Blog Entry

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

Posted on: January 6, 2010 2:37 pm
The legal process could take some time to play out, but time is almost up for Gilbert Arenas when it comes to another authority: NBA Commissioner David Stern.

With the stunning lack of judgment Arenas displayed Tuesday night, when he sprayed rollicking teammates with imaginary gunfire during the pregame huddle in Philadelphia, Arenas may have squandered any hope for leniency and accelerated disciplinary action from the league, multiple sources told

Stern, who had planned to wait until the legal process played out with regard to Arenas’ admitted possession of firearms in the Wizards’ locker room on Dec. 21, is now poised to take action – possibly as soon as this week, one of the sources said.

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. Even Arenas’ supporters are bracing for a suspension ranging from 10 games – the automatic ban associated with a felony conviction – to as long as the rest of the 2009-10 season, an attorney familiar with the case said Wednesday.

With his pregame antics, captured in photos that began circulating online Tuesday night, Arenas also may have jeopardized a vigorous protest from the NBA Players Association, which also is stunned by Arenas’ conduct, 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. Even those charged with defending Arenas against Stern’s punishment are finding it increasingly difficult to defend his conduct, said one attorney familiar with the case.

Faced with what is believed to be the first instance in NBA history of a player bringing firearms to the workplace, Stern is said to be finding it difficult to delay disciplinary action until Arenas’ legal case is resolved. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury, an indication that Arenas could face a felony charge of carrying a pistol without a license. Two Washington law enforcement officials told that a grand jury indictment would be required for the felony charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Misdemeanor charges – such as possession of an unregistered firearm – would not require a grand jury to convene.

In exchange for a guilty plea and Arenas’ cooperation with authorities, prosecutors may agree to request no jail time, one of the law enforcement officials said. But sentencing would be up to a judge, who could consider Arenas’ past record. In 2003 while with the Warriors, Arenas pleaded no contest to failing to maintain proper registration of a firearm in California.

As far as the NBA is concerned, it may already have all the information it needs to punish Arenas for 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 already has admitted publicly and to D.C. police detectives and prosecutors that he brought four firearms to the Wizards locker room and took them out of a locked container on Dec. 21.

One potential obstacle that has kept Stern from suspending and/or fining Arenas by now is his desire to follow due process and give Arenas the opportunity to explain his actions to NBA lawyers and security officials. The requirement for such cooperation on a player’s part typically is delayed if the player is in criminal jeopardy for the same offense.

The Wizards’ options for terminating Arenas’ contract, which has three years and $68 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.
Category: NBA

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:41 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

Unless you are an officer of the law or a disgrunted postal employee this should never happen.

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:39 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

Sterns wrath = "no ice cream for 1 week" 

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:39 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

I couldn't agree more with the fact the Arenas needs to be made an example of over this but to say he put people at risk is going a little bit to far. These guns were not loaded and it is still unknown if there was any threat made or if a gun had actually been pointed at anyone. The only person he hurt (and is hurting more each day) is himself, if he is convicted and has to serve a jail sentence the Wizards can void his contract which is he still owed approximately 80 million, not to mention his lack of remorse is going to get him a long term ban from David Stern. What sucks even more is where in the hell am I gonna find another guy who is gonna give me 23ppg 7apg 4rpg 1.4spg and 1.8 3pg on my fantasy roster? This knuckle head just screwed me (and many others) out of potential fantasy money and glory! On second thought he did put a lot of people at risk.

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:38 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

Does anyone take the NBA seriously any more?  It's pathetic, a playground for wannabe gang bangers.  And worse is the influence these clowns have over young people.  Don't we already have an excess of youth violence, much of it involving firearms?  I actually don't much care what happens to Arenas as he's just a symptom of a much larger problem:  the NBA's embrace of the violent, nihilistic, gang "culture."  Sooner the NBA goes out of business, the better.

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:35 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

This is ridiculous.  What is Stern waiting for ??  The fact remian that Arenas brought the guns (loaded or not) into his locker room.  That alone I think should be an automatic suspension indefinately.  Can you imagine if a normal person brought in a gun to the workplace ??

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:33 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

As an star athlete, he has most likely never had to pay for his mistakes.  I would imagine that it should come as quite a shock to him when he gets levied with a Ron Artest like fine and suspension that I hope the NBAPA does not appeal.  He really has no idea what level of crap he truly is in....

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2010 2:49 pm

Arenas' conduct could accelerate Stern's wrath

There really is no defense for what Arenas has done.  Bringing a gun to work, showing no remorse for what he did.  And then the imaginary "spraying" of teamates with gunfire just puts the cherry on top.  Stern needs to send a very strong message to the players that this type of behaviour cannot be tolerated, ever!  He put so many people at risk with what he did, guns loaded or not.  How many times have we heard "I didn't think the gun was loaded" to know what he did is reprehensible.

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