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Arenas banner removed from Verizon Center


Ok, it's not exactly kids toppling over a statue of Saddam or weary souls tearing down the Berlin Wall, but watching this video of the giant Gilbert banner being removed from the 6th street side of the Verizon Center feels like watching an icon crumble before our eyes.

You'll put it back up when he gets back on the court, right, anonymous beeping workers?

It's sad to watch, anyhow.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 7, 2010; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Gilbert becomes America's punchline

Comments

Screw the Wizards.

Posted by: DMcdonkerton | January 7, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Roll over Abe Pollin.

Posted by: LetTeddyWin_com | January 7, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh lawd no, Abe should have changed the name back to Bullets. Gilbert wouldn't have been forced into taking one for the team.

Posted by: mustafaredonkulous | January 7, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Character, Commitment, Connection

Posted by: gidge | January 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Wizards are spineless.

Posted by: iamse7en | January 7, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Now that was truly a sad, sad sight. I don't think Mr. Arenas realizes that this might be the beginning of the end of his basketball career. I think he (Arenas) needs to talk to a psychiatrist about his issues. He's going to need it. Unbelievable.

Posted by: carterm1 | January 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Any chance I can recoup my season ticket money?

Posted by: bryc3 | January 7, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess Gil's already not part of the team anymore. I'm pretty much disapointed by the Wizards organisation... Sure he did something wrong but come on, this is the occasion they dreamed about to get him and his big contract away and change everything... That's really painful to watch!

Posted by: LilGil | January 7, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Btw I'm not only commenting considering the banner removal but also this: "MrMichaelLee

The NBA & the Wizards have agreed that it would be in everyone's best interest for Arenas to stay away from games & team functions"

Posted by: LilGil | January 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The former franchise owner felt strongly enough about guns and violence to change the franchise name, and people are surprised at the team's reaction to the current mess? Think about it for a second.

Posted by: tigerquoll | January 7, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, this in no way is the end of Arenas' basketball career. Absolute worst case scenario, the NBA expels him permanently, and he goes and plays in Europe.

Posted by: Tank2 | January 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Abe Pollin's family ought to be ashamed of themselves. I will no longer give a penny of my money to the Wizards organization nor to the NBA until this nonsense and character assassination of Gilbert Arenas stops.

Funny, I don't recall Abe Pollin doing much when Chris Webber was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana and five other traffic-related violations after being pulled over for speeding on the way to practice at the then-MCI Center.

Funny, I don't recall Abe Pollin doing much when Jerry Stackhouse was charged with assault in a dispute over a rental contract in which, clearly, Stackhouse was in the wrong.

Funny, I don't recall Abe Pollin doing much when Juwan Howard and Chris Webber were accused of sexual assault against a woman.

Funny, I don't recall Abe Pollin doing much more than a 1-game suspension when Rod Strickland was arrested for a DUI, nor the second time Strickland was arrested, nor the 3rd time he was arrested. Nor do I recall Pollin doing much when Strickland was arrested a 4th time for refusing to leave a night club that was being shut down by fire marshals.

Funny, I don't recall Abe Pollin doing much when Andray Blatche was arrested for reckless driving. Nor I do recall Pollin doing much when Blatche was arrested for sexual solicitation. In fact, as I recall, Abe Pollin and the Wizards offered Blatche a new contract shortly thereafter.

Ah.....the double standards.

The politically correct, anti-2nd Amendment, goons who have decided to go after Gilbert Arenas for an innocent mistake in which he has not even been charged with a crime are the real scum of the earth--not Arenas.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 7, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Amen Barno. Register the guns in DC, take them back to your home in MD or VA, or turn them in to your local PD.

It's simply an Unregistered Firearm charge. No previous arrests of a serious nature. Disposition: Probation and Community Service (like Gil doesnt already do enough of that).

And Gil....stop being an idiot. You are being closely watched....tone it down for a few months. Jeez.

Posted by: fushezzi | January 7, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Barno1, do you mind if I repost your comments on my sports blog (giving you credit for them obviously)?

Posted by: trolly_time | January 7, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

barno, in the nba owners can't suspend players without pay, only the league office can. In this case it was commissioner stern who suspended arenas and the suspension had nothing to do with criminal charges, but because arenas violated a very specific and serious collective bargaining agreement prohibition against possession of firearms in team facilities.

Posted by: briffy | January 7, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Barno1, do you mind if I repost your comments on my sports blog (giving you credit for them obviously)?

Posted by: trolly_time | January 7, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Sure, no problem.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 7, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Lol @ Barno1

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: caps1974 | January 7, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Right on Barno. Its amazing how Abe and most of society society can turn a blind eye to drugs and assault but unloaded guns are reason for ending Gil's career.

I don't remember Jim Webb getting into much trouble when he had a loaded pistol in his briefcase that an aide tried to bring into a senate building. I guess he wasn't thug enough.

Posted by: calhokie | January 7, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Ummm Barno. Do you not recall that Pollin and Unseld dumped Chris Webber -- who was a better player than Gilbert Arenas -- for his off the court issues.


Posted by: fundermental | January 8, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Yea, that sight made me sad. Yes, I was and still am a Gilbert fan. He made some very serious mistakes and miscalculations but I don't think it warrants all of the hatred spewed towards him. I hope he has someone in his corner who will not turn their backs on him and that this will now force him to grow up and cut out all of the Tom Foolery. I am not sure how I feel about this team anymore. I am disappointed in them on so many levels, Arenas situation aside. Love your posts Barno, nice to know not all posters are getting down on a brother. Regardless of his transgressions, Gil has a heart of gold. Just ask some of those people who has benefited from his largesse. Namely, the boy in DC who Gil took under his wing. Hang in there Gil. This too shall pass.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 8, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

who cares? gilbert arenas was overated as a basketball player. selfish, not a leader, too many turnovers at the point guard position. this will work out great if the wizards can void his contract and open up some cap space.

Posted by: slim4 | January 8, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Barno,

What do you think would happen if you brought several unloaded guns to your workplace?

Everything that Arenas has done has been utterly stupid. He makes fifteen million dollars a years plus, if he needs protection, hire security. There is no need for him to have guns and especially bringing them into the locker room. He could have looked at Plaxico Burress to see why messing around with guns is stupid.

After the incident, rather than apoligize, say he made a mistake and not say anything more about it, Arenas basically forced Stern to take action. Arena's constant attempts to joke about the situation on twitter and his actions before the 76er games, indicate that he is incredibly self destructive and irrational.

I don't expect Arenas back this year and that will mean that he played about 50 games in the last 3 years during what should be the peak of his career. Arenas is a waste of talent and salary cap space.

Posted by: Chief2 | January 8, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

when will mothering hut make 'Free Gilbert Arenas!' tshirts??

cuz i want one.. ;)

Posted by: 3tripleiii | January 8, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

when will mothering hut make 'Free Gilbert Arenas!' tshirts??

cuz i want one.. ;)

Posted by: 3tripleiii | January 8, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't comment on this blog a whole lot, but I am a bit surprised at everyone coming to Arenas' defense.


"Funny, I don't recall Abe Pollin doing much when Chris Webber was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana and five other traffic-related violations after being pulled over for speeding on the way to practice at the then-MCI Center."

Wasn't Webber traded away for virtually nothing (Mitch Richmond?) as soon as possible.

Stackhouse, Juwan Howard, Rod Strickland and the rest were also eventually let go/traded if I recall.

And as far as Blatche is concerned, he cost himself a ton of money by his actions. In fact the Wizards probably would not have even been able to afford to keep him if not for his actions. The wizards offered him a modest contract as a FA and he accepted. That's a lot different that someone being paid 100M under contract misbehaving.

And I've never seen this as a 2nd ammendment issue either. But of course any time someone does something stupid with guns that comes up.

I also havea feeling that things will end up being a lot worse than it sounds like now once all the facts are out.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts. And I'd be curious to hear the argument for keeping Arenas after all that has happened and the teams record. In my opinion, if the Wizards can use this to get out of the contract and start over then they should.

Posted by: HokiePaul | January 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Drugs don't kill the number of people that guns do. The comparison is a joke. Nobody ever got hurt by a drive-by joint.

Guns are compensation for those left un-endowed. Everybody knows that.

The Wizards did what the great majority of their fans want them to do. Disassociate with this fruitcake.

Posted by: bflorhodes | January 8, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Well, this in no way is the end of Arenas' basketball career. Absolute worst case scenario, the NBA expels him permanently, and he goes and plays in Europe.

Posted by: Tank2 | January 7, 2010 5:51 PM

I know you're only brainstorming a worst cast scenario... but if Gilbert is banned from the NBA while Stephen "Yosemite Sam" Jackson plays 40 minutes a night - that would be ridiculous. And I don't care if there's a big difference between NBA facility and strip club.

I think this is heading for a rest of the (calendar) year suspension, whatever criminal penalty the District sees fit and a morals clause out for the Wizards. Then I bet Gilbert ends up on a seriously good team in 2011 at a steal of a price.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 8, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I like Gilbert, but what he did was wrong and stupid, point blank. Forget about what didn't happen to this person, and what didn't happen to that person, we're talking about what DID happen with Mr. Arenas. He broke state laws tranporting weapons across state, and an NBA rule by having them in the locker room. That banner will never go up again, and Mr. Arenas will be playing somewhere else when he's reinstated. And of course that's if he's not made an example of by the courts.

Posted by: WilliamConway | January 8, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Gilbert Arenas was a comedy act, a Globetrotter, sanctioned and sanitized by the NBA and the Washington Wizards. Through the years, there have been a lot of players who’ve done much worse with weapons, with violence, and they paid a far smaller price than Arenas must pay now.

His job as the court jester is over, and the commissioner and the Wizards can milk it no more. They know who Arenas is, and always did. The league and team can dispense mock outrage and moral indignation to the public, can void his contract and pocket his $80 million, but they know the truth. They helped create Arenas. They helped hatch this whole, sad, sordid mess.
~Yahoo

Posted by: DMcdonkerton | January 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

A team/franchise should be a almost like a player's second family. If I were Gil I would expect my family to tell me I did something wrong and then support me so I can become a better person/player. The Wizards have done the exact opposite. The person who brought guns in the locker room is the same person who gave tons of money to different schools, drove to the DC Armory to give Katrina Victims food and clothes and gives away $75 jerseys to fans at every home game. The Wizards have throw Gil under the bus and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | January 8, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Ummm Barno. Do you not recall that Pollin and Unseld dumped Chris Webber -- who was a better player than Gilbert Arenas -- for his off the court issues.


Posted by: fundermental | January 8, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Ummm fundermental, do you not recall that Webber was traded for a number of reasons and was given an extremely light punishment for his second-degree assault charge, resisting arrest charge, possession of marijuana charge, driving under the influence of marijuana charge and five other traffic-related violations after being pulled over for speeding.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Webber traded away for virtually nothing (Mitch Richmond?) as soon as possible.

Posted by: HokiePaul | January 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

No, Webber was traded away for someone the Wizards felt was one of the best players in the NBA at the time, Mitch Richmond. The fact that Richmond turned out to be a bust in DC does not mean the team intentionally gave Webber away for "virtually nothing."

Please do not try to re-write history

Posted by: Barno1 | January 8, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Stackhouse, Juwan Howard, Rod Strickland and the rest were also eventually let go/traded if I recall.

And as far as Blatche is concerned, he cost himself a ton of money by his actions. In fact the Wizards probably would not have even been able to afford to keep him if not for his actions. The wizards offered him a modest contract as a FA and he accepted.

Posted by: HokiePaul | January 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Do you even watch any Wizards games? Blatche was a second round pick who had averaged 2.2 and 3.7 points in his first 2 years prior to getting the new contract. His actions did not cost him a "ton of money" and his contract was not "modest" because of his actions.

And as for Strickland, Howard, and Strickland, it took years to let them go after their off the court issues started. And their on the court punishment was a joke compared to Arenas's, even though their misdeeds were far, far, more severe.

