Gilbert Arenas: ‘I Was Really Scared of Getting Booed’

by November 10, 2010

Gil tells SI that he was too shook by the prospect of receiving the treatment from Wizards fans, so he made up silly reasons to sit out: “He picked up the newspaper and was unsettled by statements from Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and coach Flip Saunders about the city’s willingness to welcome him back. Would Washington really absolve him for detonating the Wizards’ 2009–10 season? Arenas didn’t want to find out. Last Thursday, after practice in Washington, Arenas told Sports Illustrated that the real reason he sat out wasn’t, as he originally told reporters, to rest his thrice-surgically-repaired knee, nor was it the excuse he gave the next day, that he wanted to give backup point guard Nick Young the chance to play. ‘I was really scared of getting booed,’ says Arenas. ‘It’s a little crazy because I was here with Kwame Brown when Kwame was scared to go out there. I used to be like, Man, it’s just boos. Now here I was six years later, and I was him. I was scared to go out there.’ The day after Arenas offered the story about his desire to be a good teammate, Saunders dressed him down in front of his teammates, and the Wizards slapped him with a $50,000 fine. It was hard not to think, Same old Gilbert.”