Blog Entry

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

Posted on: January 25, 2010 5:47 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2010 9:40 pm
 
Javaris Crittenton’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of a firearm Monday cleared one of the final hurdles before the David Stern Department of Justice can render its decision.

That is expected to happen, sources said, once investigators and lawyers from the NBA security department speak with Crittenton – that is, if they haven’t already.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement requires players facing discipline to cooperate with league investigators once they are out of legal jeopardy. Crittenton’s plea and sentence of one year probation and a $1,000 fine (plus $250 in court costs) cleared the way for him to share his version of the facts with the league.

The proffer of facts presented Monday by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia revealed that there was “no evidence” Crittenton’s firearm – a 9mm semi-automatic Taurus – was loaded when he pulled it out of his backpack during a dispute with Arenas in the Verizon Center locker room on Dec. 21. Prosecutors also stated: “There also is no evidence that Crittenton ever chambered a round, pulled back the hammer, raised or pointed the firearm, or otherwise brandished the firearm in a threatening manner at any time during this incident.”

The government’s version of events supported earlier statements by Crittenton’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, who had said that his client did not brandish a gun during the argument with Arenas. But does that mean Crittenton – or Arenas, for that matter – will be viewed more favorably by Stern? Most likely not, and here’s why:

The closest precedents for this case are Stephen Jackson’s seven-game suspension for firing a gun into the air outside an Indianapolis strip club in 2006, and two gun-related suspensions assessed to Sebastian Telfair. In 2005, Telfair was suspended two games when a gun was found in his luggage on a team flight, and in 2008 he was suspended three games after getting pulled over with a loaded gun in his car. With the public calling for – and the players association bracing for – a lengthy suspension for Arenas of between 25 games and the rest of the season, how can Stern go there when at least some of the facts acknowledged by prosecutors suggest a tone more consistent with a practical joke than a gun battle? How could Arenas’ suspension stretch many times longer than those given to Jackson and Telfair?

Here’s how: First of all, witnesses who were in the locker room at the time of the incident gave conflicting accounts to the authorities as to whether Crittenton’s gun was loaded. You and I would do the same. How would you know? One source told CBSSports.com that the players present – Randy Foye, Mike Miller, and DeShawn Stevenson – ran out of the locker room when the guns came out. As you might imagine, nobody in his right mind is going to stick around to find out if the guns are loaded. Even under some aspects of the D.C. criminal code, brandishing an unloaded gun carries the same penalty as brandishing a loaded one because potential victims have no way of telling the difference.

Also, Arenas and Crittenton crossed a precedent-setting line that neither Jackson nor Telfair crossed: They brought the guns onto NBA property – i.e., the locker room – and worse than that, they took them out. This, along with Arenas’ decision to mock the seriousness of gun play with his fake-guns display in a pre-game huddle on Jan. 5, set him up for a lengthy ban by Stern. The only factor in Arenas’ favor, in my opinion, is the suspension that is pending for the CavaliersDelonte West, who was pulled over in Maryland last year carrying a loaded arsenal. If Arenas gets 50 games, what does West get? A hundred?

Aside from NBA investigators interviewing Crittenton, one other issue will have to be resolved before this is over. Under the CBA, players who have committed on-court transgressions are eligible to appeal suspensions of longer than 12 games to a grievance arbitrator. In all other cases, Stern is the arbitrator – and you can imagine the success rate of those appeals. After the Palace brawl in 2004, the definition of “on-court” was expanded to include areas like arena hallways (known as vomitories) and the locker room. But a distinction was made to specify violations committed “at, during, or in connection with” an NBA game. Since the Arenas-Crittenton incident occurred on a practice day, it is likely that an arbitrator will have to rule on whether he can hear the appeal before actually ruling on it.

Either way, all signs point to a whopping punishment coming from the commissioner’s office. All things considered, I would recommend that Mr. Arenas and Mr. Crittenton get hobbies.
Comments

Since: Oct 15, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2010 6:07 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

In a city where blacks and whites mix like oil and water, it's not completely unreasonable to exercise the right to bear arms.  People have said that "NBA arenas are HIGHLY protected and guns are certainly not necessary." But what about 10 ft off the property grounds.  Being an multi-million NBA superstar probably draws the attention of a few jealous, Wizard-hating, gambling enemies along the way. It's almost stupid not to have some type of protection on the way home.  So should he just leave it in the car?  Well sure, that's no problem EXCEPT Arenas has plenty of different cars, drivers, etc. to worry about. So, sould he go out and buy a different gun for each car, too?



