Lakers Rumors: How Kobe Bryant Would Rejuvenate Gilbert Arenas' Career

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 16:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards drives past Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game at Staples Center on December 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 97-91.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The best thing that could happen for Gilbert Arenas' fading career would be for him to end up on the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant.

Other than in that scenario, I don't see him making a Cinderella-story comeback into the NBA.

He needs to play with Kobe if he wants to be successful.

What magic formula does Kobe possess that would allow Arenas to revive his career? It's a one-word answer, and it's the way Bryant has gotten to where he is: focus.

Focus is something that has been lacking in Arenas' career for a very long time; well, that and health, but unlike health—focus is something that he can control.

It's not his fault that he's had to suffer through knee injuries that essentially prevented him from being one of the most explosive players in the NBA. Bringing guns into an NBA locker room is a completely different story, though.

His reputation as a "bad character" guy is his own fault, and I would argue that it was his lack of focus that really hindered him in his career.

Arenas had the physical abilities and basketball skills to be truly great, but he really squandered that. He made it hard for teams to take him seriously, and after a while, I doubt if he took himself seriously as a basketball player.

That, and his ailing knees, are the reason he is still looking for another team and another chance.

He could find a second—well technically third—chance with the Lakers, and according to Andrew Kamenetzky of, that is something their leader would welcome:

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak held a private workout over the weekend for free agent guard Gilbert Arenas while the team was on the tail end of a six-game road trip, multiple sources told's Dave McMenamin on Sunday. While no signing is imminent, according to the sources, the 10-year veteran would be welcomed by star guard Kobe Bryant.

"Sure," responded Bryant during Tuesday's practice in El Segundo when asked if he was in favor of bringing in Arenas. "It certainly wouldn't hurt, that's for sure."

Kobe is mostly right with that statement. Arenas wouldn't hurt the Lakers, but an unfocused Arenas could.

Thankfully, if there's a player in the NBA who could keep Arenas in the right mindset and on a positive track, it would be Kobe, because there's nobody in the league as dedicated as he is.

With Kobe there to keep him on track, Arenas could still provide some valuable minutes as a sharpshooter off the bench for the Lakers.

He fits a need, and when he's on, there weren't many as sharp as he was in the NBA.

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 13:  Gilbert Arenas #1 of the Orlando Magic during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 13, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or usin
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Lakers and Arenas are a good match, as they both fit needs for each other. The Lakers need some help off the bench and a scoring touch, while Arenas needs a place and teammates who will allow him to focus on basketball.

It's been a circus in L.A. lately, but I'm not one to count out the impact Kobe can have on a teammate.

The pairing of Arenas in the Lakers won't fix either of their problems, but it would be a good start.

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