Gilbert Arenas has told the judge ... he DEFINITELY took back the $1 MILLION engagement ring he gave to his estranged wife Laura Govan in 2008 ... but he sure as hell didn't sell it behind her back.
The NBA star just filed new court docs in his legal war with Govan (the mother of his 4 kids) ... admitting they're on terrible terms ever since they broke up in 2014.
In fact, Arenas ADMITS he kicked her ass out of their L.A. mansion following the split ... and says he doesn't think he could EVER live with her again.
As for the ring, which Govan claimed he "forcefully" took from her and sold for cash in previous legal docs -- Arenas says it's only partly true.
In court docs obtained by TMZ Sports, Gilbert admits he took the ring and refused to give it back ... but says he NEVER tried to sell it. Instead, he says it's still in his possession.
Gilbert doesn't say much more about the split ... however, he does cop to treating Laura like a queen when they were together.
For example, Arenas says he once threw Laura a lavish and expensive 3 day birthday bash ... and on another occasion, rented a chopper to fly Laura and her mom to Santa Barbara for lunch at a winery.
But clearly ... those days are over now.