Blog Entry

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:59 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2010 11:45 pm
Citing the serious nature of firearms in the locker room and his "ongoing conduct," NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Gilbert Arenas indefinitely without pay Wednesday pending a league investigation.

“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," Stern said in a statement. "Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”

The swift and potentially severe punishment came less than 24 hours after Arenas mocked the criminal and NBA investigation of his possession of firearms in the Wizards' locker room on Dec. 21 by spraying his teammates with fake gunfire in the pre-game huddle in Philadelphia Tuesday night. That brazen act, and Arenas' latest comments after the game that he didn't do anything wrong by bringing guns to work, prompted Stern to act.

"I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation," said Stern, who was said to have been livid with Arenas' disregard for the matter and for the damage it has done to the league's image

As in the aftermath of the brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2004, the length of the suspension will be determined by Stern once all the facts are known and the NBA Players Association has a chance to contest the penalty. But multiple sources told Wednesday that even Arenas' supporters were stunned by his recent conduct and were bracing for a suspension ranging from 10 games to the rest of the season. The indefinite length of the Palace suspensions was a logistical necessity because one of the teams involved, the Pacers, had a game the next night.

Under the NBA Constitution, Stern has the latitude to fine Arenas as much as $50,000 and suspend him for any length of time or indefinitely. With his pregame antics, captured in photos that began circulating online Tuesday night, Arenas also may have jeopardized a vigorous protest from the players' association, sources said. When a smiling Arenas sprayed imaginary gunfire from his fingers as his teammates egged him on, the three-time All-Star created a snapshot of levity and utter disdain amid another serious and debilitating blow to the NBA’s public image.

Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA Players Association, declined to comment beyond a statement released by his office that the players' association "will continue to monitor the investigation being conducted by law enforcement authorities and the Commissioner's office."

Any player fined more than $50,000 or suspended for more than 12 games for on-court conduct has the right to have his appeal heard by an independent arbitrator. Behavior in the locker room is included in the CBA's definition of the playing court.

Arenas issued a statement Wednesday through his attorney, Ken Wainstein, apologizing for his behavior and saying that he had called Stern in an attempt to apologize.

“I feel very badly that my actions have caused the NBA to suspend me, but I understand why the league took this action," Arenas said. "I put the NBA in a negative light and let down my teammates and our fans. I am very sorry for doing that."

Stern had been following his usual practice of waiting for the criminal probe to conclude before taking action, an approach that also would've given Arenas to opportunity to fulfill his obligation to cooperate with the league investigation. But the scene in Philadelphia Tuesday night, coupled with Arenas' continuous comments mocking the situation, forced Stern's hand.

There is no dispute that a suspension of some length is warranted, considering Arenas has admitted to violating Article VI, Section 9 of the collective bargaining agreement, which forbids players from possessing firearms on league property or during the course of league business. Arenas also told authorities and stated publicly that he removed four firearms from a locked container on Dec. 21 during a dispute with teammate Javaris Crittenton. The Wizards first admitted the presence of Arenas' firearms at Verizon Center on Dec. 24, hours after first reported that the three-time All-Star was under investigation.

Sources familiar with the incident told that Arenas and Crittenton had a disagreement over a card game on the team's flight from Phoenix to Washington on Dec. 19. Before a practice on Dec. 21, the sources said, Arenas placed the firearms on Crittenton's locker chair and indicated that he should "pick one." Crittenton became angry and knocked the weapons to the ground.

One theory circulating Wednesday among league officials gathered at the D-League Showcase in Boise, Idaho, is that Arenas intended for Crittenton to pick one of the firearms as repayment for the card-game debt. But if true, that would not diminish Arenas' guilt in the eyes of the league or prosecutors in Washington, D.C., where registered firearms are not permitted anywhere but in the home.

For their part, the Wizards issued a strong statement endorsing Stern's decision and invoking the name of late owner Abe Pollin, who had the team's name changed from Bullets to Wizards to avoid associating the franchise with gun violence.

“We fully endorse the decision of the NBA to indefinitely suspend Gilbert Arenas," the Wizards said. "Strictly legal issues aside, Gilbert’s recent behavior and statements, including his actions and statements last night in Philadelphia, are unacceptable. Some of our other players appeared to find Gilbert’s behavior in Philadelphia amusing. This is also unacceptable. Under Abe Pollin’s leadership, our organization never tolerated such behavior, and we have no intention of ever doing so.”

