Popular opinion seems to lean towards shipping Gilbert Arenas out of town at all cost. But lets not be so hasty with this decision. There is still the possibility that Arenas could be just what the doctor ordered for a young team starting the rebuilding process.
I say this not in spite of or by dismissing the issues he has had but because of them. Arenas could be a poster child for what young up and coming NBA players should and should not do.
Now let me explain my point first they is no better teacher in life than experience. Gilbert Arenas has experienced a full spectrum of the highs and lows that becoming a young multi- million dollar professional athlete can bring.
One of the most dangerous things that these kids end up having to navigate is having little or boundaries in there lives. From the time they are first discovered as having the potential talent to become stars they are coddled, patronized, given a free ride.
The learning of responsibility and accountability is only promoted in a small percentage of these kids lives. And even some of those have enforced only as far as it applies to there sport. Now don't get me wrong there are some whose family structure is strong enough to keep the kids in the loop but there are so many specially in the urban environments that the only place the feel they have to get away from the difficulties in there lives is athletics.
Arenas and the roller coaster that his life has been on has an opportunity redeem himself not only for the fans and the league and the organization who gave him a 100 million dollar deal. But most importantly for himself.
There has been "NO" evidence that Arenas is a bad guy.. Playful, immature, impulsive and in some cases weird are words that have been used to describe him. In fact if you talk to people who deal with Gilbert in the more informal settings like the pick up games and tournaments he attends and participates in Southeast Washington (Barry Farms).
Arenas is just a down to earth ultra competitive guy. Not stuck up or unapproachable. Now there is the side of Gilbert that has taken it upon himself to do thing outside of the norm but I attribute some of this to those who where supposed to be in charge. The one coach (Eddie Jordan) who attempted to hold Arenas accountable for his actions got run out of town.
This is the issue that seems to get lost in the translation the Owners and there General Managers bring in these players as kids basically and hand then millions of dollars but they don't take into consideration that these kids have skipped the part of life that teaches the "Life Lessons" needed to navigate having that kind of money and freedom.
Now this is where Gilbert Arenas can be beneficial to the Wizards organization going forward. He has lived the life, made the mistakes and almost lost it all including his freedom. He is a living example of what the "Life" can do to you. And if he has learned his lessons well and has matured.
What better example for the next ordained superstar coming to Washington ( John Wall ). Not only as someone who can tell the stories of how he almost lost it all but as a the example of one who grew up and realized that one stupid act can be enough to take you from being on the cusp of being in that conversations that includes the likes of Kobe and Lebron to being labeled a "cancer"
This is not fiction for Arenas it's real. Playing and practicing with Arenas who is a gym rat himself could be perfect for Wall. Can you imagine those two going head-to-head in practice. Wall shouldn't have to shoulder this burden alone
So let's not undervalue what Arenas could still accomplish as a Wizard..