If you’re a real Warriors fan and not a late-coming NBA bandwagon-jumper, you surely remember just how good Gilbert Arenas was for Golden State, even if he was only able to stick around with the team for two years because of a loophole in the way contracts were structured for second-round picks.
He averaged 10.9 points as a rookie out of Arizona in 2001-02, then bumped that to 18.3 points in his second season, when he started all 82 games and also chipped in 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds. The numbers were so good he priced himself out of the Warriors’ range and wound up becoming a star in Washington.
Still, he’s always a Warrior at heart. And he has some advice for players who go up against the Warriors, which he put out in an Instagram post directed at Isaiah Stewart after his dust-up with LeBron James this week.
Telling Stewart, “Brother, imma just be real with ya here,” Arenas explained, jokingly (we think), that Stewart was about to be traded to Budapest and that he would be drug tested “expeditiously” because he had the nerve to “charge at the #KING like that.”
Then Arenas noted that, “U probably haven’t read the memo on fight attempts in the NBA,” saying that rule No. 1 is not to square up against James or Kevin Durant. But it was No. 2 on the list that might draw the attention of Warriors faithful: “Them two light skin boys @stephencurry30 @klaythompson on GS, don’t let ya chest get puffy towards them or yo a** is done.”
Arenas Had Limited Experience vs. Thompson, Curry
Arenas, of course, was talking about Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, two Warriors he only saw at the end of his career. Arenas left the NBA after the 2011-12 season, and finished out his basketball run in China. He played against Thompson once, when Arenas was in Memphis and Thompson was a rookie in April 2012.
Arenas saw Curry on the court more often, putting 45 points on him in December of 2009, when Curry was a rookie and Arenas was coming back from knee surgery. Less a month later, Arenas was suspended by the NBA for an incident in which he brought a gun into the Wizards locker room. He was traded to Orlando the following year and only faced off against Curry twice more in their careers.
Arenas: At Age 25 Curry ‘Couldn’t See Me’
Arenas had three knee surgeries in just over a year, which combined with the gun incident, torpedoed his career.
“I try not to play the what-if game,” Arenas told Shannon Sharpe on his video podcast. “How I was playing, how I was moving, I knew what I would have been. There’s no point of asking a question like, I remember someone asked me, ‘Who’s better, you or Dame (Lillard)?’ I said, ‘At what age?’ At the age of 25, by the age of 25, him, Curry, they couldn’t see me. After 25, I couldn’t touch them boys.”
Arenas once made note of the big day he had against Curry on a 2018 Instagram post that compared him to Curry.
Wrote Arenas: “I played against Curry once … just got off my knee injury … go look at the stats of what I gave him and monta (Ellis) on a bad leg … now imagine if I was healthy lol 46 (sic)-9-13 I think … I was the boogyman dude.”