Insert obvious reference to the Washington Bullets here.
In mid-December, Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas and Wizards' reserve, Javaris Crittendon, reportedly got into an arugment over unpaid gambling debts and pulled guns on each other. It's been a fun season for the Wizards! Yahoo! broke the story last night:
An NBA investigation into Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas’ possession of guns inside the team’s locker room has been linked to a confrontation with teammate Javaris Crittenton, multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The league’s ongoing probe hopes to determine whether Arenas had accessed any of his unloaded firearms while engaged in the dispute prior to a team practice at the Verizon Center on Dec. 21 in Washington. Tensions between Arenas and Crittenton escalated because of a festering disagreement between the two players, sources said.
Of course, Yahoo-as-news-outlet has to tread lightly with this still-developing story, paying homage to thinks like "journalistic convention" and "facts." This story was made for Peter Vescey and the New York Post, who chimed in this morning with a much more fun account of what went down:
NBA all-star Gilbert Arenas and his Washington Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton drew guns on each other in the team's locker room during a Christmas Eve dispute over a gambling debt, The Post has learned.
The duel in DC -- unprecedented in sports history -- was sparked when Critten ton became enraged at the vet eran guard for refusing to make good on a gambling debt, a source said.
"I'm not your punk!" Crittenton shouted at Arenas, according to a league source close to the Wizards.
That prompted Arenas to draw on Crittenton, who then also grabbed for a gun, league security sources said.
Oh, so it happened on Christmas Eve now? That's should make for an even better public relations crisis. Vescey also spoke to a friend of Crittendon's from Atlanta, named "Bookie Ball," who related the following: "[Arenas] was f- - -ing with him; he [Crittenton] was just defending himself!" If this world makes any sense, Bookie Ball delivered that quote from an Atlanta barbershop.
As for the implications of this story, it's still very early to speculate. When news broke last week that Arenas had brought guns to Wizards' arena, The Verizon Center, it was said that those guns were unloaded and kept in a lockbox. But clearly, the guns didn't stay in the lockbox, so maybe they were loaded, too?
Here's what we know, however: A disastrous season for the Wizards just got worse, somehow, and the man that Washington awarded a $111 million contract last year is currently making a convincing case for the most catastrophic max-contract ever. The incident on Christmas Eve will continue to be vetted -- preferably with more "Bookie Ball" -- but whatever comes of it, this is already a disaster for the Wizards, and something that'll likely merit lengthy suspensions in short order.
A few weeks ago I eugolized Abe Pollin, a man who changed the Bullets' team name because of its association with gun violence, and wrote this about the current NBA: "What struck me most wasn’t some prevailing sense of mourning, but how genuinely bizarre it was that Abe ever presided over all this." And that was before this.
As for the league office... Gunplay and gambling? David Stern will LOVE this.
Stay tuned for developments.