Gilbert Arenas comes under closer scrutiny over guns and dispute with teammate
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The Washington Wizards and all-star guard Gilbert Arenas found themselves under increased scrutiny on Friday after it was disclosed that the NBA was investigating him for having firearms at Verizon Center because of a confrontation with teammate Javaris Crittenton.
Two published reports on the dispute between Arenas and Crittenton were confirmed by several people close to the Wizards, who said the incident occurred before the team held practice on Dec. 21.
The New York Post also reported that Arenas and Crittenton pulled guns on each other, but Arenas -- while he would not confirm or deny having a dispute with Crittenton -- denied brandishing a weapon toward his teammate.
"That's not the real story," Arenas said as he left practice Friday. The Wizards guard has said previously that he brought his weapons to Verizon Center to get them out of his house in Virginia following the birth of his third child on Dec. 9.
When asked what he thought about the story, Arenas laughed and said: "I saw the story. Very compelling. Some real O.K. Corral [stuff]." He later wrote on his Twitter account, "i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE..lmao media is too funny."
Arenas did not respond to text messages and phone calls seeking further comment about the incident. Yahoo Sports also reported that Arenas and Crittenton had been involved in a dispute.
A D.C. police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the report of Arenas and Crittenton pulling guns on each other was news to authorities and would be added to the investigation.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said that the league won't plan any disciplinary action until the legal investigation is completed. "There is an active investigation by D.C. law enforcement authorities, which we are monitoring closely," Frank said in an e-mailed statement. "We are not taking any independent action at this time."
Arenas, a three-time all-star, is in the second-year of a six-year contract worth $111 million. Back after missing most of the past two seasons because of a left knee injury, Arenas is averaging a team-best 22.7 points and 6.9 assists per game.
Crittenton has not played all season because of a left ankle injury that has bothered him since last summer. He had exploratory surgery in his foot two months ago and recently experienced a setback when the team was on its Western Conference trip. He recently flew to Indianapolis to get a second opinion on his foot. The Wizards declined to pick up Crittenton's fourth-year option in late October and he will be a free agent next summer.
When contacted by phone on Friday, Arenas's father, Gilbert Sr., also denied that Arenas and Crittenton pulled weapons on each other. "From the respect of guns being pulled in the locker room and at each other, yes, that's ludicrous," Arenas Sr. said. "Him bringing the guns to the locker room to keep away from his kids, that's true. Gil did not pull a gun on anybody. That's about all that I can say."
CBSSports.com first reported the NBA investigation on Dec. 24 and the Wizards later released a statement that Arenas had unloaded guns and no ammunition in a lock box in his locker. The statement did not mention Crittenton. Both Crittenton and his agent, Mark Bartlestein, declined comment when reached by telephone.