Gilbert Arenas sat in his agent's Southern California beach house one mid-July day, hair uncombed, face unshaven. After days of enjoying a red-carpet courtship by the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, the free agent guard was racked by sleeplessness and nervousness.

He did not know which of the long-suffering teams' millions he wanted to take. As the waves poured in from the Pacific and the controller of the video game he had worn out sat idle, he finally figured out how he would make up his mind: He would flip a coin.

He had eliminated Golden State, where he had played his only two seasons in the league and earned the NBA most improved player award last season. Not enough money and some bitter feelings that arose during negotiations eliminated the Warriors, he said.

The Clippers were heads, the Wizards were tails. Ten flips of a quarter would decide.

Heads came up eight times.

Washington it was.

"I always go against the odds," Arenas said of his unconventional process. "When the Clippers came up eight times, I was like, I don't go with the grain. I go against the wave. I go upstream."

That is Gilbert Arenas.