The 2012-13 NBA regular season is just one week from commencing. Teams have begun the selective process of condensing their roster to the 15-player league maximum, thus leaving rotational hopefuls with mere days to make their case.
Not everyone is competing for an NBA home, though. One of the notable players to be left off of an NBA roster is three-time All-NBA selection Gilbert Arenas.
According to a report via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Arenas is close to leaving the NBA altogether and signing a deal with the Guandong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. Arenas would join Stephon Marbury and Tracy McGrady as former All-NBA players to sign on to play in China.
Free agent guard Gilbert Arenas is close to signing a one-year deal in China with the Guandong Southern Tigers, a source told Yahoo! Sports.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) October 22, 2012
With China's rapidly expanding interest in basketball, Arenas should find himself in an enjoyable place. The NBA is expanding into a global brand, with China being one of the most prominent international market.
As Arenas makes the move overseas, it is safe to say that a new chapter in his career will bring him to a rediscovery of lost glory. Unfortunately, it also signals one truth that Arenas and his fans may not be willing to accept.
Gilbert Arenas' career as an NBA player has officially come to a close.
Who Was Gilbert Arenas?
The Golden State Warriors selected Gilbert Arenas with the second pick of the second round during the 2001 NBA Draft. During his second year in the league, Arenas shocked the world by averaging 18.3 points, 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
During the following offseason, Arenas signed a six year, $111 million deal with the Washington Wizards (via ESPN.com). This led to a half-decade of extraordinary expectations as he, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison led one of the most hyped teams to never win a title.
Just don't think that they lacked the flash necessary to keep fans on the edges of their seats.
From 2005 to 2007, Arenas would average at least 25.4 points per game. This included a 2006 season in which the former Arizona standout put up 29.3 points per game, thus ranking fourth amongst all NBA players in terms of scoring.
Should this signal the end of his time in the league, Arenas will finish his career with averages of 20.7 points, 5.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
Injuries and Off-Court Issues
During the 2008 and 2009 NBA seasons, Arenas missed a grand total of 149 games. He made just 13 appearances in 2008 and two in 2009, thus leading to a future-deciding 2010 in which the pressure had mounted.
After years of postseason disappointment and consistently devastating injuries, it was only fitting that Arenas had a "now or never" ultimatum. After spending 32 games on the floor during the 2010 regular season, however, he crossed a line he could not return from.
Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton admittedly pulled guns on each other after a locker room argument escalated in severity (via ESPN.com). Arenas proceeded to make a mockery of the incident, joking about his gun trouble in photographs and interviews.
Since then, Arenas has struggled to find an NBA home. He has played for three teams over the past two seasons, with the Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies all giving up on the 6'4" point guard after one season or less.
An outstanding career has been derailed by injuries and poor decisions. So, what should we remember?
What to Remember
Gilbert Arenas offered us moments of admiration and disappointment. He dominated the regular season, underachieved in the playoffs and had a way with his entertaining words between it all.
So, what do we remember? Despite the negativity, the only logical step to take is to praise Arenas for what he did as an NBA player.
Arenas battled his way up the depth chart after being selected with a second round draft choice. He revolutionized the point guard position and, from 2004 to 2007, was one of the best scorers in the game.
He is one of 20 players in NBA history to score 60 points in a game. He also scored at least 50 on three separate occasions and hit the 40-point mark in 26 different games.
He holds NBA records with 16 points in an overtime period and 46 points in less than 30 minutes.
As previously alluded to, his career regular season averages rest at 20.7 points, 5.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Should his NBA career be officially ending, Arenas will retire with 11,402 points, 2909 assists, 2168 rebounds and 884 steals.
Had he, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison had any form of support beside them, Arenas may have even won a title.
Just don't think he didn't try, as his legendary 2006 postseason series saw Arenas played an average of 47.3 minutes per game. For those in need of a refreshment of memory, there are 48 minutes in a four quarter NBA game.
In that time, Arenas averaged 34.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.2 steals. He also shot 46.4 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Arenas was capable of physical feats that most point guards could only imagine. He is one of the greatest competitors of our time and should not be forgotten when we look back on the best individual performers of the 2000s.
Gilbert Arenas redefined the point guard position. If not for his prowess as a scorer, the likes of Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook may not be what they are today.