The Wizards’ options for terminating Arenas’ contract, which has four years and $80.1 million remaining after this season, would be an “uphill battle,” according to an attorney familiar with termination provisions in the CBA. An exception to the “one penalty rule,” which states that players cannot be punished by the league and their team for the same offense, only applies “if the egregious nature of the act or conduct is so lacking in justification as to warrant such double penalty,” according to the CBA. An example of such conduct would be a violent attack against a team official other than a player, a clause that was added after Latrell Sprewell choked then-Golden State head coach P.J. Carlesimo in 1997.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 9, 2010 12:53 am

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

The NBA's embrace of gang wannabe culture
A ridiculous amount of NBA players were born and raised in the ghetto.  That is a fact and nobody can dispute that.  A lot of these players have criminal records and a lot of these players either have or used to have ties to gangs, organized crime, etc.   Just because we don't hear about it doesn't mean it doesn't exist... not everybody is as stupid as the referee that got busted..

Gilbert Arenas is THE perfect example of an uneducated punk thug that is useless to society. First he's stupid enough to bring guns to his work, then he's dumb enough to joke about it? If that wasn't bad enough, why make the comments he made after the game?

Finally, there is even more proof that Arenas is mentally unstable and a thug at best.  The guy has the rest of this years salary and another 80 million dollars in his contract.  He is risking all of that money, and for what reason? To prove what?  Nothing. 

What an idiot..

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: January 7, 2010 7:26 am

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

As welcome as the suspension is, it won't fix what ails the NBA.  There are a hundred Gilbert Arenases, just waiting to act out. Why?  The NBA's embrace of gang wannabe culture.  And in case we think this is all just harmless fun, how about looking at all those kids killing or getting killed with guns?  I wonder if anyone has done a study on how many were wearing NBA replica jerseys at the time of the incident?

Since: May 23, 2009
Posted on: January 7, 2010 1:18 am

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

When I first heard the story about Gilbert Arenas and Jarvis Crittenton, I was critical of their behavior and thought that indefinite suspension would be warranted.  Thus, I was not shocked to learn of David Stern's actions.  However, upon hearing more of the details, I don't feel as strongly about the incident, but really do not see how the league could do anything other than what it has.  Whether or not we agree with the laws in a city or state, their is an expectation that "good" citizens will abide by them.  There is a process in place to review and modify or remove laws that are unfair or ineffective.  I can't defend Gilbert Arenas' right to bear arms because the ordinances against handgun possession apply equally to everyone in DC.  If Arenas strongly believes in handgun ownership, he could have become an advocate for changing the law and/or concealed carry.  I am certain that there are many local and national groups that would share those sentiments.  However, Arenas' possession of handguns did not amount ot an act of "civil disobedience".  Rather, it seems to have emanated from the paranoia that many professional athletes share regarding their vulnerability in public places and a belief that owning a gun will enable them to protect themselves.  I don't think every athlete who willfully breaks a firearms law is doing so because they are "ganstas" or "thugs" who cannot leave the "hood" behind them.  Instead, it is probably a matter of self-preservation and an "assumption of the risk" involved with living a high-profile life and the unwanted attention it can attract.  While I do believe that any human being is well within his or her rights to defend themselves against potential assailants, I also think it is foolish for a individual who has secured a $111 million contract to take it upon himself.  I'm not saying that I am in favor of every ball player maintaining a "posse" of friends and lackeys who are willing to serve as a goon squad in exchange for some of the trappings of the good life.  I am simply saying that I understand why many athletes feel the need to carry a gun in spite of the laws.  Everywhere these guys go there are people who know who they are.  While many are admirers, others may be stalkers, hostile fans of other teams/players, or opportunists looking for an easy target to jack.

Arenas will get what he deserves.  If he hires a good lawyer and beats the criminal case, then I have no problem with that in light of what I have read about the circumstances.  If he doesn't beat the case and has to serve time in jail, I will simply say that he knew the risks that were involved with breaking the law and made a choice.  As far as the NBA is concerned, I think time off without pay is fair enough, but not a termination of his contract (unless there was a provision in it to address such a situation).  I would say a 90 day suspension, community service, and a petition to rejoin the league would be fair.  Of course, if his oetition is denied because of subsequent bad behavior while suspended or non-compliance with the terms, then the Wizards should be able to cut their ties and Arenas would be a free agent.

