The effects of Irv Gotti’s recent “Drink Champs” interview has now trickled into the sports arena. During his drunken confession-style interview, the Murder Inc. boss dished on losing $175,000 betting on the Houston Rockets when Steve Francis was still “The Franchise.”
In the story, a young Gilbert Arenas, then on the Golden State Warriors, eliminated the point spread that both Gotti and Ja Rule needed to make their money, and Gotti admitted how heated he was with Arenas.
Arenas recently confirmed Gotti’s story.
“It was my second year; I got the ‘fro; we’re playing in Houston; this is the Steve Francis — this is basically the one-on-one group,” Arenas said on VladTV. “You know everybody on the team is just one-on-one players, you got Steve Francis you got CAT (Cuttino Mobley), you got Maurice Taylor, you got Moochie Norris, you got that group; it’s going to be a rough one anyway.
“They’re favorite, of course. For the first time in my career, superstars are in the building. I’ve seen All-Star games, dunk contests; you see them there, but they’re there for the real people who’s playing in the All-Star game and dunking, not me. You got Irv Gotti, Ja Rule, you got all of them, and I’m like, oh my God, that’s Murder Inc., like that’s really them. Once the game starts going, I got to perform, in my mind, they’re there to see me for the first time. I’m actually killing and that’s when Ja got to going, ‘Zero! You’re a zero! Donut!’”
However, Ja Rule’s behavior only motivated Arenas to play better.
“He’s just heckling; they’re on the floor from the free throw line to the free throw line. Basically, they had all those seats. Rowdy group, but it’s one of those atmospheres that I really thrived in. Whenever I went somewhere, no one knew me, so for the first time I’m getting this attention, especially from mega stars right there, and I’m just getting buckets doing what I do, and Ja is just going, and I’m loving it. We’re not winning, but I’m loving the attention, and towards the end of the game you can hear Irv talking about the spread. So he needs to win by a certain amount, OK?
“So I’m trying to score to keep it — I have no idea what a spread is, I just know he has to win by a certain number. So it was 12 seconds when I hit my shot. Cuttino went down, we’re down a certain number, and I’m supposed to just hold the ball out. He’s celebrating, and I just come down, the game’s over, I’m not supposed to shoot the ball. I’m second year in; I care about the points. I got 25 points. If I make the three I got 28; that’s all I care about.
Then Arenas put the murder from the record label’s name on the court.
“Came down and shot it and I could see the disappointment in their face. I won the game. So we’re going back to the locker, and I’m like, yeah, I hurt somebody’s feelings today. I didn’t know how much money they had on the game. I didn’t know it was about betting, but I knew I hurt his feelings, even though they won he was disappointed, so that means I won.”
It was a move that unknowingly haunted Arenas, as Gotti allegedly was looking for him for a time.
“Knowing how much money he put on, I’m happy I’m still alive at this point.,” Areas said, laughing. “I remember we were playing a poker game and I beat him in a hand. I bluffed him and it was only $300 in the hand and he reverted back, ‘Yo, I got a story to tell you, I wanted to kill you. Your rookie season, you probably don’t remember,’ and then he told me the story. He said, ‘For a long time, I was looking for you.’ And I’m glad you didn’t find me. People take that sh*t serious.”