So... Last night the Gilbert Arenas-Jarvaris Crittendon gun story went from "pretty wild" to "full-fledged insanity" in a matter of minutes. From Ron Artest to Dennis Rodman, if you will. The sort of crazy we might never see again. With Mike Wise's report last night, you might not say that everything changed, but it definitely got wayyyy more intense. In any case, here's Wise's account one more time, and below, some initial reactions, because this is all too much to process:
Walking into the locker room by himself 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' firearms because he had his own, according to the witness accounts. Crittenton then drew his weapon, loaded the clip into the chamber and cocked the bar, the witnesses said.
Neither witness said the gun was ever pointed at Arenas, but both said Crittenton began singing as he held the gun.
- So just for the record, we can all stop bashing Peter Vescey, right? Defending Vescey feels like vouching for a used car salesman that dates high school girls, yes. But his initial report, the one that most everyone dismissed as overly-dramatic, was by far the closest account to the true story.
- Except, this didn't happen on Christmas Eve, as Vescey reported. That would have been the only way this story could be more disastrous for the NBA from a public relations standpoint.
- Because seriously, this is an NBA TEAM, we're talking about. An NBA LOCKER ROOM.
- As inane as the mock-horror seemed when people were crowing about morality when Gilbert Arenas had a bunch of unloaded firearms, um, this is different. We're talking about loaded guns, here. What if Javaris Crittendon had shot Gilbert's knee, like he'd threatened? NBA Locker room, a crime scene? Is this a bad episode of CSI? Jesus.
- I've been in the presence of loaded guns three times, and had one pointed at me once. Words don't really capture how terrifying it is. You may think you're tough, but when someone points a loaded gun at you, it's a whole different ballgame.
- Which makes this nugget that much crazier: "Arenas began laughing, the witnesses said, telling Crittenton, 'Look at that little shiny gun.'" Bravo, Gil.
- Did you know this whole dispute started over $1,100? Freelance Wizards writer Mike Jones reports as much, as he also confirms Wise's story with his own sources. Did you ever think NBA players, who regularly spend thousands of dollars at clubs and casinos -- or spend $1,000,000 to build a lavish pool -- would risk their livelihoods over a measley eleven hundred bucks?
- But it was about pride, you see. "I ain't no punk!" -- Javaris Crittenton
- And indeed, Javaris. You ain't no punk. Loading a weapon, cocking it, and then SINGING? Think about that. Does it get more terrifying? Imagine if you're Arenas in that scenario. You'd have to think that this kid was just plain crazy, right?
- Trying really hard not to invoke The Wire here.
- This doesn't change anything for Gilbert, by the way. Even though it's been reported that he was trying to cover up for Crittendon, he still acted like a complete fool in the wake of the allegations. And his behavior, particularly considering his status as one of the league's stars, will not soon be forgotten by Stern, who's wont to get in pissing contests. And win. Just ask the referees union.
- And Crittendon, on the other hand, will never play in the NBA again. Even if this version of the story turns out to be fabricated, he better be saving that $1,477,920 he's making this season. He's about to get the Craig Hodges, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf treatment. Just for being involved.
And that's all I've got for now. Just crazy.