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2010 11:40 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

Just to point out,  if we still followed:

"what OUR FORFATHERS Put into the Constitution" 

Gilbert would be a slave and only count as 3/5th of a person for electoral purposes!  Surprised

people who don't understand the consituion are so funny. 

Since: Apr 26, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2010 10:41 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

I am hoping that there is someone who remembers better than I do...wasn't there a specific reason that Abe Polian changed the team name from Bullets to Wizards?
I might be wrong but wasn't a member of his family or a friend shot to death? I don't think it had anything to do with the team moving.
Yes, the constitution gives the right to bear arms but with it is the responsibility of safely dealing with the weapon. Leaving in a NBA locker room was not the responsible thing to do.
And the finger gunning was just stupid. He will get was he deserves-- a long suspension and a loss of a lot of money. And I think he may never play in the NBA  again.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2010 10:20 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

Two points- the suspension should be for rest of the season plus all of next year minimum. His antics in Philly adds to the seriousness of the situation. Anything less than two years is not enough. He just doesn't get it!

Secondly: the Wizard coaching staff/ management should of sent him out of the arena when he starting play shooting his teammates before the game. It is shocking they allowed that to happen. It puts the letter from management in question- faster action was required by the team.

sadly Arenas will still get much of his huge contract and Washington fans and the franchise will suffer for it.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2010 8:25 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

I just have a couple of questions:

#1. Was The Gun Stolen?

#2.Did He Threaten anyone with it?

#3.Was  He  Threatened?

#4.Did he just Put it in his Locker?

If The answer to 1 and 2 is No Then he did nothing wrong

If The answer to 3 and 4 is Yes then he did nothing wrong

Our Constitution says that we have a right to bare arms...........Period..............

Just because a bunch of  Democrats want to change what OUR FORFATHERS Put into the Constitution................He has a right just like anyone else to carry a Gun to Protect him and His Family and If someone wants him Dead they would wait outside and when he is distracted they would shoot him leaving so he has to be on his toes just like everyone else...................

Stern only has ever saw black and White........................He&nbs
p; has never  understood the players he Governs and its Time the NBA Gets someone Younger to Run the Show...............I am White but it is a Prodominantly Black Run Sport and I think it's time the NBA get a commish who is Black and Understands the World in which Most NBA Players have been raised................The Problem is the Mostly White Owners will never allow it...............They take Kids from the Inner Cities who we're raised around Gangs that want to extort Money from them but don't protect yourself...............

Wake Up NBA Owners and Stern................


Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2010 7:36 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

The Baltimore Bullets were an (1944-47) team, and later, a (1947-49), and (beginning in , following the BAA's merger with the ) a team based in . The team folded November 27, 1954 with a 3-11 record, making the Bullets the last NBA franchise to do so, as of September 2009. Out of all defunct NBA teams, the Bullets were members of the association for the longest time. The team took their name from the Bullets athletic shoes, which were made in nearby . 

I understand no one should take a loaded gun to work, however, this situation is going much deeper then someone taking a gun to a locker room, and you should know that!  It is rooted in the nonesense act by the owner of the "Wizards" changing a name which was named after a tennis shoe....There was nothing wrong with the Baltimore Bullets, or the Capital Bullets....but because some people said there was something wrong...many Americans say "wow there must be something wrong"...NOT...the emporer is naked ...David Stern is an idiot who does not care about anything but the "face of the NBA"...federal investigation my left eye...what a bunch of mamby pamby babies with no backbone we have become!!

Since: Nov 5, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2010 6:40 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

He still has a big chunk left on an 11 million dollar contract and the commisioners' statement stated all that it did. I don't get how someone could make light out of all that money on the line. Especially with the sad story line that he brought to the NBA.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2010 6:36 pm

Arenas suspended indefinitely; 'not fit' for NBA

THe only problem with this is that if any of us brought multiple guns to work (as a prank or not) would have been fired immediately and almost certainly been prosectued criminally.  Instead this clown got to keep working and making money for two weeks afterwards, and will most likely be paid 20 million a year not to work until the end of his contract (an uphill battle according to an attorney familar with the CBA with regards to the Wizards voiding his contract).

How can this be? The man will certainly be out of work yet still be getting paid almost 24 million a year to sit on his ass and do nothing.  This Piece of Sh** broke numerous laws, comprimised the integrity of an organization, crippled a franchise economically for another three years, alinenated countless numbers of local and national fans further, yet still will make more money than numerous countries.  I guess I should bring guns to work tomorrow, it seems more logical than not.

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