Of course Gilbert Arenas laughed in Richard Jefferson's face! You think he was planning on coming back to school after a run to the title game? I don't think so. Even if that Arizona team was LOADED. That roster had Arenas (sophomore), Jefferson (Jr), Loren Woods (Sr), Luke Walton (So), Michael Wright (Jr), Eugene Edgerson (Sr) and one of my 5 all-time favorite players in Jason Gardner (So). If they came back and played with Gardner for another year? That would have been an all-time Arizona team. Instead Jefferson was drafted 13th, Gilbert 31st and Wright 39th.
But what else is Arenas supposed to do here? OF COURSE he was going pro. Plus, it's Gilbert Arenas. The man is a content machine. I've loved the new Arenas lately where he just pops on shows, podcasts, whatever and says whatever he's thinking.
You know what Arenas really loves though? Money. That's part of the reason as to why he went directly to the NBA after this game. I honestly would love to see the reaction of people if this story came out today about a team right now. So many people blame one-and-dones (NBA rule) for 'ruining' college hoops, even though they've just made the talent better. People would lose their shit. I need all the Gilbert Arenas college stories.
PS: if Arizona just kept those jerseys from 1997-2001, they'd 100% have another title.