Remember when Gilbert Arenas was a monster in the NBA? These days, he’s out of the league, and acting a damn fool on social media, but the Washington Wizards great had a run as one of the NBA’s most lethal offensive weapons.
Arenas’ come up came quickly. He caught the basketball world’s attention in just his second season, when he averaged 18 points and won the Most Improved Player Award for the Golden State Warriors. A season later, he put on a Wizards jersey and officially took off.
From 03-04 to 06-07, Gilbert shredded defenses, averaging 25, 29 and 28 points, respectively. This included 26 games scoring at least 40 points. All that led to three consecutive All-NBA and All-Star nods.
Arenas was smooth and deadly. The range, the pullup, the drive—he made it all look effortless.
He knew he was becoming a star, and he embraced every moment of it. You could just sense his appreciation for his rise, which made you root for him even more.
Gilbert had doubters his whole basketball life, so he played with a confidence.
This was evident when he visited the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in December, 2006. Arenas out-dueled Kobe Bryant in a classic, dropping 60 points on Mamba and the Lakers. And he didn’t just out-duel Kobe, he straight cooked him for 16 points in overtime.
No one was stopping Gilbert that night (or any other), and when time expired, he did exactly what you would’ve expected from him—he took a couple bows before the Staples Center crowd, after having put on a show.
That would be Gilbert Arenas’ final season as a star due to injuries and other complications, but for that short time, he damn-well earned the nicknames Hibachi and Agent 0.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA STATS
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