Gilbert Arenas' stay in the NBA was short yet memorable. The former Washington Wizards star was a true scorer and on his day he was completely unstoppable. If it weren't for injuries and off-the-court issues, Arenas would have had a much better resume than he retired with.
You can guess his talent by the fact that Arenas managed to reach the 40 points mark in his career 29 times even in his short-lived prime. If he had stayed away from trouble off the court and didn't suffer numerous injuries, who knows what he could have achieved in the league.
Another surprising fact is that the 3x NBA All-Star was a second-round pick in the 2001 NBA draft. One might wonder why was Arenas picked so late in the draft despite his great potential? Well, Arenas revealed the reason in 'All The Smoke' podcast a few months ago.
"I had a two-day workout there [Boston]. Killed it in my first one and then they wanted me to stay for the second day, but I hurt my Achilles. ...F*** that process. That's just dumb, that has no meaning for nothing because it means nothing to me. He [Jim O'Brien] put the rumor out that I'm too immature. I'm not taking it serious, he's not a player. ...Once I was labelled that I was done as a 1st rounder."
So Arenas believed it was then Boston Celtics coach Jim O'Brien who played a critical role in tanking his value in the 2001 NBA draft.
Despite being drafted in the second round, Arenas' work ethic was just insane. He pushed himself through numerous injuries in his career, which led to him never getting back to his 100%. Ultimately, he had an early prime and became a shell of himself after a string of injuries.
In fact, you can even debate that he is one of the best scorers in NBA history who is not in the basketball Hall of Fame. The closest player to Arenas in terms of playing style is without a doubt Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden.