Gilbert Arenas, the super talented but equally eccentric guard who played for Arizona from 1999 to 2001, posted his tribute to the late Lute Olson on Instagram on Friday—and let’s just say it is perfect for someone who refers to himself as “No Chill Gil.”
Arenas posted a picture from his time at Arizona (which you can see above) that shows him being coached by Olson, who’s looking at Arenas with a puzzled face.
“This was usually the face Lute Olson gave me when I was explaining my decision making,” Arenas wrote, before describing what their conversations were like.
Lute: Why aren’t you running the play?
Me: Because the play wasn’t for me.
Lute: I know, it was for Richard.
Me: I KNOW, that’s exactly why I shot the ball because you accidentally called a play for Richard while I’m on fire [shrug emoji].
Lute: That pass you just attempted just made me throw up.
Me: And that’s why I don’t like passing the ball. I don’t wanna make you sick, Coach. [happy emoji]
1999: At my dinner table you told me you would redshirt me and in 5 years I would be an NBA player if I listened to you.
2001: You advised me to go pro. Thank you for allowing me to be me [100 emoji]. Thank you coach. Thank you for making us great men before being great basketball players. Your words will last for life and you taught much more than how to play the game.
Richard Jefferson made sure to chime in, pointing out that Arenas couldn’t have possibly been referring to the 2001 National Championship game since Arenas most definitely was not “on fire” that night.
A sophomore at the time, he shot 4 for 17 as the Wildcats lost to Duke by 10.
“Everything else about this post is true,” Jefferson commented. “People can’t imagine how great of a coach he was. He had you, me, Loren Woods, Mike Wright, Eugene (Edgerson), Luke (Walton) and Jason Gardner. The fact that he made us look normal is his greatest achievement.... ps.... he begged you to get the [expletive emoji] out of there.”
Hey, it worked out pretty well for Arenas, who wound up getting selected in the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft and became an All-Star a few years later after leaving the Golden State Warriors for the Washington Wizards.
Arenas averaged close to 30 points per game at his peak, but injuries and questionable uses of firearms led to a quick decline. He was out of the NBA before his 31st birthday.