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Crittenton plea creates more contradictions

One of the most absurd parts of the never-ending Gilbert Gunz stories is the utter refusal of any accounts of the incident to match up. I mean, the Internet age demands some basic understanding of truth so that we can then move on to the noisy pontificating and fear-mongering. How the heck are we supposed to form an opinion when every day brings another contradiction?

Monday's contradiction was a doozy, or a series of doozies, as Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun possession charge, leading to yet another government Proffer of Facts with yet another account of the incident. And so, the latest batch of contradictions:

Crittenton Proffer: The government said on Monday that after Arenas declined a fistfight, he threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face, prompting Crittenton to threaten a shot to the knee. "On the shuttle bus from the airplane to the terminal [after the argument], Arenas further stated that he was going to burn or blow up Crittenton's car when they came to practice the following Monday," prosecutors wrote. Crittenton signed this document and acknowledged it to be true and correct.

Arenas Proffer: The government's Proffer in the Arenas case said that the fight began "on that flight," and that "in the heated exchange" Gilbert said he would "burn" Crittenton's car or shoot him in the face, and that Crittenton responded by threatening to shoot Gilbert in the knee.

Difference: Did the car-bomb threat occur on the plane or in the shuttle bus? Did it precede or come after Crittenton's own threats of violence?

Crittenton Proffer: "According to Crittenton, before he left his home in Virginia for practice [on Dec. 21], Crittenton had placed a lawfully owned, unloaded handgun into his backpack because he believed that Arenas would carry out his threat to shoot him that day."

Difference: That seems to contradict itself. He actually believed his teammate was going to shoot him with a handgun, and his course of action was to pack an unloaded weapon? What could that possibly accomplish other than prompting more violence?

Crittenton Proffer: "Crittenton initially proceeded to the Wizards' locker room but, fearing that Arenas would blow up his car or attempt to shoot him, Crittenton returned to his vehicle to retrieve his backpack, which contained the handgun."

Crittenton lawyer statement: "Mr. Crittenton brought a lawfully owned, unloaded handgun into Washington, DC only because he legitimately feared for his life."

Wizards Insider, two weeks later: "If anyone wondered if [Arenas and Crittenton] are seriously beefing, you only had to look at them in the second quarter when they seen laughing and joking with one another during a timeout. 'We were friends before. We're friends now. We don't have no problem,' Arenas said after the game."

Difference: Within two weeks, Crittenton went from "legitimately" fearing for his life from Gilbert to laughing and joking with him on the bench during a timeout?

Crittenton Proffer: Inside the locker room, Gilbert placed the guns and note on Crittenton's chair. Crittenton then "told him to get the guns off his chair, picking up one of the firearms by its extended clip and tossing it along the floor away from his chair....Crittenton took his handgun out of his backpack and, without pointing it at anyone, showed it to Arenas, holding it below his waist pointed downward. There is no evidence that Crittenton's firearm was loaded when he pulled it out of his backpack or that Crittenton ever loaded the firearm with ammunition. There also is no evidence that Crittenton ever chambered a round, pulled back the hammer, raised or pointed his firearm, or otherwise brandished the firearm in a threatening manner at any time during this incident."

Mike Wise A1 story: "As other teammates laughed, Crittenton crumpled up the [note], tossed one of Arenas's guns across the room, where it bounced in front of a team trainer, and said he didn't need any of Arenas's firearms because he had his own, according to the [two] witness accounts. Crittenton then drew his weapon, loaded it and chambered a round, the witnesses said. Neither witness said the gun was ever pointed at Arenas, but both said Crittenton began singing as he held the gun."

Crittenton lawyer statement: "The government's proffer of facts...acknowledges that his handgun was not loaded."

New York Post story: NBA all-star Gilbert Arenas and his Washington Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton drew guns on each other in the team's locker room during a Christmas Eve dispute over a gambling debt, The Post has learned. League sources say the pistol-packing point guards had heaters at the ready inside the Verizon Center....It was the three-time all-star Arenas, 27, who went for his gun first, sources said, drawing on the 22-year-old Crittenton, who quickly brandished a firearm as well."

Differences: History has not been kind to the New York Post's account. Meantime, Wise and the Proffer agree that the Crittenton weapon was never pointed at anyone, but the loaded/unloaded question remains a mystery. The lawyer claims the government acknowledges the weapon was not loaded, but the government only says "there is no evidence" the weapon was loaded. That's not the same thing.

Crittenton Proffer: "According to Crittenton, Arenas responded by stating, 'You are going to need more than that little gun.' After deciding that Arenas did not intend to shoot Crittenton at that time, Crittenton placed his firearm back in his backpack and went from the locker room to the trainer's room."

Wise story: "Arenas began laughing, the witnesses said, telling Crittenton, 'Look at that little shiny gun,' as two other players slowly retreated to the training room. Arenas eventually followed. By the time the players came back out, Crittenton was gone."

