There was a time when Gilbert Arenas was arguably the best point guard in the NBA.

Arenas became the face of the Washington Wizards in the early 2000s, when he embarked on one of the finest three-year runs of any guard in league history.

But a few injuries and an infamous gun incident later and Arenas found himself on his way out of Washington. Just a few years after that, he was out of the league entirely.

Here is how Arenas went from being a marvel to an outcast in just a few short years:

Era of dominance

Arenas developed into an All-Star in his second season with the Wizards at the age of 23. He averaged 25.5 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game and made the All-NBA Third Team just two years after wining the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.

“Agent Zero” took his game to another level during the 2005-06 season, averaging 29.3 points, 6.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while leading the NBA in minutes played and showing a flair for the dramatic.

Arenas had dragged the Wizards back into prominence just a few years after Michael Jordan’s decision to come out of retirement served as one of the biggest distractions in franchise history. The Wizards made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons with Arenas at the helm, and he ranked in the top ten in value over replacement player in each of those seasons.

The Wizards had themselves a franchise player, or so it seemed.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Things fall apart

The first sign of trouble for Arenas came at the end of the 2006-07 season. He suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee in April of 2007, then had to undergo a second surgery to repair a partial tear in November. Arenas returned in April of 2008, but continued pain forced him to miss the last two games of Washington’s playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Arenas signed a six-year, $111 million contract that summer, then underwent one final surgery in November to remove lingering debris. But he missed nearly the entire season rehabbing.

The worst was yet to come. In January of 2010, Arenas was suspended indefinitely for having a gun in the Wizards locker. By the next season, he was expendable because of the arrival of top pick John Wall.

The final straw

Arenas was traded to the Orlando Magic in December of 2010, but he would play just over 21 minutes per game and started in just two contests for the Magic, shooting a woeful 34.4 percent from the field.

He had not been the kind of player that the Magic had banked on, and despite the fact that they still had to pay him over the course of the next few seasons, Orlando used the amnesty provision to cut Arenas after the 2011 Lockout ended. Arenas tried to mount a comeback with the Memphis Grizzlies, but he was just a backup for Mike Conley. He promptly flamed out of the NBA.

Arenas is back in sports as a podcaster and analyst, but fans will always wonder “What if?”