The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most respected franchises in NBA history.
Whenever anyone has the opportunity to play for them, they usually jump at it.
On exception to this rule: former Washington Wizards legend Gilbert Arenas.
Arenas had the chance to put on the purple and gold, but he opted not to.
During an appearance on Dan Le Batard’s “South Beach Sessions” podcast this week, Arenas opened up about how he blew up his opportunity to join the Lakers.
“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.”
In Arenas’ eyes, he’d never be able to live up to expectations with the Lakers. And he knew he wasn’t the same player he once was.
“And that was my answer. Like you didn’t really need me. Thirty days (left in the regular season), so I can go back home. I’m not coming to L.A,” Arenas said.
“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.”
This story just keeps getting sadder. https://t.co/psNkvJL8gS
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 24, 2021
Arenas has become a fascinating guy to listen to in recent years. His ability to be both introspective and yet interesting is extremely unique among retired players.
A few months ago, he openly and honestly talked about who was most difficult for him to guard in the NBA – and how it wasn’t Kobe Bryant. He also hasn’t been shy about absolutely destroying Giannis Antetokounmpo for perceived deficiencies in his game.
Hopefully Arenas will continue to regale fans with stories from the past as the years progress, because they are absolutely captivating.
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.