Sir Rhosis wrote:
I think I read "The Rolling Stones" before I saw "Tribbles," but I can definitely say that, yes, indeed, I read "Arena" after learning that it was (or wasn't really, as Robert Justman pointed out) the inspiration for the Trek episode. I began reading Ellison and Spinrad after hearing of them through their Trek connections as well.
When I read "The Arena" short story by Brown in a science fiction collection I immediately thought it was the basis for the episode. I had no doubt. It was virtually the same story as the second half of Arena. I'm very surprised when its denied. I must have read the story 10 years after seeing the episode but still made the connection.