker room in 2009. I’ll say that again. Arenas brought a gun into the Wizards locker room in 2009.
In case the gun thing doesn’t faze you, Arenas also took a dump in Andray Blatche’s shoe as a prank. That’s not a metaphor. The Nets signed Blatche as a reclamation project, hoping to remove him from of the influence of Arenas (and others) in that virulent locker room, and Blatche had the best season of his career.
Thankfully, bringing Arenas back into Blatche’s life and off the bench in Brooklyn is something the Nets knew to avoid from the start.