Arenas with the Wizards in 2008
|Born||January 6, 1982|
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||Grant (Los Angeles, California)|
|NBA draft||2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31st overall|
|Selected by the Golden State Warriors|
|Number||0, 1, 9, 10|
|2001-2003||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||11,402 (20.7 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,168 (3.9 rpg)|
|Assists||2,909 (5.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Gilbert Jay Arenas Jr. (; born January 6, 1982) is an American former professional basketball player. Arenas attended Grant High School in the Valley Glen district of Los Angeles, and accepted a scholarship offer to the University of Arizona late in his junior year. He entered the 2001 NBA draft and was selected in the second round (31st pick) by the Golden State Warriors.
Arenas is a three-time NBA All-Star, three-time member of the All-NBA Teams, and was voted the NBA Most Improved Player in the 2002-03 season. Arenas was nicknamed "Agent Zero", due to his former jersey number and his late-game shot-making ability. He also was nicknamed "Hibachi", a nod to the small Japanese barbequing device, which literally translates to "bowl of fire." Both names quickly became fan favorites during his time in the Washington, D.C. area. He has also been nicknamed "Gilby."
Arenas was suspended for most of the 2009-10 NBA season because of handgun violations stemming from an episode on December 24, 2009, and for subsequent actions that appeared to make light of this episode.
In late 2010, Arenas was traded to the Orlando Magic. After the 2011 NBA lockout, Arenas was the first NBA player to be waived under the "amnesty clause." He signed with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 2011-12 NBA season. Following the end of the season, he signed with Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and played one season before retiring.
Arenas was born in Tampa, Florida. His paternal great-grandfather, Hipolito Arenas Sr., is originally from Santiago, Cuba. Arenas was raised in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles where he played basketball at Ulysses S. Grant High School. His #25 was retired by the school.
Arenas played basketball at the University of Arizona. One of his teammates, Richard Jefferson, would later join him in entering the 2001 NBA draft. In 2001, Arenas's sophomore year, he helped lead Arizona to the national championship game, where they lost to the Blue Devils, 82-72. Shortly after the tournament, Arenas announced that he was foregoing his last two years at college and would enter the 2001 NBA draft.
After a productive college career, Arenas entered the 2001 NBA draft. Despite strong consideration from many teams in the first round, Arenas fell to the second round, being selected with the 31st overall pick by the Golden State Warriors. Arenas would wear the number 0 on his jersey to signify the number of minutes that experts predicted he would play in the NBA. Arenas started 30 games and averaged 10.9 points per game for the Warriors, who finished in last place in the Western Conference that season. In 2002-03, his sophomore season, Arenas received the NBA Most Improved Player Award and was named Most Valuable Player of the Rookie-Sophomore game during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
After the 2002-2003 season, Arenas became a restricted free agent. He reportedly flipped a coin to decide among several teams seeking to sign him, including the Wizards, Warriors, and Los Angeles Clippers. The Washington Wizards offered him a six-year, $60 million contract. The Warriors were unable to match this offer because they were over the salary cap and because Arenas was a second-round pick. If Arenas had been drafted in the first round, the salary cap had exceptions that would have allowed the Warriors to match the offer sheet. The "Gilbert Arenas Rule" was later created to allow teams to re-sign restricted free agents who were not first-round picks. Arenas battled a strained abdominal muscle injury all season. However, Arenas teamed up with shooting guard Larry Hughes (22.0 points per game) in 2004-05 to give the Wizards the highest-scoring backcourt duo in the NBA. Arenas was selected for his first NBA All-Star Game. He guided the team to a 45-win season and its first playoff berth since 1997. Arenas led the team in scoring with 25.5 ppg, finishing seventh in the league in that category. He also finished sixth in the league in steals per game in 2004-05 with 2.24 (Hughes led the league with 2.93 steals per game).
In the fifth game of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in 2005, Arenas hit a 16-foot fadeaway as time expired to give the Wizards a 112-110 win over the Chicago Bulls. The Wizards eventually won the series, the franchise's first playoff series victory in more than two decades.