Im from a few cities where black and white mix like oil and water, and Im sorry all of this talk you throwing out carries as much flight as clipped wings on a damaged crow. The NBA and the Players Union are of the few sports professional organizations that provides ALOT of amenities to the PROFESSIONAL PRO BASKETBALL ATHLETE. I mention professional because Arenas does not, and has never acted like professional throughout this entire process. Hes acted like a clown, like a child. Hes conducted himself in a manner that makes us question whether he really understands whats taken place here. He is no retard, and If Im paying you 80 million my expectations are you need to take that money and go buy you someone who is smarter than u to tell you to wake the "f" up.

Im sorry I normally stick up athletes because they are human just like us, they come from backgrounds like a lot of us. Rough environments, hood life, and all that. But Arenas was never a thug, he never had it hard. He bought a gun, He brought the gun to his workplace and when asked why, his excuse was lame to say the least. He actions callous. His attitude did not  help.

I dont care about the people hes gotta watch for. They werent watching for him when he brought the guns. Read the stories, the guns were not brought for PROTECTION. Paparazzi wasnt on his ass. This was a situation kept so under the table, that it practically leaked out of the organization and right into the hands of the DC Police. Why? Because clearly Arenas carries on like a spolied millionaire who doesnt care about his actions. Someone is trying to teach his stiupid ass a lesson. For the lesson to be clear, and for any idiot who chooses to bring a gun to a Stadium.. Yeah Id suspend them 50+ games or an entire season depending on the circumstances and outcome of what took place with involvement of the gun being used.

This aint a game. Im not saying athletes shouldnt carry guns, but idiotic moves like what Arenas did merely puts the light even brighter on a PRO BLACK ATHLETE in a major city like DC , NY or LA. All because hes playing a joke. Im sorry man, you got it twisted. Where Im from and where people stay.. Arenas plight sheds no tears from us. His issues should never be compared in any manner depicting some racial profiling. Its pretty damn simple. There are simple rules to follow, and when you choose not to follow them you should be punished period. When you act like a child, not only should u be punished but you should get your ass whupped. Arenas has not grown up. And the sooner the Wizard organization realizes that, the quicker they can figure whether he is worth saving or better to cut their losses with him. In the end, Arenas needs to be responsible person. People are ready to cast stones on Michael Vick for doing something he has always been doing where he is from and came up being, never thought is wrong in that manner. The illegal activities that led to it though thats when he got severely punished. When you are at a stage in your life and you know what your doing is wrong and can affect other lives, and you do it anyway. Im sorry the consequence will always be worse. 

And just because we have a Black President doesnt excuse us from the fact that we are still scrutinized and looked closely. Now more than ever black men must be on the P's and Q's so when Arenas does some stupid stuff like this, man it just puts another black eye on the stereotype that once we get money "WE" dont know how to act. Its not right, its not fair, but then again I doubt Arenas has an argument to stand on that either 


I'd like EVERYONE (including David Stern to BERGER w/ their nice cushy, powerful, high-paying salary job) to reconsider whether Arenas really deserves jail time + all this attention...  First off, We're talking about an UNLOADED GUN.  Can I repeat that to anyone who missed the punch?  UNLOADED.  I also think people CONTINUOUSLY forget what it means to go to actually be put in jail.  Have any of you gloggers been to jail???  I can hardly stand staying indoors for a day without losing it!  All I'm saying to the people who CONTINUE to think Arenas is such a "stupid, retardard, idiotic, jokester + criminal who should be locked up forever + banned from the NBA" is: THINK about being in a man's shoes B4 you start posting shit straight from your ass. 


Unloaded or Loaded, Half-cocked. Saftey on or Off???? Who cares, why the hell was the gun in the Arena in the first place. You got issues with someone? Hire a Bodyguard. Call Security. Ask for extra detail or something. You Really need the Gun by your side... Keep the Gun in your Car. Keep the Gun locked in a drawer in your locker. THE GUNS WERE OUT IN THE OPEN. WHY????? Come on man, you cant be seriously trying to playing Devils Advocate on this... Even the Devil can grin with this one and say.. "He F'ed that one Up."

