Have you ever had a gambling debt and had someone pull a pistol on you? Not me! But apparently that is what happened this past Christmas Eve in the Washington Wizards locker room at the Verizon Center in D.C. Gilbert Arenas was too cheap to make good on his gambling debt with teammate Javaris Crittenton so Crittenton confronted him about it. Rumors have it that Arenas pulled the gun first and Crittenton then brandished his pistol in self-defense. This incident didn’t escalate any further, but David Stern and the D.C. Police got wind of it and decided to take swift action.
The NBA suspended both players for the rest of the season and D.C. Police charged them both with unlawful gun possession. Crittenton later plead guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation, but Arenas didn’t get off so easily. He received a stiffer charge, felony gun possession, which he has plead guilty to but his sentencing has been delayed until March 26. Needless to say, both players are now on their best behavior and they hope that one day they will get a second chance. I do realize that the D.C. area is not the safest place to live and that you might need to carry a weapon with you at all times but don’t be an idiot and bring it inside the locker room! Keep it stashed someplace else. We are a forgiving nation so I think they both deserve a second chance.
Javaris Crittenton joined the Paul Hewitt Coaches Show on 790 The Zone in Atlanta to talk about what he wants to say to the public about the gun incident, the brief conversation he had with David Stern expressing his sorrow for what happened and him wanting to move forward, and the health of his ankle.
What he wants to say to the public about the gun incident:
“Just that I am sorry for the incident to all of my fans and all of my family too, all the kids that look up to me. It wasn’t good. At this point, just moving forward and having positive thoughts and just working really hard getting ready for next season.”
On the brief conversation he had with David Stern expressing his sorrow for what happened and him wanting to move forward:
“Yeah that is it. I just want to put this behind me. It was definitely a mistake. A mistake that shouldn’t have happened, but you know everything happens for a reason and really opened my eyes and I just want to move forward. Positive thoughts and positive people around me and doing the right thing.”
On the health of his ankle:
“Probably between eighty and eighty-five percent. It is a little up and down. It is very shocking, I had surgery in October and it is still not healed properly, but the therapist that I am working with out there is really good so hopefully he will have me right soon.”
On joking about learning that basketball is a business:
“We did joke about that. I had to learn the hard way that this is a business. It really opened my eyes, the first time I was traded. I really was like, wow, this is a business. This is for real. Its not just about basketball. Sometimes those things can be good and sometimes those things can be bad when you know that it is a business because in a way I fell to this sometimes. It is a business and everything is business-minded, it almost makes you lose your love for the game sometimes. It just depends on how you handle it and what type of person you are because of the politics and the way things are handled. You just got to try to do the right thing and just stay right mentally because it is very tough coming into the league at a young age because it is very tough mentally. You have to be able to be mentally tough because everything is not handed to you when you step into the league.”
On having a close connection to young guys coming out of college and how devastating it could be for a young guy to not be successful in the NBA:
“It definitely can. It is a big decision that people make with their lives. They came out one year and having a lot of success and people go through ups and downs. That doesn’t mean though it is an end for them or their career wont be as great as the next person and it is all about time. Sometimes God takes different people through different situations and to just humble you. Later on you reap those benefits of your hard work and you gain that success.”
Tags: D.C., David Stern, felony gun possession, gambling debt, Gilbert Areans, gun charge, Javaris Crittenton, NBA, probation, pulled guns on each other, second chances, teammates pulled guns on each other, Washington, Washington Wizards