Gilbert Arenas Opens Up About Being a Horrible Teammate

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Gilbert Arenas #1 of the Orlando Magic against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Looking at Memphis Grizzlies guard Gilbert Arenas today, it's pretty hard to fathom all of the controversy that surrounded him a couple years ago with the Washington Wizards.

Today, Arenas is little more than a role-player on a playoff team, but it wasn't long ago that he was a headline-maker.

In a recent interview with J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today, Arenas came clean about a lot of things during his stint with the Wizards. Arenas was an All Star three times with the Wizards and averaged over 25 points per game for a season on three occasions as well. Despite his status as a dynamic offensive player, though, he was far from perfect.

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when Arenas' name is mentioned is the locker-room gun incident between him and former teammate Javaris Crittenton in late 2009. The story had always been that Arenas pulled a gun on Crittenton due to gambling debts, but Arenas sought to set the record straight.

Arenas said that he wasn't even involved in the bet as Crittenton, JaVale McGee and Earl Boykins were the interested parties. When Arenas tried to break up an argument, Crittenton threatened to shoot him, and that led to Arenas bringing firearms into the locker room.

Both Arenas and Crittenton were suspended for the remainder of the season, and regardless of what really happened, it ruined Arenas' reputation across the league. He returned to the Wizards the next season, but was traded to the Orlando Magic before becoming a casualty of the team's amnesty cut.

Arenas seems to be much more mellow now that he is playing a supporting role with the Grizzlies, but he had some interesting things to say about his time in Washington. There were constant squabbles in the locker room and "Agent Zero" was often in the thick of them.

There was one particular incident where Andray Blatche threw Arenas' clothes into a Jacuzzi because he thought Arenas had cut up his suit. Arenas denies doing so, but that didn't stop him from getting revenge on Blatche's shoes.

It was just dog doo-doo in it. It was really dog doo-doo. … I took his sole out, threw it under there, put the sole back on and threw the baby powder on there so he couldn't smell it, Arenas said.

From the sound of, it there are practical jokesters in every NBA locker room, but there is such a thing as taking things too far. Rather than playful jokes, Arenas' run-ins seemed to be malicious, particularly the Crittenton situation.

The Wizards dealt with those things for a long time because of his talent level, but when that started to waver, it's understandable why they let him go.

Arenas has only played 10 games with the Grizzlies, but there haven't been any reports of dysfunction, so perhaps he has matured and settled into his new leadership role.

If that is the case, then Arenas can be an incredibly useful asset to the Grizzlies as he has experienced a lot of individual success in the NBA.

His interview with Falgoust proves what many suspected for a long time:  that he simply wasn't a very good teammate. All of that is in the past now, though, and it looks like Agent Zero, now wearing No. 10, has a new lease on life.