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Arenas suspended for rest of season (UPDATE)

Posted on: January 27, 2010 12:11 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2010 6:46 pm
 

NEW YORK -- Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, whose dispute involving guns on NBA property plunged the league into another image crisis, were both suspended for the rest of the 2009-10 season Wednesday.

NBA commissioner David Stern announced the suspensions in a strongly worded news release after meeting with Arenas at the NBA offices for a little more than an hour. Then, he blistered both players on a national media conference call, saying he's "simply not going to tolerate" guns on NBA property.

"We mean what we say when we say that guns are prohibited from being in our buildings or on team business," Stern said. "And when you violate that prohibition, you will be dealt with harshly."

Crittenton, the other party in the Dec. 21 argument at Verizon Center in Washington, met with Stern Tuesday. Both players have pleaded guilty to gun charges as a result of the incident.

“This is about the health and safety of our players – all players, as well as the overall image of our players," Stern said.

Sources told CBSSports.com that Arenas agreed not to appeal the suspension as a way to avoid a potentially longer sentence of a full 82 games, which would have stretched into next season. Stern denied there was any such agreement. Arenas, 28, a three-time All-Star and one of the most flamboyant performers in the league, will lose more than $7 million in salary and still faces possible discipline from the Wizards.

The Washington Post first reported the agreement between Stern and Arenas, who was accompanied in the meeting with Stern by his criminal defense attorney, Ken Wainstein, but not by any representatives from the players association.

Stern negotiated the suspension details with Billy Hunter, the executive director of the players association, over the past several days, but the collective bargaining agreement gave him sole discretion to deliver a suspension of any length under Article 35(d) of the NBA Constitution. The two also discussed strengthening the league's gun policy during negotiations on a new CBA, which are expected to begin in earnest during All-Star weekend in Dallas Feb. 12-14.

"We’re going to make, I would guess, an even stronger statement on the subject than is being made with the penalties being announced," Stern said.

Arenas arrived in New York shortly after 11 a.m. and went straight to the NBA offices on Fifth Avenue, where Stern had been waiting to speak with him before rendering his decision. According to a source, it was the first time Arenas had spoken with league officials about the Dec. 21 dispute.

Crittenton pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor gun charge stemming from the argument. Arenas previously pleaded guilty to a felony charge of carrying a pistol without a license and will be sentenced March 26.

Stern acknowledged that his decision to suspend Arenas indefinitely on Jan. 7 was a direct result of his conduct in the wake of the firearms investigation, which was first reported by CBSSports.com on Dec. 24. In the days after details of the incident became public, Arenas took to his Twitter page with wild, rambling statements and stated publicly in locker-room interviews that he'd done nothing wrong. His career careened out of control on Jan. 5, when in the pre-game huddle in Philadelphia he pantomimed shooting his teammates with finger guns. That, Stern said, was the last straw.

"I felt that I should do something to keep Gilbert from doing even further damage to himself," Stern said.

If Arenas accepts the suspension without appeal, he will miss 48 games -- the third-longest non-drug related suspension in NBA history, following Ron Artest (73) and Latrell Sprewell (68). Under provisions that call for him to forfeit 1/110th of his $16.2 million salary, Arenas' lost income will be $7,065,634.

Stern said he has not personally counseled the Wizards on whether or how it might be possible to void Arenas' contract, which has four years and $81 million remaining after this season -- though he acknowledged that such conversations would take place among attorneys for the parties involved.

The Wizards have taken no official steps indicating their intention to void Arenas' contract, which would be a tall order. Language in the CBA protects players from being punished by the league and the team for the same offense, except under "egregious" circumstances. Stern reiterated Wednesday that the league suspensions are "irrespective of any action the team might take."

"You’ll have to ask a lawyer," Stern said. "I'm just the commissioner. And I'm sure if you ask 10 lawyers, you’d get 10 different descriptions. That’s how those guys are. So I don’t want to practice law on this phone call other than to say the team is a separate issue."

The Wizards issued a statement saying the players "violated the trust of our fans," and that their "poor judgment ... stands in contrast to everything Abe Pollin stood for throughout his life."

Arenas, whose relationship with most members of the Wizards' hierarchy is fractured, has told confidants that he believes he's finished in Washington.

