01.06.10

David Stern’s Birthday Present To Gilbert Arenas : An Uncanny Roger Goodell Impersonation

Posted in Basketball, Firearms at 4:15 pm by

Perhaps laying the groundwork for Ernie Grunfeld to void a crushingly onerous contract, NBA commissioner David Stern announced earlier today that Wizards G Gilbert Arenas has been suspended indefinitely, sans pay, following reports of a December 21 incident in which Agent Zero allegedly brought handguns into the Washington locker room.  It’s a historic edict on Stern’s part — perhaps the first time in Association history the Commish has lent veracity to a Peter Vecsey column.

NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement that Arenas’ 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 (above)  indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”

Stern said that he was iniitally inclined to wait before administering punishment, as the league has done in similar cases over the years in which there was a pending investigation by law enforcement, until the legal issues were resolved. But he changed his mind because of Arenas’ subsequent behavior.

I’m not sure what’s more shocking, the lack of due process from a the mostly fair-minded Stern, or that Arenas’ greatest offense wasn’t the brandishing of firearms, but rather, tweeting about the press coverage without requisite humility.

5 Responses to “David Stern’s Birthday Present To Gilbert Arenas : An Uncanny Roger Goodell Impersonation”

  1. David Roth says:

    Good stuff from Dan Steinberg here on the myriad missteps that occasioned this decision. It really does seem like Gilbert handled this pretty badly, and that the punishment is really more about trying to get Arenas to stop with the constant unapologetic “u cant take away my joy” tweets and doing the holster-my-guns thing post-shot than about going after the NBA’s real or imagined gun culture root and branch or whatever.

    One thing that’s kind of lost in this, though, is that Vecsey’s initial report was pretty much wrong, right? He said Crittenton and Arenas pulled guns on each other in the locker room, and despite the real, actual-existing idiocy that has followed, it’s now pretty clear that that didn’t happen. Stern is responding to that (not actually true) story as much as he’s responding to the tweets, I think, and that kind of sucks.

  2. GC says:

    fully agreed, David, subsequent reports regarding the Arenas/Crittenton incident seem to contradict the Post report (in part, anyway).

    I expect any number of chat radio yacksters to take offense at Gilbert’s tweeting. I’d be more impressed if Stern feigned ignorance.

  3. Luke N. Atmaguchi says:

    “Gilbert C’mon” – Stephen Malkmus homer-pander-dedicates a song @ Black Cat, ’05.

  4. WeWanttheFunk says:

    If the players union doesn’t have an immediate shit-fit, then they’re completely useless.

  5. WeWanttheFunk says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sportscenter/tag/_/name/nbas-players-association

    looks like they spoke up yesterday:

    “The Players Association was informed today that Gilbert Arenas has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA as a result of his actions in bringing firearms into his team locker room. Gilbert has acknowledged his regret regarding this incident, and the Players Association is aware that there is an ongoing criminal investigation taking place. The Players Association will continue to monitor the investigation being conducted by law enforcement authorities and the Commissioner’s office. At the conclusion of these investigations we will determine the appropriate action to take on Gilbert’s behalf.”

    What a sorry excuse. Do you get the feeling that the NBAPA and the NFLPA are both run out of the same phone room in Mumbai?

    Last press release put up on nbapa.com? 2005

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