Gilbert Arenas is currently toiling for the Memphis Grizzlies, far removed from his former superstar status in Washington D.C., so much so, that he tells USA Today’s J. Michael Falgoust, “no one knows me for throwing my jerseys or averaging 29 points (in 2005-06)…all they know is I pulled a gun on my teammate.” (“That’s When Gilbert Arenas Reaches For His Revolver”, Jan. 10, 2010) And with that, possibly career-defining/ending moment in mind, Arenas describes how he went from being one of the league’s most popular, quotable players, to become a national symbol of burgeoning gun violence.
Then-Wizards center JaVale McGee had beaten Crittenton out of $1,100 in a card game. Wizards guard Earl Boykins loaned McGee $200. McGee didn’t immediately pay back Boykins as he won the money and an argument blossomed. Arenas says he wasn’t involved in the actual bet.
“‘Pay the man his (expletive) money. You’ve got all my money,’” Arenas says Crittenton shouted at McGee. “So I jumped in, ‘Why you talking to your teammates like this? We family.’
“That’s when (Crittenton) started coming at me, ‘(Expletive, racial slur), just because you got all money, this and this and this.’ That’s when we started going back and forth. I didn’t owe him anything. It was over a $1,100 pot he just lost.”
“Someone said they were going to shoot me. So since I’m one of those guys who says, ‘I want to see this happen. I want to see you actually shoot me,’ that’s where that came from,” Arenas says, careful not to mention Crittenton as that someone. “I brought the four guns in and said (in a note), ‘Pick 1, so the day you want to shoot me let me know, I’ll be ready to get shot.’ That’s how.”
However, a D.C. Superior Court document from Jan. 15, 2010 states that: Several witnesses agree that during an argument on a Dec. 20, 2009 flight from Phoenix to Washington, Arenas threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face and set his Escalade on fire and that Crittenton threatened to shoot Arenas in the knee.
The document further states that witnesses saw Arenas lay out his firearms in front of Crittenton’s locker and that Crittenton brought out his own.