In 2006, Wizards fansite Wizznutzz.com jokingly nicknamed him "Agent Zero", a nickname Arenas liked so much that it stuck.
Arenas averaged 29.3 points, which ranked fourth among the scoring leaders, two steals (also fourth), and 6.1 assists per game during the 2005-06 NBA season. However, he was not initially chosen for the 2006 All-Star Game. He was named as a replacement after Indiana Pacers forward-center Jermaine O'Neal was injured. He also participated in the Three-point Shootout, where he placed second, after Dirk Nowitzki. The Washington Wizards finished 42-40 and earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
During the off-season, Arenas said that he was willing to take a pay cut in order to give the Wizards additional money with which to sign available free agents. He had expressed a desire to win a championship with the Wizards. One of Arenas's most memorable plays was a 40-foot jump shot in Round 1 of the 2006 NBA playoffs in which the Wizards were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.
Arenas himself has noted that he withdrew from the United States national team for the 2006 FIBA World Championship because he felt that assistant coaches Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan had determined the roster even prior to tryouts. Afterward, he stated that he planned on averaging 50 points against their respective teams (Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers). He succeeded at his goal versus powerhouse Phoenix, scoring 54 points, including 21-of-37 from the field, 6-of-12 three-pointers (while reportedly eyeing in the direction of Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo), in a high-scoring 144-139 Wizards win over the Suns. However, on February 11 versus the Blazers, he was held to a lowly nine points, including tying the Wizards' franchise record for three-point futility, going 0-for-8 from behind the arc, in a 94-73 loss versus Portland.
In an overtime game versus the Los Angeles Lakers on December 17, 2006, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Arenas scored a career-high 60 points, adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists in helping lead the Wizards over the Lakers, 147-141. Arenas now holds the Wizards' franchise record for most points scored in a game by an individual. The previous record was held by Earl Monroe with 56 points, achieved in 1968, which was also an overtime game against the Lakers. Arenas's 16 points in the extra period also set an NBA record for most points in one overtime period, surpassing Earl Boykins' record by one point.
On January 3, 2007, Arenas hit a 32-foot buzzer-beater to win the game against the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-105. Two weeks later on Martin Luther King Jr. Day he hit another buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat the Utah Jazz, 114-111, in a thriller at the Verizon Center. This same scenario has been added as a cut scene in the video game NBA Live 2008. He also hit a game-winning layup as time expired to beat the Seattle SuperSonics on March 21, 2007.
In February 2007, during the final days of All-Star voting, Arenas was voted as a first-time starter for the 2007 NBA All-Star game for the Eastern Conference, edging out Vince Carter by a slight margin, with 1,454,166 votes to Carter's 1,451,156. At the time he was averaging 29.7 points per game, and led all Eastern Conference point guards in scoring and was second in the league.
Towards the end of the season, Arenas tore his MCL during a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, when Gerald Wallace fell into his leg. The Wizards struggled to finish the season with Arenas and teammate Caron Butler both being injured. Washington earned a playoff berth, but was swept in the first round in a rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
During the offseason, Arenas told The Washington Post that he would "opt out" of his contract after the 2007-08 season, making him a free agent. He stated, "...if something happens where they don't want me or they're going in a different direction, I can look elsewhere. But my intentions are not to leave."
Arenas only played eight games during the 2007-08 season, due to a knee injury, before he started practicing again in March, and returned to action on April 2, 2008 against the Milwaukee Bucks, scoring 17 points in a 110-109 home loss.
Ten days prior, Arenas stormed out of the locker room before a game against the Detroit Pistons. He had wanted to play, but his doctor did not give him clearance. Arenas made a surprise return on April 9, when he came out of the locker room with 5:30 left in the first quarter. He finished the game scoring 13 points and dishing out 3 assists in helping the Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 109-95. He came off the bench for the rest of the regular season as not to disrupt the chemistry the Wizards had built without him. Arenas got his wish when they matched up against the Cavaliers for the third straight year; however, it was apparent he was not 100% healthy. In games 1-3, he played limited minutes, citing soreness in his surgically repaired knee. A few minutes before game 4 of their first-round playoff appearance against the Cavaliers, Arenas announced he would sit out the rest of the playoffs.
