Gilbert Arenas had a tough experience with Team USA, being cut after initially being selected in 2006, leading to him predicting LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and company would not win gold without him.
Arenas was near the peak of his NBA career around 2006 as during the 2005-6 season he would average 29.3 points per game following that up with 28.4 points per game in the 2006-07 season, the two best marks of his career.
If there was ever a time for Arenas to make the international team, it would be then, but ultimately the Wizards star was cut from the final roster.
My favorite Gilbert Arenas story? When he was cut from Team USA in ’06, and he went Hibachi on McMillan/D’Antoni … something for the snubs!
— Law Murray 🏁 (@LawMurrayTheNU) August 23, 2014
Furious at the decision, Arenas went off on a wild rant, sounding off on the poor choice to release from the team. He even predicted some future disapppointment from Team USA.
Gilbert Arenas Predicted That LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony And Team USA Would Not Take Gold in 2006 FIBA World Cup
Team USA was supposed to the best basketball team ever assembled. After the domination of ‘The Dream Team’ in 1992, it became expected that the Americans would always bring home gold in international tournaments.
However, the 2004 tournament put a big dent in those expectations as Team USA would finish third, taking ‘only’ the bronze medal in the tournament despite fielding talent like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, and Allen Iverson.
Surely they would have their chance again right? Well, yes they did. In 2006, Team USA was once more the favorite in the FIBA World Championship. LeBron, Melo, and Dwyane Wade all made the team while Arenas was cut.
After Arenas was told that he wouldn’t be a part of the team anymore, he was livid, especially at coach Mike Krzyzewski who made the decision. Arenas would also predict that Team USA wouldn’t win gold in the tournament either.
“I ranted. I was a fuc**** rant. I said that the way he’s coaching they would not win gold. I remember saying that – the way he’s coaching, they would not win gold. He has all the shooters on the bench and all the drivers and slashers on one team.”
Arenas’ prediction came true as Team USA would lose in the semifinals to Greece 101-95 before eventually beating Argentina 96-81 to secure a bronze medal finish once more.
These bronze medal finishes eventually led to ‘The Redeem Team’ being formed in 2008 which took USA back to the top of the international stage by finishing with a Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics.