“Am I the same person Kobe thinks he’s getting?” – Gilbert Arenas REJECTED Lakers job due to fear of letting Kobe Bryant down
Former All-Star Gilbert Arenas reveals his opportunity to join Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas (Credits: ESPN and ABC News)
“Agent Zero” Gilbert Arenas reveals that he turned down the LA Lakers after the NBA lockout season and his infamous gun incident that led to a 50 game suspension. Arenas said on his Gil’s Arena podcast that it was something with his mindset, he had become scared of the media after the gun incident. “… If I took 300 shots, I might have missed 10. I wanted to prove what my distance was, so I’m shooting right in front of the half-court, I went 18 for 20… The interview starts, and I talked myself out of this job.”, said Arenas.
After Arenas served his 50 game suspension, he was allowed to return to the Washington Wizards. At the start of the 2011 season, Arenas was traded to Orlando where he played a bench role and was soon the first player to be waived using the amnesty clause. After being waived by the Magic, Arenas tried out for the Lakers.
Gilbert Arenas’ career after the gun incident
Arenas’ infamous gun incident coerced the NBA Commissioner David Stern to take strict action against any firearm related incidents in the NBA. Stern made an example out of Arenas and suspended him indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. Stern claimed that Arenas’ showed that he was not mentally fit to play in the league.
Arenas insists that Stern pressured Arenas to accept the 50 game suspension by threatening to void his $111 million contract. Arenas was dropped by Adidas following the incident. As a result, Arenas did not appeal to the Players Association.
“He [Kobe Bryant] said ‘Can you come here now?’ And all I thought was LA media, the gun stuff, oh hell no… I’m running line drills, they already know I’m in shape, ‘It’s gonna take me about two months to get in-game shape’… So I’m sitting here talking myself out of the LA job. Because I was scared of the media. Am I the same person Kobe thinks he’s getting? I don’t wanna deal with that, I’ll go to Memphis. Left there, said I don’t think I’m ready to play this year. Go back home. Go try out for Memphis,” said Arenas.
The suspension all but marked the end of Gilbert Arenas’ illustrious career. After being waived by the Magic, Gil signed with the Memphis Grizzlies where he played only 23 games. Arenas, who was unable to find an NBA team fit for him, decided to play in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Shanghai Sharks. After 14 games with the Sharks, Arenas decided to hang up his shoes and took his leave from professional Basketball.
In case you missed it:
- WATCH: Luka Doncic STEALS Team Canada’s thunder during bronze medal win celebration at club
- Steve Kerr predicted Team USA’s downfall in 2021 after Steph Curry and Warriors’ EMBARRASSING loss
- “Imagine if what they said about race was reversed” – Gilbert Arenas and podcast crew suggest Jazz should only have white players, franchise’s fans SLAM ‘racist’ comment