In a new interview with Complex , Gilbert Arenas says he lost his first NBA game to Kobe Bryant because of the Lakers legend’s intimidation. “He scared me. I fell. They all laughing at me, because they all laughing at me,” Gilbert told Complex . “He knew I was scared. He knew I was scared to get hurt. He knew I was scared that he was going to hurt me, because he played the game. He was that type of player. I used to watch him play. He was the best. He was the best at what he did. And he wasn’t scared to get in there and play.”
In a recent interview with ESPN’s The Undefeated, former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas spoke out on his years of substance abuse and basketball jitters. He said that he was “shaking” before his first game against Kobe Bryant, and that a former Lakers legend had scared him so bad, he “fell.”
Gilbert Arenas has decided to share his story about the first game he played against Kobe Bryant, but not before taking a few moments to defend himself. He feels that people are now looking for “nuggets” to use against him after he went into hiding. He said that people are now just posting links to his Twitter account, a few of which are a few of the older articles used to attack him. “Friends of mine that I’ve known since I was a child, they all know that I’m a great dude. I am a great dude, and I’m going through a lot of stuff right now. And if anyone has a problem with that, they better speak to my attorney.” “They all laughing about me right
Everyone in the NBA nowadays recalls their first meeting with LeBron James. Before him, though, celebrities recalled their initial encounters with Michael Jordan and, later, Kobe Bryant. Gilbert Arenas, a former Washington Wizards standout, recalls his first game (in the preseason) versus the latter, and it reportedly did not go well for him.
Bryant’s famous Lakers teammate, in fact, frightened him so much that he fell down.
Gilbert Arenas’ performance has been compared to that of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Against December 26, 2005, Gilbert Arenas (left) of the Washington Wizards takes on Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. | Getty Images/G Fiume
Gilbert Arenas was a deadly scoring guard during his basketball career, and he claims that his performance was compared to that of the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.
Arenas stated on his No Chill with Gilbert Arenas podcast, “I grew up on Kobe.” “And then it was all Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe In high school, I was likened to Kobe Bryant.”
Although the parallels to Bryant may seem strong, he earned them as a rising star. Arenas was a second-round selection out of Arizona in 2001 by the Golden State Warriors, but he averaged 18.3 points in his second season before joining the Washington Wizards in his third season and becoming an All-Star the following season.
Arenas went on to win three consecutive All-Star selections with the Wizards from 2004-05 to 2006-07, and he established himself as one of the league’s most dominating scorers, averaging 27.7 points and 5.7 assists in those three seasons. In 2005-06, the three-time All-NBA selection averaged 29.3 points per game, which was just slightly less than LeBron James, Allen Iverson, and, of course, Bryant.
Arenas then suffered a string of bad luck and injuries for the remainder of his career, but it seems that there’s one memory from his NBA career that he’ll never forget: his first meeting with Bryant.
During his first preseason game versus Kobe, he was dubbed “awful.”
Gilbert Arenas addressed his first battle against Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and the Lakers, which he claims happened in the preseason, on his No Chill podcast.
“When I first saw [Kobe] in person, I said to myself, ‘That’s, that’s, that’s him.’ He replied, ‘That’s him.’ “This is a terrible game. “I had a dreadful game.”
Arenas then had his lowest moment of the night when Bryant’s teammate, Robert Horry, gave him an unpleasant surprise. Horry is a Lakers icon, having won three championships with the club and hitting a game-winning buzzer-beater in the Western Conference Finals in 2002.
“I remember coming off the pick-and-roll and all Robert Horry said was, ‘Ah!’” says the player. Arenas remarked. “I was terrified, dude. That was something I’d never seen before. It was brutal; it was brutal, dude. Then I just collapsed; I just fell, and they went, dunked, and scored. They’re all giggling. I felt really humiliated.”
That doesn’t seem like the best way to meet Bryant. Arenas, on the other hand, made up for it a few years later.
Against Kobe Bryant, Gilbert Arenas fared considerably better.
Arenas and Bryant became fast friends, and the former Wizards great even promised to carry out Bryant’s last wish, which was to pass on his basketball expertise to future generations, before his death.
He didn’t win Mamba’s respect without the two of them fighting together.
Arenas scored 60 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out eight assists in a six-point victory against the Lakers in 2006. He then proceeded to speak trash to Bryant after the game, which did not go well for him. Bryant almost dropped 40 points on 14-of-26 shooting in the following encounter, which the Lakers won by 16 points.
“I extended my hand, and [Kobe] walked straight by me. He didn’t shake anyone’s hand; instead, he went up to Gil, slapped him on the buttocks, and told him, ‘Remember you asked for this, and make sure you protect me the way I’m going to guard you,’” according to NBC Sports.
Arenas and Bryant’s initial encounter turned out to be a long-forgotten memory only a few years later. Due to their bucket-making skill, it seems that the two stars ultimately acquired mutual respect.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: Kobe Bryant Once Said Phil Jackson Would Use ‘In Confidential’ Conversations to ‘Manipulate the Media Against’ Him: ‘I’m Done With This Guy,’ says the narrator.
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