Former NBA all-star Gilbert Arenas recently sat down for an interview on VladTV. He discussed his experience being drafted into the league and the early difficulties handling his money. He would spend nights sleeping at the Oracle Arena, formerly home to his first team, the Golden State Warriors. Arenas recalled spending all of his rookie salary before being selected, which made him practically homeless during his first season.
“I spent that before the draft. You think you’re going to go Top-10, like s–t I’m thinking millions. So I bought an Escalade […] I had the big chain just like everybody else (that read) ‘GJA’ […] I spent it all. So when they did my budget I could only spend $500 a month. That’s gas money. Girlfriend, two dogs, I didn’t have any money. I couldn’t even drive back and forth to the arena, so I had to stay at the arena sometimes. I slept in the arena. I was basically homeless.”Gilbert Arenas
Arenas did say that this experience helped him along the way since he spent more time in the gym. He learned about professionalism at the NBA level, and in short order, finances became less of an issue for him. From his relatively low-paying days during his homeless rookie season, Arenas would eventually earn his due after signing a massive deal in Washington years later.
Gilbert Arenas’ NBA career
The Golden State Warriors picked Gilbert Arenas with the 31st pick in the 2001 NBA draft. Though he would only play in the Bay Area for two years, he still became a key contributor for them. Arenas blossomed towards stardom in his sophomore campaign, putting up an 18-6-4 stat line in 82 games. Despite his meteoric rise in Golden State, Arenas fled the scene, signing with the Wizards as a free agent in 2003.
He would spend eight seasons in the nation’s capital, leading the Wizards to multiple playoff berths along the way. In addition, Arenas enjoyed three years’ worth of all-star appearances between 2005 and 2007. Unfortunately, injuries and a lengthy suspension after a firearm incident would derail the back half of Arenas’ career. He had brief stints in Orlando and Memphis after Washington before retiring from the association.