The NBA suspended Washington Wizards Gilbert Arenas yesterday for doing several stupid things.
There was the initial bringing of guns to the Wizards locker room and getting involved in some kind of altercation with teammate Javaris Crittenton over a gambling dispute that may or may not have involved either pulling a gun on the other. This includes unconfirmed reports that Arenas laid four firearms in Crittenton’s locker with a note instructing him to “pick one.”
Then in the aftermath of this incident Gilbert referred to himself as a goofball and took to his Twitter account. In fact, he could not seem to stop taking to his Twitter account. Case in point:
Note to professional athletes: if you are under scrutiny from law enforcement, your employer who pays you millions of dollars for doing your job or the media for any of the prior two reasons, have one of your minders keep you off the Twitter. This is something Arenas arguably should have paid someone to do for him anyway since his assertions last year – as his alter ego Agent Zero, no less – that he was not going to tweet until he had one million followers.
Side note to self: Follow a similar edict, save the days of your life you’d otherwise spend on Twitter.
Also, check out Comcast SportsNet.com’s comprehensive timeline of the Arenas antics and watch the video if only to hear the commentator pronounce “lmao” aloud. Trust me.
The Wizards said in an initial statement:
The Washington Wizards have learned that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in a locked container in his locker, unloaded and without ammunition. The Wizards organization and Arenas promptly notified the local authorities and the NBA and are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time.
Arenas continued to win and lose games at an even clip because, right, he’s paid to play basketball, something that he actually does quite well when he puts his mind to it.
Then yesterday he made finger guns before a game in Philadelphia – Philadelphia, yes, he made finger guns there – and kind of laughed about the whole thing with a group of his teammates who had apparently never seen such hilarity in their entire lives.
Also his knees appear to be collapsing so maybe that was the source of some giggles as well.
Or maybe they’re just laughing at the fact that Arenas’s inability to keep his weapons in an undisclosed location and away from the faces of his colleagues may distract the universe at large from the the Wizards’s relatively poor showing this season.
NBA commissioner David Stern suspended Arenas yesterday, saying:
Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game.
No confusion there. The Pollin family also released a statement condemning Arenas’s actions. The Wizards’ official statement called both Arenas’s behavior and the laughter of his teammates in response to his Philly finger guns unacceptable.
Arenas released a statement to the press yesterday, accepting responsibility, minus the jokes:
While I never intended any harm or disrespect to the NBA or anyone else, my gun possession at the Verizon Center and my attempts at humor showed terrible judgment. I take full responsibility for my conduct.
Earlier today, I called Commissioner Stern to apologize, and I hope we will be able to talk soon. I look forward to the day I can return to basketball. In the meantime, I will focus on dealing responsibly with this serious situation and I will continue to cooperate fully with the investigations by law enforcement and NBA authorities.
Arenas has $80 million left on his six-year, $111 million contract. I’m not at all proficient in math but I do understand the significance of that many millions and the cost of making poor choices in the face of good fortune.
And not that it’s all about money, because it’s not, but really. Just make better choices. Play the game. Do your job. It’s not that complicated.