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Gilbert Arenas says he’s happy in China, no plans for NBA return

Mar 14, 2013, 7:43 PM EDT

Gilbert Arenas china AP

Gilbert Arenas was not going to be back in the NBA. His body was past the point he could put up with the long grind of an NBA season and produce enough that a team would choose him over a young prospect that could develop. Plus, there is the baggage.

But if there is a secret to enjoying life, it is to be happy where you are. To soak in where you are on the journey.

Gilbert Arenas is doing just that. He talked with SLAM about life in China playing for and living in Shanghi and I loved what Arenas said when asked about a return to the NBA.

Nah! [Shakes head vehemently] Because after this season I can enjoy my family. You know my kids are getting older. Being in the NBA, you don’t really get to enjoy your family life because you’re always on the road, you’re always gone. So, no. After this season will be the first time I’ll get to be with my kids for a long period of time….

32 games a year (the length of the Chinese season). Maximum 36 minutes. That’s all I need at this point in my career. So as long as China teams want me, I’ll be here.

On top of talking about his children, Arenas talks about going out in China, immersing himself in the culture and having fun with teammates. Most American players in China can’t adjust to the radical culture change, they tend to isolate themselves and create a little bubble of America around them in China. I love that Arenas, like Stephon Marbury before him, has gone the other direction.

Arenas is happy where he is. Good for him. There is no NBA in his future, but that doesn’t make it any less an experience.

  1. mp4philly - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Helps when you crapped the bed and still got every cent on a 100+ mil guaranteed contract. IJS

    • money2long - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      it goes both ways in this business.

      usually when you’re young and talented, you’re getting paid less than your actual market value because the cba early on in your career restricts high salary for young players. that could go on for 4 years, until you sign a new contract more appropriately matching your talent level. you should be getting paid more, but hey.

      • michaeljordanseviltwin - Mar 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        Those rookie contract scales didn’t exist when Arenas was drafted and it wouldn’t apply to him because he was a second round pick. He played two years on his rookie contract with the Warriors and you might be able to say he was underpaid for the second year when he averaged 18ppg. Then he signed a six year $60 million contract with the Wizards. He opted out of the final year of that contract to sign a new one for six years and $111 million.

        Gilbert Arenas earned over $150 million in his career. You really think he was underpaid? The guy who never had a significant moment in an NBA playoff game?

      • money2long - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:09 AM

        i never said he was underpaid. i am saying the owner’s can get burned on a contract, just like the player can get burned with his. that was all

  2. DonkeyStick - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Take Andrew Bynum with you

  3. mz1394 - Mar 15, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    Have to love the whole naaah part like he has a choice in returning to the nba. Translation: nobody in the nba is dumb enough to sign me even to a minimum contract and they all know I suck anyway

  4. fanofevilempire - Mar 15, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    sounds like he found the zen, good for him.
    I wish him the best.

  5. mcsuave - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    He will be fine, as long as the guns are left home. :-)

  6. bougin89 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    “Nah! [Shakes head vehemently] Because after this season I can enjoy my family. You know my kids are getting older. Being in the NBA, you don’t really get to enjoy your family life because you’re always on the road, you’re always gone. So, no. After this season will be the first time I’ll get to be with my kids for a long period of time….

    32 games a year (the length of the Chinese season). Maximum 36 minutes. That’s all I need at this point in my career. So as long as China teams want me, I’ll be here.”

    Translation: “No NBA team wants me, even for the league minimum.”

  7. themars211 - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    They don’t have to want him. He is still being paid quite handsomely from a NBA team.

  8. hojo20 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Give Arenas a few years, he’ll be broke.

  9. badintent - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    If he is smart , he will bring out his own line of shoes like Starbury did and make new biz friends in Shanghi. Great city for business, no biz taxes, no income taxes, and a HUGE local market of 22 million people. Make shots, make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.Gilbert the cat.

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