On June 9, 2008, Arenas officially opted out of the final year of his contract, but said that he would re-sign with the Wizards if they retained teammate Antawn Jamison, also a free agent. The Wizards did indeed sign Jamison to a contract. Arenas was offered a five-year contract worth more than $100 million by the Golden State Warriors and another max deal by the Wizards, a six-year deal worth $124 million.
On July 13, 2008, Arenas signed a six-year contract worth $111 million with the Wizards.
He also played a second and final game against the number one seed Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2, in which both teams wore their respective throwback jerseys. Arenas dished out 10 assists and scored 11 points, in a win, and fans were excited to see Arenas, Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler re-uniting for the only time in the season. However, the Wizards finished poorly with a record of 19-63, the second-worst record in the NBA, tied with the Los Angeles Clippers, ending four years of consecutive playoff appearances.
Arenas opened the 2009-10 season on a hopeful note, scoring 29 points as the Wizards beat the Dallas Mavericks 102-91 in their season opener. However, Arenas's performance would be inconsistent in the weeks ahead; on November 11, he set a Wizards team record for turnovers in a game with 12. On December 12, Arenas netted his first triple-double in five-and-a-half years in a loss to the Pacers. Six days later Arenas had a season-best 45 points in a Wizards win over his former team, the Golden State Warriors.
On December 24, 2009, it was reported that Arenas had admitted to storing unloaded firearms in his locker at Verizon Center and had surrendered them to team security. In doing so, Arenas not only violated NBA rules against bringing firearms into an arena, but also violated D.C. ordinances as well. On January 1, 2010, it was also reported that Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton had unloaded guns in the Wizards' locker room during a Christmas Eve argument regarding gambling debts. The D.C. Metropolitan Police and the U.S. Attorney's office began investigating, and on January 14, 2010, Arenas was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a violation of Washington, D.C.'s gun-control laws. Arenas pleaded guilty on January 15 to the felony of carrying an unlicensed pistol outside a home or business.
On January 6, 2010, Arenas's 28th birthday, the NBA suspended him indefinitely without pay until its investigation was complete. By nearly all accounts, the league felt compelled to act when Arenas' teammates surrounded him during pregame introductions prior to a game with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he pretended to shoot them with guns made from his fingers. NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement that Arenas's behavior after the investigation started "has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game." He also said that Arenas was likely facing a lengthy suspension. The Wizards issued a statement of their own condemning the players' pregame stunt as "unacceptable". On January 27, 2010, Arenas and Crittenton were suspended for the rest of the season, after meeting with Stern. On February 2, 2010, Arenas wrote an open editorial in The Washington Post, in which he apologized for his actions, particularly for failing to be a better role model to young fans and for "making light of a serious situation." On March 26, 2010, Arenas was convicted for his crimes and was sentenced to two years' probation and 30 days in a halfway house. Arenas started his sentence in the halfway house on April 9. He was released on May 7. The punishment for Arenas was significantly stiffer than for Crittenton, who received a year of unsupervised probation, or Delonte West, who had been driving around in a three-wheeled motorcycle in Prince George's County with several loaded guns including a shotgun in a violin case. For his crime, West received eight months of home detention, two months of unsupervised probation, and forty hours of community service. In November 2011, Crittenton was charged with murder in connection with the shooting of Julian Jones in Atlanta on August 19, 2011.
Upon his return to the Wizards for the 2010-11 season, Arenas elected to change his number from 0 to 9, claiming he was trying to put the entire incident from the previous season behind him. (Arenas had worn #0 all the way from college through his time in the NBA as a constant reminder of the number of minutes his critics said he would play in the NBA.)
After the first 24 games of the season, although Arenas led the Wizards with an average of 17.3 points per game, they carried a poor 6-18 record.
On December 18, 2010, Arenas was traded to the Orlando Magic for Rashard Lewis. Arenas chose to wear #1 on his jersey in honor of his favorite player, Penny Hardaway. He was the backup point guard, with Jameer Nelson at the starting role. The Magic finished 52-30 and clinched the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs. However, Orlando lost to the Atlanta Hawks in six games in the opening round of the playoffs.