Ken Berger CBSSports.com blog: "One source told CBSSports.com that the players present - Randy Foye, Mike Miller, and DeShawn Stevenson - ran out of the locker room when the guns came out. As you might imagine, nobody in his right mind is going to stick around to find out if the guns are loaded."

Differences: Were there two other teammates present, as Wise wrote, or three, as Berger wrote? Did they run out of the room, or slowly retreat? Did they go to the trainer's room, which is directly adjacent to the locker room? If so, did Crittenton--who had so recently believed his life in danger--really follow them, as the government claims, or was he "gone," as Wise reported?

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 25, 2010; 9:33 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

This is a winding turning story that will end up being he downfall of the wizards for another 5 years. ( sigh )

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 25, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you ask Mike Wise's source: Arenas? Oh right we can't say that Wise has an unethical relationship with a source. What a farce

Posted by: JDP_ | January 25, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas, Crittenden Get Over It, Amuse Teammates"

That's the headline. Two friends, both NBA players and thus presumably more competitive than most, go over the top in arguing over a card game.

The next time they are to meet, concerned perhaps about awkwardness, maybe in some display of contrition, and in any case in an obvious effort to avert a festering dispute, the big star among the two men builds on some (admittedly black) humor initiated by the other. Responding to Crittenden's surely preposterous and less-than-quasi-pseudo-threat about shooting the left knee, injuries to which has benched him for most of two NBA seasons, Arenas thought to defuse the tension by supplying (unloaded... UNLOADED) firearms with which Crittenden could do that. Crittenden remained upset long enough to hurl one of the (unloaded) weapons across the locker room and display one of his own.

At least one source (the New York Post?) claims that Crittenden's weapon was loaded. However, soon after this incident, TV cameras showed he and Arenas getting along fine during a game, and soon thereafter, most of their teammates joining in a little mockery of the dispute, also on camera, belying the notion that lives were threatened or that otherwise actual gunfire was contemplated.

Media attention to the incident caused the players, in conjunction with team management, the union and the league, to reaffirm fans about the importance of safety in gun ownership, reiterating that the weapons in this incident were unloaded and their display intended to be private, humorless, in the interest of friendship and safe, safe, safe.

Posted by: dcfanoutwest | January 26, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times says it is a misdemeanour at worst, but I do not know. I think the press is running with this and has never shown any regard for the Constitutional rights of the people involved. They rather want to do the work of the team managers. Do they get a discount at the Company store now?

Posted by: gary4books | January 26, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

"go over the top in arguing over a card game.."

Oh no. It was a gambling debit and perhaps the Mafia was involved and who knows what happened in Las Vegas and Oh Gosh!!

Fire someone.

Anyone.

Posted by: gary4books | January 26, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Instead of nit picking ask the real question, Felony vs Misdemeanor. Why only a misdemeanor after we have been told how strict DC's gun laws are ? I guess they are only strict if you're famous and they need to make a statement. For Crit neither needed. And why does the NBA give Crit a pass the whole time ? He should of been suspended at the same time as Gil (Same offense). I guess the league wants Gil's contract voided and could care less about the other.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | January 26, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Everyone should be happy when this saga is put to rest and these two young men can get on with the rest of their lives. There's been so many different stories one does not know what to believe. It's great that they're both still alive and I hope they learned a lesson from the experience. Enough stories already, time to move on to the next event which will surely happen.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | January 26, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

"History has not been kind to the New York Post's account."

What a bunch of sanctimonious B.S. from Dan Steinberg. The Washington Post was scooped by the NY Post and, damningly, it's clear that the Washington Post knew about this (they had to) and covered up the story.

Anyone out there really believe that Michael Lee & Crew had no idea but out-of-town newspapers somehow did?

Gimme a break.

Posted by: nativedc | January 26, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

There are lots of versions of the story coming from lots of different people but it all amounts to the same repeating line of a terrible joke.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 26, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

FREE GILBERT!!!! How does his punishment fit the crime? The league is clearly out for the termination of Hibachis contract....SMH, its a shame...You can see Arenas is immature..but you CANT say he doesn't know how to play ball. It will probably be another 5 years until the wizards get another player with as much individual talent. GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE!

Posted by: crisco00786 | January 26, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

FREE GILBERT!!!! How does his punishment fit the crime? The league is clearly out for the termination of Hibachis contract....SMH, its a shame...You can see Arenas is immature..but you CANT say he doesn't know how to play ball. It will probably be another 5 years until the wizards get another player with as much individual talent. GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE!

Posted by: crisco00786 | January 26, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

FREE GILBERT!!!! How does his punishment fit the crime? The league is clearly out for the termination of Hibachis contract....SMH, its a shame...You can see Arenas is immature..but you CANT say he doesn't know how to play ball. It will probably be another 5 years until the wizards get another player with as much individual talent. GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE!

