Gilbert Arenas is one of the most memorable and intriguing NBA players of his generation.
Although he never quite reached the heights some thought he might when his Washington Wizards were doing really well in the East, he was still one of the most potent offensive players in the league during his heyday.
Since retiring, Arenas has become known as something of a fascinating personality. His stories frequently go viral.
It was more of the same this week, when he divulged the financial woes he dealt with after getting drafted.
“What had happened was,” he told Bleacher Report, “I bought my chain, bought my Escalade with the five TVs and the stereo system.”
Arenas did this under the impression that he would be a top-tier draft pick. The audio equipment apparently cost him $60,000, while the chain cost $40,000. That’s $100,000 in expenses right there.
Everything would have been fine, had Arenas not taken out some pre-draft loans and had he not dropped to the No. 31 overall pick in the draft. At that place, he was only due roughly $330,000.
“When I went 31,” Arenas said, “I got so mad that I threw the chain I bought out the window; gone.”
Because of how much he had spent, owned and was due as part of his NBA salary, Arenas only had a $400 monthly budget to work with.
“Imagine trying to be an NBA player for $400 per month,” he said. “Try going on a date in the middle of the month with $100 left. I got gas, I had two dogs and a girlfriend at the time. There was no date night! It was horrible.
“I couldn’t even drive back and forth to [Oracle Arena], so I had to stay at the arena sometimes. I slept in the arena. I was basically homeless, but I just couldn’t afford the gas all the time.”
Fortunately, it all worked out for Arenas in the end. He wound up making upwards of $163 million over the course of a 13-year NBA career.
Whether he is revealing the hardest player ever for him to guard, how he sabotaged a potential stint with the Los Angeles Lakers or his true feelings on Giannis Antetokounmpo – Arenas always keeps it real.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 18, 2022
In that respect, him keeping it real on his finances is unsurprising.
What will the former Wizards star ultimately go viral for next?
Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.