On Jan. 6, the Washington Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas turned 28 years old. However, the least of his concerns are getting another year older.
On what should have been a day for celebration, Arenas was indefinitely suspended by the NBA for inappropriate behavior concerning the stowing of guns in his locker at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
Although he was not suspended for the possession of firearms, the three-time All-Star has pleaded guilty to carrying an unlicensed pistol as of Jan. 15.
This a felony under D.C.’s incredibly strict gun control laws.
According to U.S. Attorney Chris Kavanaugh, Arenas placed four guns on a chair in front of teammate Javaris Crittenton’s locker with a sign that said “Pick 1” after a disagreement over a card game.
The disagreement stemmed from a late night flight back from Phoenix on Dec. 19.
Crittenton, however, apparently had his own gun, which he revealed after throwing one of Arenas’ pistols across the locker room.
Crittenton’s home has been searched, but no firearms have been found, and he has not received any charges or received any punishment from the NBA.
NBA Commissioner David Stern only suspended Arenas after he was caught by Getty Images during a pregame introduction. Arenas pretended to shoot at his teammates – who were grouped around him in a circle, laughing – with pistols made from his fingers.
Arenas has also mocked the press and made some inappropriate twitter updates concerning the debacle.
Stern is known for waiting for any legal process associated with the matter to finish before punishing his players.
But Arenas’ cavalier attitude regarding the whole situation provoked Stern to enact disciplinary measures sooner rather than later.
When asked about his opinion on the scandal, Southwestern senior Alex Roman said “it just seems like machismo or something to me.”
After hearing the story of what happened, first-year Sarah Nonaka’s opinion is strikingly similar.
“What little pansies, really? Boys and their guns. What are they, little thugs or something in the locker room? What do they do? It’s kind of like cops and robbers, it’s ridiculous. You’re grown men with professional careers; you don’t need to shoot each other. This just needs to end” Nonaka said.
“I’m really not surprised one bit he got suspended,” basketball enthusiast Thomas Bobbitt said. “What an idiot.”
This is not Arenas’ first time to get in trouble with the NBA concerning the possession of weapons.
In the 2004-05 season he was suspended from one game for – guess what – violating the NBA’s weapons policy.
In 2003, he was suspended after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge for not properly registering a gun while playing for the Golden State Warriors in California.
That is the absolute worst part about this; Arenas has not learned from his past mistakes.
Arenas has blown the whole thing off as a joke, purportedly to relieve tension between himself and Crittenton.
“That’s just not funny at all,” says first-year Kevin Masters as he imitates Arenas’ finger shooting.
“I don’t like to give professional athletes a lot of credit as role models, but that’s what he is. Kids look up to him.”