On December 9, 2011, after the end of the 2011 NBA lockout, Arenas was waived by the Orlando Magic under the amnesty clause, being the first player to be waived under the newly established clause at the time of its inclusion. He cleared waivers and became a free agent. Due to the 2011 NBA lockout, the 2011-12 NBA season was reduced from its normal 82 games to 66 games.
On March 20, 2012, the Memphis Grizzlies signed Arenas. His primary role was again a backup point guard, this time to Mike Conley Jr.. The Grizzlies finished 41-25 and clinched the fourth seed in the Western Conference. However, they lost in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers in a full seven-game series.
On November 19, 2012, Arenas signed with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. In his first season in the CBA, Arenas averaged 20.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game in 27.3 minutes per game. He played in 14 games and started in 8 of them. However, the Sharks finished at 10-22 and missed the playoffs.
Arenas has four children with Laura Govan, whom he dated from 2002 until 2014. Arenas met Govan while he was playing for the Warriors. Govan worked with the Sacramento Kings' public relations department.The Washington Post characterized their relationship as "a famously stormy one", with "breakups interspersed with reunions." At one point, Govan had child support and custody documents served to Arenas during the halftime break of a basketball game. Arenas replied, "She tells the world that she's not getting money. She gets $20,000 a month." Govan appeared on the television series Basketball Wives LA, and in 2011, Arenas sued her and the show's producers for "trademark infringement, false advertising and misappropriation of the star's likeness." However, Arenas dropped the lawsuit in 2012. That year, it was reported that the couple were preparing for a wedding. Govan said of their relationship, "People say he's a mess, and I'm a mess. You know what, we're each other's messes. Everybody has breakup and make-up moments. It just so happens that ours is out in the public. You learn to grow."
On January 5, 2007, Arenas threw a 25th birthday party for himself which was dubbed "Arenas Express." The party, which was reported to cost $1 million and was hosted by hip hop mogul Diddy, was attended by many celebrities and drew national media attention. Arenas is a friend of rapper The Game and was listed in the booklet for The Game's second album Doctor's Advocate. He collects a synthetic basketball from each team played, as well as players' jerseys, of which he has more than 400, most of which are autographed. He supported PETA's anti-fur mission by posing shirtless for their "Ink, Not Mink" campaign. Arenas is an avid Halo player--his Gamertag is Agent Arenas--and officially sponsored Final Boss, a professional Halo 3 team. In 2007, Arenas was chosen as the front cover model for video game NBA Live 08 sporting his "good luck" Wizards alternative jersey. "This is a dream come true", he said. "I'm a huge gamer and have been playing NBA LIVE since 1995. I never imagined that I would see my face on the cover of an EA Sports videogame."
Arenas donated $100 for every point he scored in each home game during the 2006-07 season to local D.C.-area schools, while Wizards team owner Abe Pollin matched that contribution for each away game. He has also mentored a D.C. boy who lost his family in a fire at age 10. Arenas got him a job as a ball boy for the Wizards.
Arenas has had his own shoe, the Adidas Gil Zero, as well as his own line of Adidas TS Lightswitch shoes. Arenas wears size 14½ shoes. Following the gun incident in 2009, Adidas dropped their sponsorship of Arenas. Instead of signing another endorsement deal, he turned to his vast collection of shoes. For nearly every game of the season, Arenas wore a different pair of shoes, wearing a total of 77 different pairs.
Arenas admitted that he ran about 60 red lights in 4 months and got away with it by keeping his dealer plates on his vehicle.
On December 16, 2015, Arenas posted an Instagram video of two fitness models playing basketball, contrasting the women with WNBA players, which he said looked like "cast members from #orangeisthenewblack... [D]ont get me wrong, they have few #cutiepies but theres a whole alotta #beanpies running around." In follow-up comments, he suggested that potential viewers did not want to watch WNBA games because they involved women acting and dressing like men.