Gilbert Arenas Talks James Harden Comp, Dream 1-on-1 Matchups in Reddit AMA

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND - JULY 13: Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Enemies dribbles against Andre Owens #20 of the Aliens during week four of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Dunkin' Donuts Center on July 13, 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/BIG3/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

When Gilbert Arenas watches modern basketball, he sees himself in James Harden.

"My game was in the lines of James Harden without the evolution of the great scoring he's been doing," Arenas wrote during a Reddit AMA promoting his new FuboTV show Wednesday. "I was 25 when I got hurt so I [didn't] get to evolve into the great scoring he is. With the rules today I would have done a lot more driving since everyone is so intrigued with the three-point line. No one is protecting the rim. No one like Shaq there now."

Arenas was one of the best scoring guards in basketball from 2004 to '07, flashing a skill set that would fit perfectly a decade later. Agent Zero averaged 7.2 three attempts per game during that three-year stretch, finishing first or second in attempts each season. There are 22 players who average seven three attempts per game in 2019-20, led by Harden at 12.6.

Arenas was also skilled at getting to the line, averaging 9.2 free throws per game during his peak. His combination of shooting and attacking makes him a near-perfect fit for the analytically driven, threes-and-dunks modern game.

While Arenas is quick to say his knees are too bad to even beat Nick Young at one-on-one, he did mention a trio of guards he'd want to take down in his prime. 

"Kyrie...I would love to play Kyrie, Steph and Dame. Because we didn't have aggressive type of guards like that back when I was playing," Arenas wrote.

As for his toughest defender when Arenas was playing, he had two words: Joey Crawford.

"The referees. lol Joey Crawford was the hardest to score on. That muthaF* had some great defense," Arenas wrote.