Ball Don't Lie

Gilbert Arenas discusses his experience in China in new interview

Gilbert Arenas (Michael Kovac/ WireImage)Erstwhile NBA combo guard Gilbert Arenas, once the internet's favorite basketball player, had about as unceremonious an exit from the league as a three-time All-Star can have. After several lackluster years following his controversial gun charges while a member of the Washington Wizards, Arenas received no interest this offseason after a short, unimpressive stint with the Memphis Grizzlies last spring. So, like many players, he went to China, where fans still remember him fondly and remain willing to welcome him as a hero.

Due to injury, Arenas played only 15 of 32 games for the Shanghai Sharks in the China Basketball Association's recently completed regular season. Yet he has still made an important impact as a cultural figure. In a new interview with Karan Madhok for SLAM China, Arenas discusses his experience:

SLAM: But it does seem like the joy in your game is back. Being back on the court, back with teammates…

GA: You know, that’s all basketball is. If someone loves something, and you take it away, it’s like what does he do now? What does someone do? That’s what happened with me in the last couple of years in the NBA when I went to Orlando, and then I got benched. And I was in Memphis and I wasn’t playing. It was just like, Why do I wanna keep doing this? So then when I got the chance to come to China to play…OK! As long as I get to play. [...]

SLAM: So do you have long term plans in China? What do you see for yourself in the future here?

GA: 32 games a year. Maximum 36 minutes. That’s all I need at this point in my career. So as long as China teams want me, I’ll be here.

SLAM: Do you have any plans or hopes to tryout with the NBA again?

GA: Nah! [Shakes head vehemently] Because after this season I can enjoy my family. You know my kids are getting older. Being in the NBA, you don’t really get to enjoy your family life because you’re always on the road, you’re always gone. So, no. After this season will be the first time I’ll get to be with my kids for a long period of time.

There's a lot more in the full interview, including how Gilbert passes the time in China — he buys DVDs, apparently from a store and not bootleg markets — and how he negotiates the language barrier with teammates. But, for me, the most interesting aspect of the chat is apparent in the bits quoted above.

Arenas's reputation took a turn for the worse for some good reasons, including that he brought a gun into the locker room and subsequently turned into a markedly less effective player. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be totally surprising to hear that he harbored resentment over the way his NBA career ended. Conventional wisdom states that the gun incident was the last straw after many immature actions, but the fact is that Arenas was considered a lovable rascal for many years. A serious mistake has cast his personality as something more sinister. And while it's likely that teams wouldn't have cared if Arenas had continued to be a good player, it's not as if teams have held onto players well past their point of usefulness for more emotional reasons.

Yet, if this interview is an accurate indication, Arenas seems pretty zen about how things worked out. He's enjoying his new experiences in a basketball-obsessed country, valuing the time he gets to spend with his family, and generally looking on the bright side. It would be easy to let anger overwhelm everything else, but he's trying to find a silver lining. That's a noble way to handle this turn of events. Maybe, with time, more people will be able to take the same sunny approach to his NBA career.

  • Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach
    Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    A group of researchers stumbled upon a grisly scene during a field study in Macedonia last year: a dead nose-horned viper with a centipede's head sticking out of its ruptured abdomen. "All of us were astonished, as nobody has ever seen something like this," Ljiljana Tomovi?, a herpetologist at the University of Belgrade, told Live Science in an email. The remnants of the death match were discovered when one researcher, Dragan Arsovski, turned over a stone, Tomovi? The unfortunate nose-horned …

  • Gaga's un-retouched images cause uproar
    Gaga's un-retouched images cause uproar

    Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are said to be upset that un-retouched images they took of Lady Gaga for her Versace campaign were leaked. …

  • Dear Ms. Kris Aquino

    Sometime in October, 2013, you assumed a new role as member of the board of directors of Central Azucarera de Tarlac. The news spread quickly among the good, decent, and hardworking farm workers and farmers at Hacienda Luisita and their supporters inside and outside of Tarlac. Your new role comes with corporate responsibilities to CAT, social responsibilities to farm workers and farmers of Hacienda Luisita, and civic responsibilities to the country.  The nation and the world now looks at what …

  • Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry
    Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — The captain of a doomed ferry delayed evacuation for half an hour after a South Korean transportation official ordered preparations to abandon ship, raising more questions about whether quick action could have saved scores of passengers still missing Friday and feared dead, according to a transcript of the ship-to-shore exchange and interviews with a crewmember. …

  • Tubbataha finds champion in several hunky celebs
    Tubbataha finds champion in several hunky celebs

    [caption id="attachment_128205" align="alignright" width="298"] Piolo, Luis, Rovilson and Marc (Instagram)[/caption] The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines recently brought its celebrity stewards – actors Piolo Pascual and Luis Manzano – and ambassadors – Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez – to the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan for a diving trip. The main thrust of the five-day visit is to promote public awareness about the 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA), a UNESCO World …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    Associated Press - 8 hours ago
    4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers. …

  • Dear Ms. Kris Aquino

    MB - 21 hours ago

    Sometime in October, 2013, you assumed a new role as member of the board of directors of Central Azucarera de Tarlac. The news spread quickly among the good, decent, and hardworking farm workers and farmers at Hacienda Luisita and their supporters inside and outside of Tarlac. Your new role comes with corporate responsibilities to CAT, social responsibilities to farm workers and farmers of Hacienda Luisita, and civic responsibilities to the country.  The nation and the world now looks at what …

  • Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

    Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

    Reuters - 2 hours 32 minutes ago
    Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

    By Nobuhiro Kubo YONAGUNI Japan (Reuters) - Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan. The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim. Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options