How do you spend $845,000 before stepping foot on an NBA court? If you’re Gilbert Arenas, you start by buying an Escalade with the Gary Payton package.

Arenas’ four-wheel purchase, along with some jewelry and who knows what else, had the then-rookie sleeping at Golden State’s arena, unable to afford gas for the ride home.


Gilbert Arenas

December 08, 2010: #9 Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards watches on during free throws vs. the Sacramento Kings. The Kings beat the Wizards 116-91 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. (Greg Ashman/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"I spent it all," said Arenas of his nearly $900K rookie salary, per VladTV.

Arenas was expecting to be selected within the first 10 picks of the 2001 NBA Draft, which would’ve guaranteed him millions. Instead, he fell to the second round (selected 31st overall) and quickly experienced financial headaches that would seem rare for someone handed nearly one million dollars.

"I don’t remember, I spent that before the draft. 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," Arenas told VladTV. I had the big chain just like everybody else (that read) ‘GJA.'"

Jason Richardson of the Golden State Warriors and Gilbert Arenas

23 Feb 2002: Jason Richardson #23 of the Golden State Warriors takes new teammate Gilbert Arenas under his wing during a game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Gregory Shamus/ NBAE/Getty Images)

Nicknamed "Agent Zero," Arenas’s rookie bank account nearly matched his moniker. His spending habits left his Escalade riding on E, and forced him to catch some shuteye within an unlikely bedroom. "I spent it all," said Arenas. "So when they did my budget I could only spend $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 the arena, so I had to stay at the arena sometimes. I slept in the arena. I was basically homeless, but I just couldn’t afford the gas all the time."

Oddly enough, Arena credits those overnight stays in Oracle Arena for helping him achieve NBA success, which included more than 11,000 career points. "That helped me because it made me stay in the gym and understand what a professional is," Arenas added.

Guard Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Golden State Warriors listens to Brian Winters during the NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks

22 Jan 2002:  Guard Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Golden State Warriors listens to Brian Winters during the NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks won 116-112. (Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)


Arenas ended his 11-season NBA career with a career scoring average of just under 21 points per game and more than $163 million earned. More than enough for a full tank of gas and a decent Airbnb.