Wizards Guard Arenas Suspended ‘Indefinitely, Without Pay, Effective Immediately’
January 6, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, a three-time NBA All-Star and the team’s leading scorer, has been suspended from the NBA indefinitely and without pay, effective immediately, over a Christmas Eve locker room incident involving guns. Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton reportedly argued over an unpaid gambling debt that led to the drawing of guns on each other. Arenas denied drawing a weapon, but admitted to storing several guns in his team locker at the MCI Center. He turned the guns over to team security and there is an ongoing criminal investigation over the incident involving the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the US Attorney’s Office.
With the story receiving increased media scrutiny and Arenas engaging in a spirited defense of his actions on Twitter, NBA commissioner David Stern decided that the Wizards player was “unfit” to take to the court.
Below is Stern’s entire statement:
“The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us. I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation involving the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department, and the consideration of this matter by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia. For the same reason, I directed the Wizards to refrain from taking any action.
Wizards personnel continue to be interviewed by law enforcement authorities, some are scheduled for appearance before the grand jury and the investigation is proceeding with the intensity that one would expect for such a serious incident.
“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game. Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”