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Gilbert Arenas Rips NBA’s Decades-Old Draft System With Bizarre Claim

Published 11/19/2023, 10:59 AM EST

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Gilbert Arenas, the former guard for the Washington Wizards, is now a well-known NBA commentator. In a new clip, the inventor of the “no look 3” goes on a massive rant about the NBA draft before the 1990s.

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The NBA found its popularity majorly after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird popularized in the 80s, followed by Jordan who made it a household sport. Gil’s observations are consistent for an NBA before it reached the status of a professional league with millions of fans worldwide.

Gilbert Arenas Rips the NBA Draft


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In the video, Gil starts by analyzing the draft year of 1984, the same year the Chicago Bulls picked Michael Jordan 2nd overall. Arenas claims that before the 1990s, the league would not put as much thought into drafting players for teams. He says that there were 228 players, in the ’84 Draft, despite there being much fewer teams than today.

Gil particularly rips the 37th pick that year Earl Jenikins, who had never played in college and worked as a janitor.Anybody could have f*cking made the draft in 1984, said the three-time All-star. Furthermore, Arenas goes on to explore the draft class of Magic Johnson after, with 202 picks. After reading picks that are relatively unknown, he concludes, “The league was so watered down, how can y’all say this is the best? This is the Honda’s.”


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Despite the former Wizard sounding credible about the older NBA Draft, he can sometimes have questionable picks. Recently his unusual GOAT pick raised some eyebrows among NBA fans.

Gil’s unusual GOAT pick

Celebrating the 100th episode of “Gil’s Arena,” Gilbert Arenas was asked about his “personal GOAT” beyond the usual names. After thoughtful consideration, he chose Penny Hardaway, stating, “My GOAT Penny because that’s what made me really love the game.”

Arenas has openly expressed his admiration for Michael Jordan and LeBron James, but these two aren’t his exclusive choices. He has also mentioned Vince Carter as someone worth considering. This freedom to pick reflects the personal nature of his admiration. What do you think of Gil’s opinion about the draft pre-90s? Was it really that bad?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Written by:

Akashdeep Banerjee


One take at a time

Akashdeep Banerjee is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports. After Graduating in Journalism and Mass Communication he forayed into visual Media. A fan of the NBA for the better part of a decade.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph