Former NBA Player Says That There Was “0” Chance Of Him Joining The Lakers
Former NBA player Gilbert Arenas was always known as a fiery and feisty competitor when he played and he brought that same attitude to the court night in and night out, so it was only right that a player like the late great Kobe Bryant would want him on his team.
Yet the 2003 NBA Most Improved Player had other plans when the Lakers reached out to him to join the team in 2012. Arenas was a guest on Dan Le Batard’s podcast “South Beach Sessions” this past week where he shared a story on how he sabotaged himself to not join Los Angeles after he was amnestied by the Orlando Magic.
After a great workout with Los Angeles and an opportunity to join Kobe, things did not go so well during the interview process.
“I botched the meeting. I sabotaged it,” Arenas said. “They’re asking me, ‘When can you be ready to come?’ Maybe a month? It’s March. To be honest you don’t really need a player like me. You just need to tweak the second unit, make them a little faster and you guys are perfect.”
Arenas admitted that he was never the same player mentally after he was suspended by the NBA and charged with a felony for possessing a firearm in Washington D.C. without a license back in 2010. He also did not want to return to his hometown of L.A. for fear that he would get into more trouble being back in familiar territory.
“Like you didn’t really need me,” Arenas said. “I’m not coming to L.A. You guys are going to crucify me. That’s when Kobe came out and said, ‘I want Agent Zero.’ And I’m like, with all due respect, Kobe wants a player that no longer exists mentally.”
It’s very rare for an NBA player to turn down the chance to play with a Hall of Fame talent like Bryant or a storied franchise like the Lakers, but Arenas had to do what was best to regain himself as a human being first.