Friday, January 15, 2010
Gilbert Arenas, a star player in the American National Basketball Association's Washington Wizards, now faces up to six months in prison after pleading guilty to felony gun possession charges today in a Washington, D.C. court. This plea was part of a plea bargain that he agreed to which would shorten his jail term if he cooperated with authorities.
Arenas, 28, was charged with the crime after he allegedly pulled an unloaded gun on a teammate in the team's locker room on December 21, which he says was a joke on the teammate. Arenas was later found to have been keeping firearms in his locker after an investigation by police and the NBA.
Meanwhile, Arenas has been suspended for an indefinite time by NBA commissioner David Stern without pay. This action has also gained support among the Washington Wizards and its players, according to the team.
According to Arenas, he stored four guns in the locker room, all of them being unloaded. When asked for his reasoning, he cited that he had young children and did not want the guns in his home around them. He also said that he did not know that keeping the guns in the locker room was a violation of Washington D.C.'s gun laws, which have grown very strict recently.
On December 19, two days before the incident, Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton got into a heated argument about gambling debts on the team's private jet. Crittenton, on whom Arenas pulled the gun, is not known whether to be carrying a gun at the time of the incident, or if he pulled the gun on Arenas. A police raid of his home yielded no results, and Crittenton has not been charged in the matter.
Antawn Jamison, another star Wizard player and friend of Arenas, has not spoken with Arenas since he was charged. "Hopefully he's doing better than what I'd be doing in the situation or better than I expect. But one thing about Gilbert, he's a tough-minded individual," Jamison commented on the situation.
"I'm a goof ball and that's what I am," says Arenas about the situation, "So, even doing something like this, I'm going to make fun of it and that's how I am," he added.
Arenas, 28, has been selected to three NBA-All-Star teams. He recently scored his 10,000th career point in November. Arenas also holds the NBA record for most points scored in a single overtime period, with 16.
== Sources ==
"Arenas pleads guilty to felony gun possession, will be sentenced March 26" — CBS Sports, January 15, 2010
Associated Press reports. "Arenas pleads to felony gun charge" — ESPN, January 15, 2010