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Nineteen-year-old Gilbert Arenas imagined a life of luxury and glory awaited him in the NBA.
In the year leading up to the 2001 NBA Draft, Arenas, then a star at the University of Arizona, said he spent big: an Escalade “with the five TVs,” a $40,000 chain and more. Betting on big first-round money, it didn’t seem like a bad idea. It was.
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Leo Sepkowitz, Arenas opened up about the tough years he spent playing for the Golden State Warriors, close to flat broke despite his generous compensation.
On draft night, Arenas was picked 31st overall by the Warriors — the second round — dropping his multi-million payout to a $330,000 annual salary. It was barely enough to pay his expenses, Arenas admitted. So he budgeted himself $400 a month in order to cover his debts and live in the Bay Area, renting a “small house” instead of the glamorous digs he’d envisioned.
“Try going on a date in the middle of the month with $100 left. I got gas, I had two dogs and a girlfriend at the time. There was no date night! It was horrible,” he told Bleacher Report.
Things got better for Arenas, who signed a six-year, $60 million contract with the Washington Wizards in 2003.
He’s been retired from playing since 2013. He does some broadcasting work and also hosts his own sports show called “The No Chill Podcast.“
You can read the full Gilbert Arenas profile here.
Katie Dowd is an SFGATE Senior Digital Editor. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @katiedowd
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Gilbert-Arenas-rookie-salary-warriors-years-14378912.php.