Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where is Mr. Stern? Gilbert Arenas' Stupidity Indicates Zero Tolerance

The last thing the District of Columbia needs is a gun duel in Barack’s backyard, in the nation’s capital where homicide rates are a disgrace, overwhelming and repulsive. Years ago, the local basketball team had enough sense to change its name from the Washington Bullets to the Wizards.

However, for years, the NBA has dealt with disturbing scenes because of firearms, and players have been comfortable with lugging around concealed weapons. Wasn’t it David Stern, the intolerant NBA commissioner, who cracked down on those who committed fraud and reckless crimes, and said players should leave their guns at home or they would levy massive suspensions or fines?

If so, Gilbert Arenas warrants the same type of punishment. His recent actions define stupidity and ignorance, and it must be taken seriously.

By using poor judgment, arguably the most beloved and entertaining sports figure in Washington brought four unloaded guns to stash in his locker at the Verizon Center.

Arenas’ flimsy excuses are even more pathetic than his obnoxious shouts of “Hibachi” anytime he takes a shot.

On Monday in a statement, Arenas wrote an I-want-you-to-feel-sorry-for-me message. “I brought them without any ammunition into the District of Columbia, mistakenly believing that the recent change in D.C. gun laws allowed a person to store unloaded guns in the District."

Shut up, Mr. Know It All Arenas. Point of the matter is, you had weapons in your locker.

And fact is, you have to pay the consequences for pulling out a gun on your teammate, Jarvaris Crittenton.

When someone commits a foolish mistake, it’s funny that they usually soften the truth. Well now, Arenas tries to clear his name and put aside all the headaches of a potential indictment on gun charges, jail time and even a harsh suspension.

What he considers to be a prank isn’t a joke, and he could endanger his career. Before Christmas, Arenas disclosed he had guns, and revealed a horrendous side of his life, after pointing a gun at Crittenton in a conflict over a card-game gambling debt.

Isn’t that stupid?

For a player known as the vintage Agent Zero, he's earning damn near $111 million over six years. Two years ago he became the sixth player, since the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement was established in 1999, to sign a large deal. He gave his side of the story when he met with officials Monday.

Following the meeting, he wrote: “I took the loaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate. Contrary to some press accounts, I never threatened or assaulted anyone with the guns and never pointed them at anyone. Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to D.C. in the first place, and I now realize that there’s no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns—even if unloaded.”

Sorry, I don’t buy into Arenas' story. He doesn’t have the guts to man up and admit to his wrongdoings. And now, instead of referring to him as Agent Zero, he has become the man of Zero Tolerance. That said, Stern has the audacity to suspend the contemptible superstar, but has yet to hammer Arenas for his faulty judgment.

There’s enough evidence to issue a suspension, sending an influential statement to all players for a problem that has transpired in the NBA.

From my perspective, Arenas deserves to miss the remainder of the season and should be banned immediately.

Hell, if Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest was banned an entire season for charging into the stands in Detroit and igniting the Malice at the Palace brawl, then Arenas deserves a steep punishment as well.

Put it this way, he violated NBA rules by carrying a gun to a venue.

A player having possession of firearms is worse than a player jumping into the stands.

There was even the Tim Donaghy point-shaving scandal, a corrupted ordeal that forced Stern to dismiss Donaghy from officiating games. In a league trying to remove itself from a diabolical era, punishing disobedient athletes is a way to minimize the thuggish behavior.

Nonetheless, Stern can issue multiple suspensions and fines, as the league is still investigating Cleveland’s Delonte West, whose mental issues may have related to his arrest in Maryland last summer for possession of two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun while he was speeding on a motorcycle. There was Stephen Jackson, who acknowledged that he fired a gunshot into the air outside a strip club in Indianapolis for protection.

Sebastian Telfair carried a loaded handgun on Portland’s team plane years ago, too. There are, believe it or not, a number of NBA stars that own firearms. Even New Jersey point guard Devin Harris believes so, and told reporters he’s convinced 75 percent of the league’s players own guns. I wouldn’t be surprised, with the endless troubles it has advertised in recent years.

As the local citizens in the D.C. region describe Arenas as a franchise player, I’ll take matters into an opposite direction and refer to him as a worthless S.O.B.

By being objective, he has an arrogant personality every time he shoots a long-range jumper or aggressively drives to the paint. Sadly, Arenas is a perfect example of someone who illustrates ignorance of the law, and he must be held accountable for his gruesome misdeeds.

Our society must recognize the danger guns could bring in the workplace or the public in general. For an immature, careless Arenas, who has ignored Stern’s plea of leaving guns at home, tells us more about a league full of scoundrels, a league without guidelines to rid all the unnecessary madness.

If there are a myriad of players who own firearms, it poses a problem in the NBA. The league is ridiculed and many superstars are described as thugs for infamous brawls or shootings at birthday bashes.

To be straightforward, Stern must wear his stern face and announce a suspension. Or else the NBA could quickly turn into a CSI scene, and would remain the league known for its thugs.