You really need to get a clue bro, you're just embarrassing yourself with this nonsense.


Posted by: Barno1 | January 8, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Most of the people commenting on Gil must be perfect, can walk on water, and have never made a mistake. I still support Gil 110% and hope he comes back. How soon we forget all he’s done for DC public schools and other community service events. The true character of a person is how they react when things go bad, he manned up and kept smiling. Most of the people here would have cried like little girls or worse, it’s not for anyone here to judge. Ease up you overly sanctimonious pictures of perfection, surly no one here has ever had their own way of dealing with things.

Thanks Gil, until this my wife called my Mr. Nonchalant because I’m pretty cool and carefree about most things and deal with this much like you do…laugh at everything…sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. Know you have real fans here in D.C., real fans that know real talent. Not to say you should go unpunished…one must be held accountable, but take a step back and re-approach logically. If you don’t come back, you’re going to torch us for 50. Volunteer to renegotiate your contract…that’s a good first gesture…$111M is hard for anyone to swallow when the behavior doesn’t add up.

Posted by: Gooddad | January 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Gooddad,

that was perhaps the best post I've read yet regarding the Arenas controversy.

I like your idea about him volunteering to renegotiate his contract. He already took less money in his current contract than he could have gotten, and he has said in the past (prior to this contract) that he doesn't want his big contract to prevent the team from signing quality players.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 8, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Please do not try to re-write history
===
Suffice to say we remember history differently. I know the Wizards said they were getting a great outside shooter and the key part a playoff puzzle in Mitch Richmond...but the Wizards are idiots. Everyone laughed at them at the time. It was a terrible trade and every non-Wizard in the league knew it. And I definitely remember a lot of the Wizards management hee-hawing about character and values. Webber was traded for pennies on the dollar because of his extracurriculars, not for his play.

The Wiz did have a problem in that their three best guys all played the same position. But they also felt embarrassed by some stuff Webber, Howard and Rasheed Wallace did in their free time. They couldn't move Howard because of his atrocious contract, so Wallace went to Portland and Webber to Sacto. I do think the Wiz believed Mitch Richmond had a little more to give - they thought the trade was, like, 50 cents on the dollar. But they dumped Webber because they were antsy about character stuff.

I completely agree about wildly different standards for different players (How is Sheed for Strickland a moral upgrade?). But IMO at the time it was clear the Wiz shipped Webber and Wallace out for off-court, not on-court, activities.

Personally I'm conflicted. I think what Gil did was idiotic, but far from The Worst Thing Ever as it's being portrayed. And I feel that EG is demonizing Gilbert to get a do-over on that ridiculous contract extension and save his job. And yet, all this could have been avoided by Gil NOT BRINGING GUNS TO THE ARENA.

*sigh*

In other news, I now declare the new slogan for the Wiz's 2010 season: THE HUNT FOR JOHN WALL. There's some tough competition from the Nets, but I think if the Wiz trade Jamison and Butler, this squad has it in them to go 5-40 and lock up those ping-pong balls!

Posted by: hubcap | January 8, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, now they have space for all of their championship banners that they're going to win.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 8, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

By the way, the woman who got a guy killed by not taking him straight to the hospital so she could take care of some errands got her job back, WITH back pay. But she didn't get $111 million so our collective outrage is stilled.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 8, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Just put Ovechkin up there.

Posted by: 08Cubs | January 9, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

And I feel that EG is demonizing Gilbert to get a do-over on that ridiculous contract extension

Posted by: hubcap | January 8, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Well we agree on one thing

Posted by: Barno1 | January 9, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

this squad has it in them to go 5-40 and lock up those ping-pong balls!

Posted by: hubcap | January 8, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully you were joking. One would think all the geniuses who rooted for the Wiz to lose last year so they could get more ping pong balls would realize by now how insanely idiotic that was. We lost a ton of games laste year, 2nd most in the league, but bc of this thing called a "lottery" which was implemented to make sure teams didn't tank, the team went from 2nd to 5th due to 3 other teams getting their ping pong balls called ahead of us.

Dir da dir da dir

Posted by: Barno1 | January 9, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

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