Gilbert Arenas Reveals the Real Reason Behind Refusing to Play Alongside Kobe Bryant in Lakers

Published 02/26/2021, 2:30 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 02: BodyArmor investor Kobe Bryant speaks to media during the UFC BodyArmor partnership announcement inside Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Real D.C. fans would know that before Bradley Beal and John Wall, there was another superstar who played for the Washington Wizards for eight seasons. Gilbert Arenas had established himself as one of the most potent scorers in the history of the league. In fact, he was so great that he received plenty of offers from bigger teams, even the Los Angeles Lakers.


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However, injuries and controversies outside the NBA ruined his prime, and he was never the same after. However, he had a much different reason for not joining the team, and it partly had to do with Kobe Bryant.

Gilbert Arenas was not what Kobe was looking for


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In an interview with Arenas, he opened up about his opportunity to play with the Lakers and why he wasn’t keen on playing for them. He started off by narrating the story about his try-out. “So Lakers hit me up, and I had a tryout. So, I am in there and I probably took about 400 shots and missed five.

“I was flaming.”

Even if he had a good workout, Gilbert was hesitant to play for the Lakers. All he could think about was how much he was in the limelight because of his controversies, which is why he didn’t want to play for them.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 16: Retired NBA basketball player Gilbert Arenas attends The Rise Challenge presented by Kmart at Microsoft Square at LA Live on July 16, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keipher McKennie/WireImage)

Another factor that added to his decision was Kobe Bryant.

Arenas was nicknamed Agent Zero because of his jersey number and for making coming up big during clutch moments. However, when this opportunity came knocking, he wasn’t that player anymore.

When asked what it would have been like to play with Kobe, Arenas confessed, “I wasn’t the player he was looking for. I wasn’t Agent Zero. I was afraid he was going to push me like that.”

What was wrong with Agent Zero?

Arenas shed light on why he didn’t want to be the man he was defined by in the league.

“Remember, Agent Zero was a whole different person. I didn’t want to be that person because that person got me into trouble.

“What got me in trouble, was making me good too.

“But once I got in trouble, I didn’t want nomore. He was like, ‘Yo! I want agent zero’. and I am like ‘Oh no!”


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At the end of his career, Arenas had some respectable numbers on his scoreboard. But he was never able to live up to the expectations that was expected of him during his prime.

Do you think that could have changed if he had given Kobe and Lakers a chance?


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Read also- Kyrie Irving and Vanessa Bryant Urge NBA to Change Logo to Kobe Bryant


Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.