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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.

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