One legal fight that Arenas may have avoided is a potential grievance over his suspension. If he compels the players' association not to appeal, there will be no need for an arbitrator to rule on whether Arenas bringing guns to the Verizon Center locker room constituted an on-court or off-court offense. Suspensions in excess of 12 games for on-court offenses can be appealed to a grievance arbitrator; for all other matters, Stern is the arbitrator.

And he spoke Wednesday, loud and clear. 

Comments

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2010 4:26 pm
 

Arenas suspended for rest of season (UPDATE)

 Just the rest of the season............and that's it?????     Well, I don't really care, pro basketball still sucks!   Too bad he didn't shoot himself, maybe had his leg amputated...................that would be good, in fact, that would be very good.



Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Arenas suspended for rest of season (UPDATE)

Broncos07, if you don't care or want to hear about it, don't read the article/blog post and don't post a message.



Since: Sep 26, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2010 4:13 pm
 

Arenas suspended for rest of season (UPDATE)

As a Wizard's fan I care a lot. I hope this is the first step in the Wizards getting rid of Gilbert. I can't wait for Ted Leonsis and the Pollin family to come to an agreement. Once Teddy gets his hands on the Wiz he'll build them into contenders like he did when he took control of the Caps. Then they won't suck anymore.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2010 3:10 pm
 

Arenas meets with Stern, awaits punishment

Will he be banned, will it be a year, two or three? 
No chance in my opinion. I think he'll be banned the rest of this season but that's about it.  Of course whatever Stern rules will make it appear like it's longer but in reality nothing more then the rest of the season will hold up in the end.

Regardless of what the CBA says or doesn't say, the NBA union is powerful enough and Stern doesn't have the balls to do very much. 

And yes, it does set a precedent.  But it's very difficult to even suggest suspending somebody that in the end didn't hurt anybody at all for longer then people that do hurt people. 

Almost like attempted murder and murder carrying the same sentence,,,,  one guy shoots somebody dead the other gets lucky and survives with brain damage yet the shooter that killed a guy is worse off.



Since: Jul 10, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2010 3:05 pm
 

Arenas meets with Stern, awaits punishment

Yo Broncos, If you dont care what or how people respond to your post then dont read it. I'm assuming the reason you have a profile on cbssportsline and are active in a thread is that you want to dicuss the topic. So therefore you make no sense. I too had Gilbert arenason two of my fantasy teams. Now i'm stuck with randy foye and i have to hear about how great antwain jamison is doing. Come arenas if your going to bring guns to work , atleast load them. What are you going to do with four unloaded guns?



Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2010 2:20 pm
 

Arenas meets with Stern, awaits punishment

Simple solution....if you don't care, don't read it and especially don't bother to comment about it. But apparently you do care, or you wouldn't spend so much time talking about it. It always amuses me when a poster responds to an article along the lines of "who cares."  The reason all of your aforementioned stories that got beat to death over and over again is simple, because many, many people care more people than you could probably comprehend.  Whether or not you care, does not matter. When thousands care, and you are the only one that doesn't, should everyone that covers sports side with you or the thousands that want to hear the stories. Gee, I dont know.



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2010 1:58 pm
 

Arenas in New York to meet with Stern

I posted because I'm tired of hearing this story 5 or 6 times a week.

It's starting to rank up there with some of the old stories that got beat to death over the years:

1) Barry Bonds HR chase/Barry Bonds does steroids
2) Is Brett Favre coming back?
3) The Michael Vick story
4) Kobe raping (or not) that girl in my lovely state of Colorado

I'm sure there's more, but sadly this Gilbert Arenas story is starting to reach this caliber of stories and quite frankly, its DUMB



Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2010 1:48 pm
 

Arenas in New York to meet with Stern

they didn't get suspended from the league, they went to jail, big difference, arenas is suspended and not in jail, which he may very well be after march 26



Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2010 1:21 pm
 

Arenas in New York to meet with Stern

   I'm curious to hear the outcome.  I care, just because it will likely set a precident.  Will he be banned, will it be a year, two or three?  I'm curious to hear what others think about this subject.  I mean what happened to Plaxico Burress, wasn't he pretty much banned.  Look at what happened with Mike Vick.  I am curious as to see what happens, what stance will the NBA take? Will it only be a the rest of season?  What does that say if he only gets suspended for half a season; that maybe the NFL is a lot harsher to their players, idk? 



Since: Jan 30, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2010 1:12 pm
 

Arenas in New York to meet with Stern

Chillax dude. You asked who cares and you got an answer. If you don't care then don't post a comment.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com