Agent Zero was always one of the league’s most charismatic players as well. His Wizards teams weren’t competing for championships, but they were always entertaining.
In 2010, though, controversy arrived in Washington in the form of locker rooms, disagreements, gambling, and guns.
Arenas received a massive suspension for the incident but, in his opinion, didn’t deserve it. To hear him tell the tale, though, he didn’t have much choice.
Gilbert Arenas was suspended by the NBA in 2010
Gil was suspended for the remainder of the 2009-10 season on Jan. 27, 2010.
The suspension stemmed from a confrontation in the Wizards’ locker room between Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton a month earlier.
An argument between the two guards came to a boiling point when they reportedly took out guns and pointed them at each other in the middle of the locker room — guns Arenas admitted were his.
It wasn’t until 2018 when the former Golden State guard admitted via The Action Network that the fight stemmed from Crittenton losing at cards.
Regardless, Arenas received a 50-game suspension and missed the rest of his age-28 season, despite his best efforts to cut that number way down.
Stern — a notoriously no-nonsense commissioner — wasn’t having any of it.
Hibachi claims David Stern threatened to take $88 million from him if he tried to appeal
Arenas did his own research into the NBA’s rules on guns and gun charges, collecting several different examples of suspensions laid on players when it came to firearms. He felt that his offenses were far less significant than others, so his suspension should be far less significant as well.
Per an ESPN story from 2010, Arenas “agreed not to appeal the punishment” after he “met face-to-face” with Stern.
Now it appears we have the full version of that face-to-face meeting as Arenas detailed on The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo Show:
I said, “The most you can give me is three games, but I don’t want three games. I’ll take one.” That’s how f****** cocky I was at that point.
I didn’t actually do nothin’ but say those were (my guns). So I said, “Maybe I don’t claim them anymore. Maybe they’re not mine anymore. If you want to give me 50 games, they’re not mine anymore.” That was my stance.
You can see the anger in his face. And then he hit with me some s***. He said … “If you fight me on this, I will take your NBA contract.” (I said), “Oh s***.” I wasn’t expecting that one. I said, “Wait, what?” And he’s like, “I will do everything in my power to take your NBA contract.”
I had already lost my Adidas contract, so I’m not even going to take the chance here, I’m just going to shut the f*** up.Gilbert Arenas on meeting with David Stern to appeal his 2010 suspension
Boy to be a fly on the wall in that office.
Arenas is an often forgotten star who would fit perfectly in today’s NBA
Gil averaged 27.7 points per game from 2005-07. He shot 36.1% from three on 7.2 attempts per night (a high volume 15 years ago).
He also got to the free-throw line 9.2 times a game and shot 82.6% from the stripe. He had a James Harden-esque vibe to his game.
Arenas hurt his knee the year after his suspension and was never the same player. He played a year in Orlando and another in Memphis and then was out of the league by 2012.
But Hibachi was one of the NBA’s most skilled and entertaining players for a brief minute, and is still a delightful personality.
He may have been stubborn about it, but he took the 50 games and kept the $88 million (good call). And now he gets a hell of a story out of it too.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.