Some people are on here trying to pull out these scenarios which if we didnt know the facts that led to this.. yeah Id buy into it, but there is nothing that can justify Arenas's and Crittedon's actions. The facts are there. People need to stop trying to use this as platform to elevate some other agenda that shifts the focus of responsibility away from the people who so deservedly need to be responsible. Man the hell up and start doing right by whats taking place. Take the punishement and lets move forward.

Lastly, people here have a right to be outraged. id expect fanatics to get on here and say Arenas should be banned from the NBA. I dont feel he should, and he wont. But id expect be who are disgusted by the thought of guns. Those who dont know, will say what they want. A mother, whose son couldve been an NBA star is gunned down because his friends were playing with guns, yeah Id expect that mother to be on here screaming for Arenas to be arrested, thrown in jail, and banned from playing the sport her son couldve have been playing. Thats how deep rooted this can get and it can lead to mixed and intense emotional feelings because we are talking about GUNS in which the outcome can never be good.

 You cant fault these people for that frame of thought. Your argument should stay centered on why guns would be needed, but ultimately Arenas doesnt fit into any logical reason to carry that argument. He made a mistake. He did something stupid, and the sooner he "MANS UP" the sooner we all can get back to our lives. The fanatics can go on looking for another crusade to "wish banishment" upon someone. But this right now, the calling for his head, is well deserved and expected. But like all things this too will pass.  



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 4:58 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

you have some good points.  Unfortunately, there are other politics being played out here to make sure Arenas is made an example out of just like Mr. Burress who in my opinion did something far worse and stupid. 

There was no direct way that Arenas' actions could have hurt anyone physically.  Indirectly, yes, by others being even more stupid, but not by Arenas himself. 

Lets all be clear here, Arenas will be made an example out of, and we'll have to deal with it as fans of the Wizards.  Stern is very VERY VERY anti-guns and DC is very anti-guns.  If this played out in Virginia it wouldn't be as bad or even in maryland.  I bet Arenas wished he played in the Cap Center! Long live the Capital Center!



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 4:53 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

If im the leonsis/pollin, id get the following things done:

-switch back to an all-american red/white/blue color scheme similar to the caps and nats, and market the wizards as america\s team.
I agree.. I miss those!  But the name still has to be a non-bullets name.

-fire ernie grunfeld
Agreed.  He was Pollin's puppy.

-dump mike james.
If they could

-trade mike miller for a draft pick and expiring contract.
I don't agree, he is a solid role player and trading him to teams with high drafts won't happen. 

-trade butler and jamison to playoff contenders for valuable young kids and multiple draft picks.
They will get late first rounders and marginal young talent at best.  Think Jamison to the Cavs for a 1st rounder, Z and JJ Hickson (with a Z buyout). If they are lucky they would get talent such as Memphis did by trading Gasol to the Lakers for his brother Marc Gasol.

-install an uptempo run-and-gun offense.
Pretty much already have one but its broke.

-create a code of conduct for players, coaches, and staff to follow.
I am pretty sure they already have one.  Players did not know the law well if at all and certainly didn't know team policy.

-hire an assistant coach to serve as a defensive specialist to install an aggressive defensive package.
Every team should have one.

-cut arenas.
I believe its coming, but they first must see if they can terminate his contract. 

-trade blatche, the guy is too goofy and too inconsistent.
I dont' agree.  By playing him next year or even after will build his trade value even more.  He has room to grow in the value department.

-hire an experienced GM and team president.
Eh, I rather take a chance on an up and coming young guy from an established organization.

-spend more money on international scouting department.
That really worked out for us over the years.

I'll add one:

Bring Back Susan O'Mally to run the marketing department.  They will need some magic happening there to get fans to like this team after how it has completely not supported Arenas who has given so much to the community.  They had no choice of backing Arenas or not really howvever due to state (DC is NOT a state by the way) politics with gun laws.



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 4:40 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

I wouldn't call what Arenas did drawing a gun.  He put 4 unloaded guns next to Crittendon's locker. 




Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 2:35 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

Sorry but I don't think Stern should be making an "example" out of anyone, nor does he have the legal right to. It goes against the very fundamental principles be
hind which this country was founded under. In the nation where justice, freedom and liberty is supposedly the prevailing standards, punishment *should* fit the crime. I know the real world isn't so ideal but at the same time, all this talk about "making an example out of Arenas" sends a shiver up my spine. Not only are we flirting dangerously close to vigilantism here, we're beginning to exhibit the same characteristics as those whom we despise the most, terrorists. Terrorists also like to become examples or make examples out of people. Those who become examples are called martyrs. Those that are made an example out of are called victims. There's a fine line between victims/civilians and terrorists and I'm afraid many American citizens have begun to cross that line whether they know it or not.



