Arenas finally signs deal with the Sharks

Updated: 2012-11-20 08:14

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily)

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Arenas finally signs deal with the Sharks

The tasty matchup between Stephon Marbury and Gilbert Arenas on the CBA's opening night was confirmed when Shanghai officially announced its signing of Arenas on Monday.

After spending almost two weeks training with the Shanghai Sharks, Arenas (pictured) nailed down a one-year contract with the club, which is owned by hoops icon Yao Ming.

Media and fans have been tantalized since Arenas landed in Shanghai on Nov 5, and the club took its time before inking the one-year deal reportedly worth $700,000.

"The process was a little bit longer as we wanted to take things carefully," the Sharks' spokesman, Zhang Chi, told the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post on Monday.

"We invited a professional medical team to examine his physical conditioning. We also had to make sure his playing style would gel with our team as well. We did a lot of assessments before reaching the deal.

"We are now looking forward to his performance in the new season and the positive changes he will bring to us," Zhang said.

According to a statement on the club's website, Arenas will wear his long-time No 0 jersey.

Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2001 as the overall 30th pick, Arenas made the All-Star Game three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007.

Nicknamed "Agent Zero", the 30-year-old, who won the Most Improved Player award in 2003, averaged 20.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 11 NBA seasons.

A knee injury and legal problems (for violating NBA rules by bringing firearms into an arena) took their toll in recent years.

However, Shanghai is not worried about any potential character of injury issues.

Zhang said the team would treat him like other foreign players and said no special clauses had been built into his contract.

"He didn't request anything special in regards to food or accommodation. He's going to stay at a normal apartment in Shanghai and just concentrate on playing games," said Sha Yifeng, Arenas' Chinese agent.

Shanghai tips off the season against Beijing on Saturday night at Shougang Gymnasium.

(China Daily 11/20/2012 page24)