Next to the NFL, no sports league is as image conscious as the NBA. Under David Stern the emphasis shifted (and possibly not for the better) to promoting the great teams of the NBA to the great individual players. Gilbert Arenas has to be included among them even if he and the Wizards have both performed below expectations.
Arenas–an overpaid idiot making $110 million for a team standing at 10-21–gave the NBA it’s biggest black eye since the Malice In the Palace between the Pistons and Pacers. It wasn’t until Arenas came out with a moronic pre-game act against the Sixers where he acted like he was shooting his teammates that Stern dropped the hammer on him.
As the Commissioner, Stern has to be conscious of anything that can damage that image. Stern had maintained a silence about the incident until Arenas kept making remarks on Twitter and spoke to reporters saying he was a goofball who handled his problems with humor.
A lot of athletes own guns. After the Sean Taylor tragedy a few years ago, it became evident some of them are targeted. But Arenas handled things in a reckless manner. When he continued to try and laugh things off as no big deal, he essentially dared Stern to do something about it. As no one in the Wizards management seemed inclined to, he had to. After that little stunt in Philly, if Stern had done nothing the sportswriters and talking heads would have gone berserk ripping the league.
Jarvis Critteton’s actions are worse than Arenas if reports are true. There is some question as to whether a video camera caught the incident on tape. But Crittenton never spoke to the media and has since retained a lawyer. Maybe to defend himself from the accusations and maybe because he’s trying to cover his butt. Who knows? But I doubt he’s not on Stern’s radar and he’d be easier to get rid of than a franchise player like Arenas.
At least Critteton played it smart. If there’s fire around you, don’t pour more fuel on it. Arenas should have done likewise and shut up until the investigations were over. He wouldn’t and he got squashed because of it. I can’t say I feel sorry for him.
Arenas doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of this matter. He literally laughed it off speaking to reporters. Maybe he’s not familiar with what happened to Plaxico Burress whose love for guns cost him his family, his career and even his freedom as he sits in jail serving a two-year prison sentence.
Pro athletes and guns go together like pro athletes and strippers, drugs, big houses, entourages, bad investments and “the world is mine” belief system. It’s not a shock a baller owns guns. What’s shocking is Arenas said he put the guns in his locker because he has a new baby and didn’t want them in the house.
Say what? Think your boss would understand if you brought your steel to work and stashed it in your locker because you didn’t want it around your baby? Try it and get back to me on how that works for you.
Gilbert Arenas is not just a fool. He’s a fool who doesn’t know why he’s a fool and that’s even worse.
When the hammer drops on him–HARD–from the law and the NBA (A voided contract, A year-long suspension? A little jail time for violating the District of Columbia’s strict gun laws), Arenas will stop laughing and start crying.
The irony is two-fold. The Wizards used to be called the Washington Bullets, but dropped the nickname due to gun violence in the nation’s capital.
Arenas’ nickname is “Agent Zero” and he wears “0” as the number on his uniform. Never thought it meant his I.Q.
Arenas shouldn’t see the floor of a NBA court the rest of this season. If he’s indicted by the grand jury he could be spending a lot of his time in the courtroom instead.