Posted by: crisco00786 | January 26, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

FREE GILBERT!!!! How does his punishment fit the crime? The league is clearly out for the termination of Hibachis contract....SMH, its a shame...You can see Arenas is immature..but you CANT say he doesn't know how to play ball. It will probably be another 5 years until the wizards get another player with as much individual talent. GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE!

Posted by: crisco00786 | January 26, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse


@dcfanoutwest

Media attention to the incident caused the wannabe thugs, in conjunction with team mis-management, the union bosses and the league of thugery, to reaffirm fans about the importance of not carrying a gun to work, reiterating that the weapons in this incident were unloaded or loaded and their display intended to be unappropriate, humorless, not in the interest of friendship and dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.


Edited for the reality of it all.

Posted by: hessone | January 26, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, it sounds like this could be, perhaps, maybe a bunch of bs?

Posted by: mack1 | January 26, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey Steinberg, Stevenson was coming out of the locker room for the 2nd half against the Clippers and he pantomimed firing two guns at the camera then loading a clip. I haven't seen anything about it but was curious if he was fined for it

Posted by: detox04 | January 26, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line is still to blow up this team and start fresh with hopefully a new GM. Let the players enjoy their millions while everyone rides out the year. What a life these players have!

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 26, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@crisco00786

he broke a law

freedom, is to be free from the NEED to be free...

Posted by: joerutgens72 | January 26, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I guess the league wants Gil's contract voided and could care less about the other.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | January 26, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Not before the league makes plenty of money off his suspension. Makes STERN's edict look vindictive, and smacks of a money-grab. Was STERN in the card-game on the plane also?

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 26, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Neither can contribute to winning here, so get rid of both and move on.

This horse has been beat enough

Posted by: kahlua87 | January 26, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

What a mess, get it over please. Crittendon got off easy, beacause, he does not matter! Gilbert is the ticket, and the only one worth talking about. Stern, do us all a favor, and give Arenas a stiff suspension, and let him come back, and do what the Wizards want to do with Crittendon, get rid of him, he has become a liability, an embarassment to the city of Atlanta, and to the NBA. ..I thought he didn't have a gun....."I was scared...." worthless! Three teams in a lackluster so called NBA career...send him back to Capitol Homes...and better load you gun then.

Posted by: auntie62456 | January 26, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

dont take your guns to town gil leave your guns at home son dont take your guns to town. is the training staff yet again trying to make a manageable inury into a career threatening one with critt. idk but his frustration did not mix well with the curiously inconsitent if not bizarre standards of conduct the wizards hold the team to. lets see christian latner mj gone blatche the john stays.

Posted by: Rvf0509 | January 26, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Crittendon lied big time, but he is a nobody so he got off. His own statements sound very stupid. You thought a 100 million dollar player was going to shoot you in the locker room and you bring a unloaded weapon??? How about telling the police or management if you are telling the truth????

Arenas was dumb but the Crittendon is an idiot!!!!

later

Posted by: punchdaclock | January 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

These accounts all agree on one reality: handguns in the locker room are an effective way to get players to the training room.

This whole incident should reduce the Wizards use of injured reserves.

Posted by: emrj | January 26, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas, Crittenden Get Over It, Amuse Teammates"

That's the headline. Two friends, both NBA players and thus presumably more competitive than most, go over the top in arguing over a card game.

The next time they are to meet, concerned perhaps about awkwardness, maybe in some display of contrition, and in any case in an obvious effort to avert a festering dispute, the big star among the two men builds on some (admittedly black) humor initiated by the other. Responding to Crittenden's surely preposterous and less-than-quasi-pseudo-threat about shooting the left knee, injuries to which has benched him for most of two NBA seasons, Arenas thought to defuse the tension by supplying (unloaded... UNLOADED) firearms with which Crittenden could do that. Crittenden remained upset long enough to hurl one of the (unloaded) weapons across the locker room and display one of his own.

At least one source (the New York Post?) claims that Crittenden's weapon was loaded. However, soon after this incident, TV cameras showed he and Arenas getting along fine during a game, and soon thereafter, most of their teammates joining in a little mockery of the dispute, also on camera, belying the notion that lives were threatened or that otherwise actual gunfire was contemplated.

Media attention to the incident caused the players, in conjunction with team management, the union and the league, to reaffirm fans about the importance of safety in gun ownership, reiterating that the weapons in this incident were unloaded and their display intended to be private, humorless, in the interest of friendship and safe, safe, safe.

Posted by: dcfanoutwest | January 26, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, positively, the best comments thus far on the incident. Bravo dcfanoutwest, bravo.


Posted by: Barno1 | January 26, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't care what specifically happened at this point. Just get these two clowns out of Washington and let us be rid of them once and for all!

Posted by: drischord | January 26, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Some misunderstandings below:

1. If the gun isn't found during some other kind of illegal activity and it's first offense in DC it's usually pled down to a misdemeanor. This is the norm.

2. