Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Gilbert Arenas(notes) has been suspended indefinitely — without pay — by NBA commissioner David Stern for the gun incident in the Wizards locker room and "subsequent behavior." You know this. But here's what they're saying out in the ether about it all ...

Basketbawful: "... just a few short seasons ago, Gilbert Arenas was the Clown Prince of the NBA. He stuffed the ballot box to make the All-Star team, he created awesome nicknames for himself, he bought loads of his own jerseys which he signed and handed out before and after games, he played online video games against fans, he threw lavish (and very public) birthday parties for himself, he blogged relentlessly, he publically threatened to rain jump shot-y death on anybody who had crossed him (usually inventing rivalries on the fly, and always in good fun), he dropped 60 points on Kobe Bryant(notes) and the Lakers in L.A. At that point, I told my buddy Statbuster that Agent Zero symbolized everything fans love about the NBA. Now he's become everything they hate. What in the bloody hell happened? He was supposed to take we, the fans, to a new and better place. He was supposed to be the future."

Michael Wilbon, The Washington Post: "It's difficult to imagine any more laughter coming from Gilbert Arenas on this matter of having guns in the locker room. It's safe to assume there will be no more pulling a fake trigger for the cameras, no more Twittering, no more seeing this gun episode as another prank. Even Arenas knows the laughter stops when NBA Commissioner David Stern says you are suspended indefinitely. Wednesday, funny turned into career threatening. If you read Stern's statement on the matter, where he says, 'The actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, perhaps worse,' it's the 'perhaps worse' part that should wipe any smile off Arenas's face for awhile. Not only is the remainder of his $111 million contract in jeopardy, so perhaps are his playing days in the NBA. This indefinite suspension that Stern says ultimately will be 'substantial' could last beyond the remainder of the season. Don't be surprised to see consideration of a suspension that goes into the 2011 season. Perhaps beyond that, too."

David Squires, Daily Press: "I don't find guns cute or cool or sexy, and I only partly sympathize with people like my sister and brother-in-law, who consider guns a form of protection. My sister even confided in me this week that she has owned a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum for several years and that when my dad would take her to shooting ranges, he offered this bit of stern advice: If you ever pull a gun out on someone, you'd better expect to use it. That's why I'm having trouble with the reports that Washington Wizards player Gilbert Arenas played with firearms last month in the team's locker room. Arenas apparently was in a dispute over a gambling debt that teammate Javaris Crittenton(notes) refused to pay. It is beyond stupid that million-dollar ball players would fight over gambling. Arenas has since said that he is a 'goofy' person who does goofy things and that the matter should not be taken too seriously. NBA Commissioner David Stern disagreed on Wednesday ..."

Marcel Mutoni, SLAM: "There's a long list of NBA players, coaches, and executives who have done things which can be seen as decidely worse than both Gilbert and Javaris' bone-headed actions: Stephen Jackson(notes) fired his gun outside a strip joint; Sebastian Telfair(notes) brought a loaded weapon onto a team airplane; Donald Sterling's long and shameful record speaks for itself; people have driven while intoxicated; players have spit on fans and thrown them through plate-glass windows; and would someone be kind enough to clarify exactly how Delonte West(notes) is 'fit to take the court in an NBA game' again? The list goes on and on. And here's the thing: None of the people mentioned above faced the kind of swift and painful justice that Arenas (and inevitably, Crittenton) are about to endure."

Mike Monroe, S.A. Express-News: "Roger Mason Jr., a former teammate of suspended Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas, said he agreed with commissioner David Stern's decision to suspend Arenas indefinitely for recent actions around an incident involving guns in the Wizards' locker room. Stern's announcement included a statement that the player 'is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game.' 'I think those words from commissioner Stern speak for themselves,' Mason said. 'That's not something that you make light of. It's unfortunate. Nobody wants to see anybody suspended. You don't want to see anybody lose money. At the same time, I think that was obviously poor judgment on his part. It's serious.'"

Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog: "With the whole world paying attention, and with many of his fans just praying for him to hide in some old barn and be quiet for a few days, he launched one of the most bizarre and inappropriate series of Tweets imaginable, considering the circumstances. The tone, if nothing else, immediately undermined his apology. This really wasn't the time for jokes about different colored people throwing paraplegics into the ocean, nor was it the time for gauntlet-chucks like this: 'pls dont take what i say serious or i will piss off from time 2 time becuz i dont hav a filter on my jokes.'"

Rashad Mobley, HoopsAddict: "The fact that I have to write a story like this makes me both sad and angry. It is sad for me, because Arenas is not only an engaging person to interview off the court, but he is immensely talented on it. When he's healthy, he's a legitimate threat to score 30 points, hand out 10 assists, hit at least one shot from half court and unfortunately, make a bonehead play or two. But for the most part, the good outweighs the bad. And so for me to now know that for the foreseeable future, Arenas won't be around for interviews or dazzling on court exploits, is a bummer of epic proportions. But this Arenas story also makes me angry. I wonder why Arenas didn't show more restraint and tact once he realized he was being investigated and all eyes were on him I wondered why he even brought guns into the workplace, and why he was on Twitter non stop for several days. I was angry at the some of the irresponsible stories, jokes and conversations that I saw and heard as a result of this Arenas story coming to light."

J.A. Adande, TrueHoop"The consensus from both members of the Washington Wizards organization and the NBA office is that actually voiding the remainder of Gilbert Arenas' contract for his violation of league rules by bringing guns into the locker room is unlikely unless he is convicted of a felony. That is one of the actions that can automatically terminate a contract. Short of that, the Wizards would be forced to invoke the 'moral turpitude' clause, which can be difficult to define. The thinking is that if Latrell Sprewell and Ron Artest(notes) could have their contracts remain intact after choking a coach and fighting in the stands, respectively, Arenas could not be cut loose for an act in which no one was physically harmed. Perhaps Arenas' antics have strengthened the resolve of Stern to at least give it a try."

Rob Mahoney, Hardwood Paroxysm: "Arenas-Crittenton has morphed into an intersection of a dozen issues (race, crime, morality, etiquette in the workplace, public image, decision-making, and somewhere in there, basketball), and things inevitably get a bit tangled. But making sense of the web requires us to live in the details, and only then will we find clarity in the bigger picture. It's the difference between Javaris Crittenton having a loaded gun and loading his gun. A subtle difference, I know, but one that exacerbates everything we knew and thought we knew about about Crittenton, Arenas, a handful of guns, a gambling debt, and everything in between. The fact that Crittenton's weapon is now missing and may never turn up is certainly relevant to the potential future of his legal proceedings, but for the purposes of this discussion, it's almost irrelevant. Once that bullet entered the chamber, there was no going back."

Sports On My Mind: "Stern came down on Arenas in his usual heavy-handed manner. In his statement Stern played pop psychologist in judging Arenas 'not to be fit to take the court in an NBA game.' If true, the suspension is undo and should be revised to include that Arenas should undergo psychiatric treatment immediately and that his reinstatement into the league should, beyond any criminal punishment, entail that a psychologist or psychiatrist find Arenas mentally and emotionally stable enough to continue with his NBA career. Since Stern did not include the aforementioned in his statement of suspension, Arenas' lawyers should immediately sue Stern for defamation of character as his statement is, as of the moment, false, and can bring harm to Arenas because it can be used by NBA teams to use to keep Arenas from potentially ever again playing in the league."

Frank Isola, Knicks Nation"I hope this isn't the end of his career. Arenas made a terrible mistake and continues to make light of his situation. That's what a knucklehead does. He deserves to be suspended. Banning him from the league for one year would send a strong message to the rest of the league. Arenas is ultimately responsible for his actions but in a league where players make outrageous sums of money and card playing is condoned by teams (I know of cases were coaches, trainers and even team executives will join the high stakes card games) everyone is partially to blame. And that includes the NBA."

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