When we talk about Gilbert Arenas, we’re not talking about the most humble player in the world, but the former Washington Wizards star has recently spoken about his beginnings in the league, revealing all the struggles he had and how difficult was for him to get those bucks.
Before making his way to the NBA, Arenas was already living the life of a superstar, something that would backfire at him as soon as he arrived in the association. Speaking to Leo Sepkowitz of The Athletic, Arenas shared a story of how he had already spent his first paycheck even before he got drafted.
“What had happened was,” he begins. “I bought my chain, bought my Escalade with the five TVs and the stereo system.”
Moreover, the article says that the 3-time NBA All-Star guar had already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars even before playing a single minute in the league, believing that he was going to get selected as the first overall pick of the draft. Yikes.
Well, that wasn’t the case and Arenas ended up being drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the 31st overall pick. At that position, he was going to get paid an annual salary of around $330,000. Little he knew that that was going to be a huge reality check for him. Ultimately, he ended up living on a $400 monthly budget during his first two years in the league.
“Imagine trying to be an NBA player for $400 per month,” he says. He rented a small house and took as much food as possible from the team plane. “Try going on a date in the middle of the month with $100 left. I got gas, I had two dogs and a girlfriend at the time. There was no date night! It was horrible.”
Luckily for Arenas, he got to show his value in the league, earning those millions as his career went on.