Former multi-time NBA All-Star with the Washington Wizards, Gilbert Arenas was one of the NBA’s most lethal scorers. During his 12 year career, Arenas averaged 20.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, but according to him, it almost didn’t happen.
Back during his rookie season as a member of the Golden State Warriors, Arenas was the third guard behind Mookie Blaylock and Larry Hughes, and the 15th man on the Warriors’ roster. He wasn’t getting any playing time at all until a couple of unfortunate events happen to Mookie Blaylock and Larry Hughes. An incident would cause the Warriors to kick Blaylock off the team and Hughes would be a sideline with an injury. Thus, opening the door for Arenas to play and showcase his talents.
Last week, I spoke with Arenas and asked him, who currently in the NBA has his same playing style?
Gilbert replied, a mixture of Rockets’ guard James Harden and Blazers’ guard Damian Lillard.
“I would have to say a mixture of James Harden and Damian Lillard James Harden possesses what I was doing with the ability to hit the long ball and he can get to the free-throw line. There was a state that I set and it’s the ability to shot over 600 free-throws and over 200 threes in the same year. James Harden added himself to that list and Russell Westbrook did too. I did it in 06-07, James Harden achieved it in 14-15, and Russell Westbrook in 16-17.”
Last season James Harden averaged 36.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and finished second in the MVP voting behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas shared with me back in May that Giannis was his MVP based on the Bucks’ regular-season record.
From the regular season, I thought Harden had another great season, and he did things that another hasn’t done in a while. Giannis also had a great regular season, but from a winning standpoint, I always go with the winner. This is not a knock on the season that Harden had, but what Giannis did from a winning standpoint to me he would get my vote. It would only be by a very slim margin because you can make an argument for of them and they could be co-MVPs, but if I had to pick just one, I would have to give it to Giannis this year.
As for Damian Lillard, he averaged 25.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.9 assists and long with C.J. McCollum helped lead the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals for the first time season since 2000. Unfortunately, the Blazers were swept by Golden State Warriors in four games.