Skip to main content

As mistakes go, Gilbert Arenas’ choice in high-end vehicles wasn’t nearly as bad as his choice of storage locations for his guns. On the other hand, bringing his guns to Washington Wizards games at least showed some semblance of a plan, whereas buying a car that doesn’t even speak your language suggests spontaneity.

Gilbert Arenas enjoyed a solid NBA career

Gilbert Arenas of Enemies during the BIG3 game between Enemies and Ghost Ballers on July 6, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. | Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Gilbert Arenas of Enemies during the BIG3 game between Enemies and Ghost Ballers on July 6, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. | Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arenas came out of the University of Arizona in 2001 and didn’t need long to develop into a consistent NBA scorer with the Golden State Warriors and then the Wizards. In a three-season stretch beginning in 2004, Arenas averaged 27.7 points while missing just 12 games. However, a torn MCL down the stretch of that third season derailed a promising career.

He played sparingly the next two years. Then, the 2009-10 season ended with the discovery that Arenas was storing handguns in his locker at Capital One Arena in violation of District of Columbia ordinances. A subsequent report revealed teammate Javaris Crittenton also possessed guns during a Christmas Eve argument between the pair at the arena over a gambling debt, and the NBA suspended them for the remainder of the season.

Short stints with Washington, the Orlando Magic, and the Memphis Grizzlies didn’t pan out, and Arenas left the NBA after the 2011-12 season.

Arenas’ net worth isn’t what you might assume

Arenas played at a time when salaries were finally hitting their sweet spot after years of the NBA building on the appeal of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. His rookie deal was a modest $845,000 over two years with Golden State, and then he went to Washington as a restricted free agent, signing for six years and $63.7 million.

His final substantial deal came with the Wizards in 2008, when he opted out of his existing contract and signed another six-year agreement, this time for $111 million.

By the time he retired, Arenas earned more than $163 million, according to Even after accounting for taxes, that should have left him with a pile of money. However, a 2016 report by Celebrity Net Worth claimed Arenas could no longer afford tuition for his children after losing money in investments managed by advisers.

More recently, the website estimated Gilbert Arenas’ net worth at $20 million, still a comfortable amount if spent wisely.

Richard Jefferson could only laugh as his friend’s transportation gaffe

Richard Jefferson, a college teammate who came into the NBA the same year as Arenas, paid a visit to his longtime friend and came away with a piece of classic social media video: Arenas explaining how his purchase of a high-end minivan went more than a little bit wrong.

Daimler sells a line of vehicles under the Mercedes-Maybach brand, a nod to Wilhelm Maybach, a German engineer from more than a century ago. The high-end cars, vans, and SUVs are marketed around the world. Arenas found a concept van intended for halfway around the world.

Regrettably, everything related to the car, from the driver’s manual to the dashboard indicators, is in Chinese.

That’s made the minivan undrivable, though we’re sure it looks sharp sitting in the retired basketball star’s driveway.

“It was either be one-of-one with Chinese and not understand anything they’re saying or let someone else get it,” Arenas rationalized in the video.

Said Jefferson: ” I’m gonna be really honest, ladies and gentlemen. This is the most Gilbert Arenas thing.”

That’s what happens when you combine quite a bit of money with too much free time.

All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference