Chris Miller of Comcast had an opportunity for an exclusive interview with Gilbert Arenas as he prepares for his return to face his former Washington Wizards team on Friday night. The highlights of part one of the interview can be found here, by Asad Naqvi.
Part two began with trying to understand when Arenas knew his time with the Wizards was coming to an end.
"I couldn't see myself back. There was no way the city would let me play for them again. They're going to kick me out no matter what so I might as well run out."
He was asked what it was like to have John Wall join the team as the number one pick and the heir to the "face of the franchise" throne. Miller asked Arenas what it was like to meet Wall for the first time and how their relationship was as time progressed.
"It was weird. It was like, awkward. First day was funny."
Arenas talked about how the two sized each other up. Up to that point, Arenas knew that Wall's perception of him was whatever he had read or heard in the media. After the initial getting-to-know-you phase, things seemed to go smoothly. Arenas even compared his understanding with Wall on the court to his close friend and ex-teammate Larry Hughes.
"After that it was like big brother little brother. I watched so much tape on him so I knew what his strengths was."
When asked about how things were with Arenas on a personal and mindset level, he went on to say that he was in a different mindset and "zone" than the other players.
"Going into training camp was good. I think, I kind of, I kind of messed myself up in training camp because I wasn't trying to be dominant. I was trying to fit in. All that aggression I had built up through the summer that made me go go go, the reason I was terrorizing summer league, I let it go during training camp, to fit in.
When you see the beard, and the no smile, that was who I was at that time. I was an assassin.
Everyone is trying to feel everyone out, get to know each other. I was letting that wall down. But then it's like, 'that's not fair to them'. I can probably still be who i want to be as a player and let go. Once I started letting go, I started losing my aggression."
Despite having his guard up in the beginning, it seems that Arenas began to loosen up for the sake of the team. Unfortunately, we'll never know how things could have been as he now plays for an eastern conference foe.
Part three of the interview will be covered later tonight.