Washington Wizards: Where in the world is Gilbert Arenas?

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images /

Ten years ago, Gilbert Arenas appeared to be the future of the Washington Wizards. However, off-the-court issues derailed his career. Arenas is no longer playing professional basketball, so where is he now?

The Washington Wizards did not experience a great amount of success in the 2000s, but that’s no fault of Gilbert Arenas. Arenas brought life back to fanbase that had become accustomed to mediocrity. Arenas was an electrifying scorer, and became a fan favorite in the D.C. area. In the seven full seasons for the Wizards, Arenas averaged more than 25 points per game.

Arenas was a force to be reckoned with both on and off of the court. In 2006, Arenas broke Washington’s franchise record for points in a game with 60. Unfortunately, for every great game, there was a poor performance on the other side of the spectrum.

Although he was a point guard, Arenas was never a pass-first guard, and his passing ability left quite a bit to be desired. In the same span that he averaged 25 points per game; he also averaged 3.5 turnovers per game, against fewer than six assists per game.

After three All-Star appearances and three All-Pro appearances, Gilbert Arenas’ personality got the best of him. In 2009, Arenas brought a gun into the Verizon Center. Not only is the possession of a firearm in an arena against NBA policy, it is also illegal in the District of Columbia. Arenas could not legally possess that firearm. He was then suspended by the NBA, and his career never recovered.

The good and the bad

Arenas was a great player, and a generous person. During his time in D.C., Agent Zero donated a plethora of money and his own time to various charitable organizations. After a local boy lost his family in a fire, the Wizards star took matters into his own hands and mentored the young man, getting him a job as a ball-boy for the team.

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In 2005, when many cities were devastated by hurricane Katrina, Arenas participated in the Celebrity Relief Game, and donated $18,000 worth of goods to those who were impacted by the storm.

But for every act of kindness, there was an act of selfishness, or immaturity. On his Instagram, Arenas explained how he has continued to ignore traffic signals while avoiding consequences. He kept the dealer tags on his car. This is the same man who took in a boy who lost his family. Nowadays, he brags about playing candy crush while driving.

In 2007, Arenas donated $100 for every point he scored to Washington D.C. Public Schools. Acts of kindness and generosity like this were commonplace during his time with the Wizards. However, a felony gun charge would erase all the good from people’s memories, and leave behind stained memories of a great player.

Arenas’ most recent notable event came at the end of 2015, when he insulted WNBA players. Arenas referred to WNBA players as “beanpies,” among other misogynistic comments. He even prompted an official response from the WNBA.

Gilbert Arenas is a man who worked for a community that is incapable of remembering him for anything positive. Although the public would like sports superstars to be perfect role models, that isn’t realistic.

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These superstars are people. It’s important for fans and the media to remember that. You may own somebody’s jersey, but that doesn’t mean they are above you. Players make mistakes just like anyone else, but we shouldn’t let that erase the good they do.