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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 at 11:43 pm  |  16 responses

Jumping the Gun

Half a story? Half a post…

by Myles Brown/@mdotbrown

I intended to give my complete thoughts on the Arenas suspension, but since this story is apparently developing by the hour, perhaps it’s best to wait…

Sigh.

 

I don’t even know where to begin.

 

This would be a good start. Or maybe here.

 

Irresponsible journalism at its finest. But by the time the truth came out it was far too late.

 

To even insinuate that two NBA players-teammates at that-actually drew guns on each other in their own locker room requires more fact checking and due diligence than talking to ‘Pookie’. Bookie. Whoever.

 

It opens the floodgates of vitriol for any columnist, talking head, blogger or internet commenter to bemoan the state of professional sports. It’s a completely unprecedented act that would forever serve as the epitome of athletes gone awry and reflective of a societal ill at the very root of the NBA’s image problem. Not to mention African Americans as a whole. It’s the catalyst for countless utterances of “you can’t take the ghetto out of them”.

 

In short, it’s a delicate situation that requires proper context and a tempered delivery. Which is never the job for Peter Vecsey.

 

Just to be clear, I am not at all implying that Vescey is a racist, asserting that this was much ado about race or claiming that anyone else directly involved in this situation-particularly David Stern-had any racial motivations. That would be naïve and irresponsible of me. As it would be of you to state that race had absolutely nothing to do with how this story broke and was immediately perceived.

 

I don’t look to Peter Vescey for anything more than the occasionally entertaining misanthropy and I don’t look to the New York Post for anything other than sensationalistic drivel. So when the Washington Post-a far more reputable outfit and one that provides daily coverage of the team in question-presented an alternative scenario, I found it entirely believable. Not because I wanted to, but because it was something I would expect from Gilbert Arenas. A joke. Albeit an inappropriate joke that obviously crossed the line, but a joke nonetheless.

 

Me? I laughed. I found his attempts to disarm a tense situation quite entertaining. But I understand how Javaris Crittendon could see it as a threat or an indication the he wasn’t being taken seriously, which is apparently what happened. Those who are owed substantial amounts of money and perceivably threatened with firearms don’t like jokes.

 

Neither does David Stern.

 

Gilbert Arenas has been suspended indefinitely and without pay, which is practically always the precursor to a season long suspension and in this case, perhaps a voided contract. Of course it wasn’t all due to two ill timed thumbs and pointer fingers, but they were the final straw. A reasonable question could be raised why.

 

If it was because Gil refused to show contrition and needed a harsh lesson to understand the impact of his actions, then that is justifiable. But knowing David Stern as we do, it’s equally plausible that he felt mocked or that Arenas’ lack of contrition meant Stern had no control which would entice mocking. Some of the cognoscenti and twitterati have implied that the finger guns that shocked the world were aimed directly at Stern and apparently he took it as such. Which I find as troubling as Vecsey’s….

 

Shit.

 

Well that certainly changes things. Back to square one, in fact. Even if only half the initial story was correct.

 

An unprecedented act of one teammate pulling a gun on another in their own locker room.

 

Fire when ready, Mr.Stern.

 

Sigh…

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  • James

    if javaris coulda just taken a joke none of this would even have happened

  • James

    i know im gonna catch a lot of flack for saying that but its true

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I’m just wondering how Gil is right now mentally. I wonder if he is still trying to joke this thing off or if he realizes that this time no one can smile at his antics. I got love for Gil and I personally believed that this whole ordeal was completely taken out of hand but now seeing that jarvis might have had a loaded gun, my perception changes. Gil is getting what’s coming to him and I think once he’s back in the L he might just go back to the nonchalant areans that answers every question with a yes, no, or both teams played hardd. play wit it.

  • James

    there is never any reason to load a gun unless ur life is in danger javaris hopefully the story isnt true because javaris could end up getting in more trouble than gilbert

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Silk32

    Somewhere former NBA Deputy Commissioner, Simon Gourdine, is shaking his head. It wasn’t too long ago that the NBA was thought to be “too black” and “drug infested” to ever reach mass appeal. Today’s players have reneged on their obligation to be ambassadors for a league built on the backs of Dr. Jr, Bird, Magic and Jordan. For the best write-up of the Gilbert Arenas situation go here: http://clicky.me/7lz

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I blame Peter Vescey. And “Bookie Ball”.

  • James

    i agree with bryan

  • http://www.nba.com/playerfile/sean_marks/index.html Michael NZ

    Myles, would you actually be objective if you hadn’t interviewed Arenas on this site a while back and become all buddy buddy? Or is it really, truly everyone elses fault.

  • http://www.nba.com/playerfile/sean_marks/index.html Michael NZ

    Commenters opinions may be race based but David Sterns wasn’t. He made the right call.

  • orteezy

    *cough*
    *cough*
    ricky davis
    *cough*

  • NAS

    this “joke” arenas tried to pull is the most ill advised joke ever – if instead of crittenton he had done that joke on say ron artest there is a chance that someone would be in a BODY BAG

  • German Reignman

    there is no justifiable reason to draw weapons unless it is self-protection ultima-ratio style, which probably is not the case in a locker room fiilled with millionaires … no matter how the story finally evolves, the weapons should have never been in the open and for that it is completely irrelevant if they were loaded or not .. if it is true that somebody even had a loaded gun than the only thing that can be done is LIFELONG SUSPENSION … weapons and jokes don’t go hand in hand, period

  • james

    that washington post article is awesome
    gil says hes gonna blow up jaravis’ car so crittenton says hes gonna shoot gil in his surgically repaired knee. haha
    “yea well ill blow up your house. ”
    “well, ill… ill… shoot you in the toe.. HA”

  • Peter

    “Crittenton then drew his weapon, loaded it and chambered a round, the witnesses said” – anyone disagreeing with Khalid’s post on the other thread saying how can an unloaded gun hurt someone…this is one way. By inciting someone to pull out their LOADED GUN. Also the whole philosophy that you need guns to protect themselves from people with guns is so @$$ backward…do people think its the wild west? what are you going to do when that person shows up with their gun? have a shoot out? That’s why there are police, they are paid to protect regular citizens. The thinking that you need to take it into your own hands only exacerbates the problem and I would guarantee more innocent people have been hurt in stupid disputes by having guns around the house than actual crimes have been stopped by having guns around the house.

  • Shem

    In the end, it’s all Eric Dampier’s fault. Don’t ask how but it is

  • Jon

    wow i’m looking pretty stupid now for honestly believeing the wizards were gonna break into the top 4 in the eastern conference.

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