Gilbert Arenas slept at Oracle Arena after spending rookie salary

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Gilbert Arenas wasn’t exactly frugal with his finances at the start of his NBA career.

In a new interview, the former All-Star guard told “VladTV” that he spent his entire $850,000 rookie salary before he was even drafted 31st overall by the Warriors in 2001.

And after a lavish spending spree — that included an Escalade with five TVs in it — Arenas said he was forced to follow a strict budget (by his standards) of $500 a month.

“That’s gas money. Girlfriend, two dogs, I didn’t have any money. I couldn’t even drive back and forth to [Oracle Arena], so I had to stay at the arena sometimes. I slept in the arena,” he recalled.

Golden State now plays at Chase Center in San Francisco.

“I was basically homeless, but I just couldn’t afford the gas all the time,” the 39-year-old said.

Arenas played for the Warriors for two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03), before he signed a six-year, $65 million contract with the Wizards.

Warriors
Gilbert Arenas playing with the Warriors in 2003.
Anthony J Causi

“I don’t remember, I spent that before the draft,” Arenas said about his rookie salary.

“You think you’re going to go top 10, like s–t I’m thinking millions. So I bought an Escalade, had five TVs in it, four (12″ speakers) — saw Gary Payton with the suede — had the suede on the top, suede roof. I had the big chain just like everybody else (that read) ‘GJA.’”

Arenas also said he was depressed during the first half of his rookie season in Golden State.

“You’re not good enough. I’m on a two year deal, I have no money. It wasn’t fun. I even said then, ‘I wish I could go back to college’ [at Arizona]. I took a pay-cut coming here,” he said.  

Arenas credited his sleepovers at Oracle Arena for helping set him up for an illustrious NBA career.

“That helped me because it made me stay in the gym and understand what a professional is,” said Arenas — a three-time NBA All-Star, who recorded 11,402 career points in his 11-year NBA career.

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