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Wizards' Arenas suspended indefinitely as new details emerge in gun incident
'Not the hoodlum'
In the telephone interview, Arenas hoped he could soon meet with Stern.
"That's not so I can ask him to reinstate me right now," Arenas said. "I just want to remind him of who I am. I'm the kid who jumped off the trampoline at the all-star game, the kid who throws his jersey to people in the stands. I'm not the hoodlum that's being written and talked about right now.
"I'm sorry for my teammates, the city of Washington, the memory of Mr. Pollin and his family, and all my fans that support me and the game of basketball. I mean that. This shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have got this far. I know that."
The dispute between Arenas and Crittenton began on the team plane during a popular card game between players called "Boo-ray." Crittenton lost roughly $1,100 to JaVale McGee, a Wizards center, in the game, according to a player who watched the game and who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Crittenton, already angry over a dispute over the game's rules, became irate when Arenas began needling him.
Their barbs escalated to a point where Arenas, smiling, said he would blow up Crittenton's car, according to two players on the flight, who requested anonymity. Crittenton replied that he would shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired knee.
Walking into the locker room two days after the dispute on the team plane, according to two witnesses, Arenas laid out the guns in Crittenton's locker. Two other teammates eventually sauntered in and, while Arenas was writing the note in front of Crittenton's cubicle, in walked Crittenton, according to their account.
Asking Arenas what he was doing, Arenas replied, "If you want to shoot me, I'd just thought I'd make it easy for you." As other teammates laughed, Crittenton crumpled up the paper, tossed one of Arenas's guns across the room, where it bounced in front of a team trainer, and said he didn't need any of Arenas's firearms because he had his own, according to the witness accounts.
Crittenton then drew his weapon, loaded it and chambered a round, the witnesses said.
Neither witness said the gun was ever pointed at Arenas, but both said Crittenton began singing as he held the gun.
Arenas began laughing, the witnesses said, telling Crittenton, "Look at that little shiny gun," as two other players slowly retreated to the training room.
Arenas eventually followed. By the time the players came back out, Crittenton was gone.
It was unclear Wednesday when Arenas's suspension might be lifted.
An NBA official said equating Arenas's indefinite suspension as a precursor to a lifetime ban for Arenas would not be accurate, especially given the fact that Arenas has yet to be charged in the case.
Arenas, who was told by his attorneys not to comment directly on the details of the case, said, "I'm sorry for what happened and how people took that."
"The gun charge, I'm taking serious," he said in the interview. "The media painting a picture of me, casting me as someone I'm not, that's what I reacted to. I'm reacting to what people are saying about me not the seriousness of the situation."
Staff writers Maria Glod, Keith L. Alexander and Michael Lee in Cleveland contributed to this report.