What Gilbert Arenas Wants Ja Morant to Know

Arenas said that his situation contrasted with Morant’s because he was more aware that he was a public figure and acted accordingly, such as by not wearing flashy jewelry in public to avoid being robbed. “I understood I am not normal,” Arenas said.

Nevertheless, Arenas’s gun incident overshadowed the rest of his N.B.A. career, which lasted only two more seasons, in part because of injuries. He was seen as immature.

“I think it affected — I don’t even want to say legacy — my name,” said Arenas, who co-hosts the “No Chill” podcast for Fubo Sports. “It affected it really bad. I said it back then, where the most disappointing part of it all is I did 100 things right. I did one wrong thing and that’s all everyone remembers. That’s what really hurts you the most.”

There have been other cautionary tales about star athletes and guns. Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in 2008 at a nightclub in Manhattan less than year after catching the game-winning touchdown for the Giants in the Super Bowl. He spent nearly two years in prison, and his career never recovered. In March, he was asked about Morant in an interview on “The Carton Show.”

“If I was speaking to him, it would just be, ‘If you can’t learn anything, learn from me,’” Burress said. “Just make better decisions because you really don’t want for him to have that label moving forward, being that he’s so young. He has the opportunity to be the face of the N.B.A. He’s that great of a player and you want to continue to see him, you know, mature as a person as his game is getting better.”

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