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 11:48 am
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

Two simple points Berger misses here:

1) Delonte West's case is more like Telfair's or Jackson's; he didn't bring guns, loaded or not, onto NBA property.  He was arrested in the off-season/pre-season while driving.  He also has a mitigating circumstance of possible psychiatric disorder that Arenas can't claim -- yet.

2) Arenas also had a prior misdemeanor weapons offence, meaning his act not only violated NBA standards but (I believe) the terms of his probation.  Even if the last part isn't technically correct, the first part is going to count with Stern as it would with a judge.  The finger-gun salute just makes it worse, because it makes it clear that Arenas not only didn't learn his lesson, he didn't even try because he didn't take it seriously.  In such cases, you make them take it seriously.



Since: Jan 26, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2010 10:41 am
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

If a teacher brings an unregistered gun into any public school, even in the district, he's getting fired. For that matter, if I brought a gun into my job, I'd get fired. Unless Ted is willing to eat 80 million just to get him off the team, though, it doesn't matter anyway. They're most likely not going to be able to void the contract so the only way to "fire" him would be to simply cut him. 



Since: Jan 26, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2010 6:57 am
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

I'd like to first point out that BERGER is hired by sportsline.com to get a rise out of most of us.

Next I'd like to say that what Arenas did was wrong.  He made a bad decision and brought guns to work.  I'd say this is worthy of... 10-15 game suspension.  If a school teacher brought guns to work they would be fired, right?  Maybe.  What if the school teacher lives in a tough area?  Washington D.C. is no walk in the park.  Let me give eveyone a little visual:

P = Poor Class  R = Rich Class  W = White House  V = Verizon Center

PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPRRWRRPPPPPPPPPVPPPP
PPPPPPPRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

In a city where blacks and whites mix like oil and water, it's not completely unreasonable to exercise the right to bear arms.  People have said that "NBA arenas are HIGHLY protected and guns are certainly not necessary." But what about 10 ft off the property grounds.  Being an multi-million NBA superstar probably draws the attention of a few jealous, Wizard-hating, gambling enemies along the way. It's almost stupid not to have some type of protection on the way home.  So should he just leave it in the car?  Well sure, that's no problem EXCEPT Arenas has plenty of different cars, drivers, etc. to worry about. So, sould he go out and buy a different gun for each car, too?

I'd like EVERYONE (including David Stern to BERGER w/ their nice cushy, powerful, high-paying salary job) to reconsider whether Arenas really deserves jail time + all this attention...  First off, We're talking about an UNLOADED GUN.  Can I repeat that to anyone who missed the punch?  UNLOADED.  I also think people CONTINUOUSLY forget what it means to go to actually be put in jail.  Have any of you gloggers been to jail???  I can hardly stand staying indoors for a day without losing it!  All I'm saying to the people who CONTINUE to think Arenas is such a "stupid, retardard, idiotic, jokester + criminal who should be locked up forever + banned from the NBA" is: THINK about being in a man's shoes B4 you start posting shit straight from your ass. 




Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2010 11:02 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

crittenton has a cheap contract, the wizards should dump him.

If im the leonsis/pollin, id get the following things done:

-switch back to an all-american red/white/blue color scheme similar to the caps and nats, and market the wizards as america\s team.

-fire ernie grunfeld

-dump mike james.

-trade mike miller for a draft pick and expiring contract.

-trade butler and jamison to playoff contenders for valuable young kids and multiple draft picks.

-install an uptempo run-and-gun offense.

-create a code of conduct for players, coaches, and staff to follow.

-hire an assistant coach to serve as a defensive specialist to install an aggressive defensive package.

-cut arenas.

-trade blatche, the guy is too goofy and too inconsistent.

-hire an experienced GM and team president.

-spend more money on international scouting department.



Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2010 10:52 pm
 

Stern not likely to cut Arenas a break (UPDATE)

That's your take? Not that this is diminishing to the overall view of NBA stars or African Americans but that he didn't have a manly enough bag?  You are indeed the joke on this thread.


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