During Gilbert Arenas’ stint in the NBA, he was not expected to become a star. He entered the league as a second-round pick in 2001 and then defied all expectations, becoming an All-Star and All-NBA player during his time with the Washington Wizards.
Arenas himself said his draft stock plummeted before entering the league after Jim O’Brien called him immature. But despite his late selection in the draft, he became one of the best players in the league during his stint in the NBA.
Arenas was an explosive player and a flashy star. Despite being a point guard, he was one of the most athletic players in the league. While he was considered undersized for the NBA at 6’4, he used that assessment to his advantage.
Gilbert Arenas was a unique player, on and off the pitch. And in one game, he wore shoes that wouldn’t normally be worn on a basketball court. In 2010, the Wizards went to LA to take on the Lakers. Before the match, Nick Young came into the arena with Dolce And Gabbana sneakers.
Arenas did not have a shoe sponsor at the time and was trying on different shoes. Seeing Young’s shoes, he thought they could be used for basketball, as they were designed in the same way as basketball sneakers from other companies. As well as not having any laces, Arenas was happy with the fit and hit the pitch.
“I didn’t have a shoe sponsor at the time, so I was testing different shoes. That night we are in Los Angeles and Nick [Young] comes to camp with these weird shoes under her dress. I look at his locker and think, “Dude, they match our shirt!” And so I thought about wearing them. The only downside was that they didn’t have laces “
And so, Arenas played against Kobe Bryant and the reigning NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers in a pair of Dolce and Gabbana sneakers. Designer Yong Bae Soek revealed that he designed the shoe based on how basketball sneakers look, which is why the shape is so similar.
“Basketball players generally prefer laces, this is the only difference with a performance shoe. I preferred to insert the velcro and the tears to make it more sturdy. It will be served at Gilbert that evening“.
Arenas had a good match in these shoes, scoring 23 points against the Lakers. But his performance was not enough for the Wizards to claim victory. But the story that came from this game was the unique choice of shoes that Arenas made to go on the court.
Maybe one day we’ll see another player wearing a pair of Dolce and Gabanna basketball shoes in the future. But for now, Arenas remains the first and only player to wear them onto the pitch.