Gilbert Arenas’ time in Washington certainly didn’t end well. Did it end better than it probably could have? Sure, and Arenas himself is willing to admit that.
Arenas became the face of the Wizards as he made basketball meaningful again in D.C. over the past decade. However, a situation involving him having firearms in his home arena prompted all kinds of investigations. Eventually, he was suspended for nearly all of last season and a conviction had him spending a month in a halfway house.
Arenas played the first 24 games for the Wizards this season before they traded him to the Orlando Magic. He hasn’t regained superstar status, but like he says, it’s better than playing in Minnesota or Milwaukee right now.
Gilbert Arenas joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. to discuss Orlando being a fresh start, what it’s like coming off the bench, if the Wizards ever treated him unfairly in the whole ordeal, whether John Wall can succeed in Washington and if the Wizards team is mentally fragile.
Did he believe going to Orlando would be a fresh start for him?:
“Yeah. … I was hoping that I got out of there, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. So when it happened, I didn’t even second guess, I just left. … I felt coming here would have been a fresh start because it’s new teammates, new fans, nobody’s judging me.”
How his role has adjusted in coming off the bench:
“Since I’ve been hurt, I’ve been on the bench and coming off the bench. I’ve been trying to adjust to different roles and adjust to different players. If this was 2007, going into 2008, and I was healthy, this probably would be a big problem for me. … It’s just something I’ve adjusted my life to.”
If the Wizards treated him unfairly before he was traded:
“No. They didn’t do anything wrong. I messed up. It was my fault. … At the end of the day, they were reacting on what we did. No matter if they brought me back and wanted to bring me off the bench and give me a minor role on the floor, it was all my doing. At the end of the day, I couldn’t be mad at them. … They sent me to a place I wanted to be, so I can’t be mad at them.”
On if John Wall can succeed in Washington:
“Being a No. 1 pick is going to always have its pressure. It was more pressure on him coming in because he’s coming in as the white horse that’s saving the organization. … Now you’ve got a guy who’s replacing me and he feels so much pressure.”
If it’s a mentally fragile team:
“For the most part the whole team is young. … Nine of the players who play have never really played basketball at a high level. … None of those players actually know how to win and that’s just the downfall of what is going on right now.”