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Gilbert Arenas fails to recognize that gunplay is not a game…

January 5, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Sports, Weekly Columns

( Think Gilbert Arenas may have taken his ‘Agent Zero’ persona just a bit too much to heart?

Certainly these are sobering and soul searching times for the three-time NBA All-Star, who – much like the character from the 1960’s hit song ‘Secret Agent Man’ that bore his alter ego – now faces the very real prospect of having his name taken away and tragically replaced by a number.

Only time, and much more scrutiny, will ultimately reveal what did and didn’t happen in the Washington Wizards’ locker room in the days just before Christmas when Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton are alleged to have squared off, guns-at-the-ready, in a stare down so intensely defiant it would have given Tony Montana cause for pause.

But no matter the outcome, what’s already indisputably known is that Arenas violated every code known to an athlete by turning the team’s should-be sanctuary into a potential crime scene by storing as many as three firearms in his Verizon Center locker stall.

I used bad judgment,” admitted Arenas, who also took the time to shoot down rumors that the dispute stemmed from a $25,000 gambling debt. “I don’t gamble,” he insisted. “I’m a goofball, that’s what I am. Even with something like this, I’m going to make fun of it. Anything I do is funny, well it’s funny to me.”

But in a time when firearms account for far too many deaths each year and an era in which fellow pro athletes Steve McNair, Darrent Williams and Sean Taylor all lost their lives to gunfire, Arenas may have a hard time gaining an audience to share in all the laughter.

He will be put to the test as never before today when he is expected to meet with state and perhaps even federal authorities to further articulate his side of the story. And, for his sake, it better be clear and concise.

The District of Columbia harbors some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, and given Arenas’ 2003 conviction for carrying a concealed weapon, the courts may not be so forgiving this time. At the very least, both he and Crittenton face stiff discipline at the hands of no-nonsense NBA Commissioner David Stern.

And all for what? A measure of false bravado? A superficial level of one-upmanship? Two careers now precipitously hang in the balance because neither man had the resolve, gumption or mindset to simply walk away.

Is it any wonder why the Wizards now roam and hover among the league’s perennial bottom feeders?

Written By Glenn Minnis

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