When Arenas Calls, He Also Collects

By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006

BOSTON, April 5 -- Gilbert Arenas has made it his trademark move to toss his jersey into the stands after games. Now he has started another tradition: collecting them.

Arenas has been collecting jerseys for the past five seasons, but his passion has picked up steam in the past two months with the Wizards playing the bulk of their games on the road. A Celtics ballboy walked into the Wizards' locker room Wednesday night with an autographed jersey from Celtics forward Raef LaFrentz and promised Arenas that jerseys from Boston forwards Al Jefferson and Wally Szczerbiak and Eleanor Roosevelt High product Delonte West were coming later. He already has two autographed jerseys from Celtics all-star swingman Paul Pierce.

Arenas said he has about 160 autographed jerseys. With the help of memorabilia shops, a few jersey companies and members of the Wizards' public relations staff, Arenas has been accumulating new and old jerseys from opposing players and former legends at every stop.

"I got Wilt Chamberlain, Magic, Jordan," Arenas said. "When I'm done, I'm going to build an all-glass gym and have them built in the floor."

Arenas will be the studio guest on TNT's "Inside the NBA" with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley Thursday night in Atlanta. Arenas said he wanted to add Smith and Barkley to his jersey collection. . . .

Tickets for the Wizards' first two home games in the first round of the playoffs will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. Dates and times of the games will be announced after the end of the regular season.

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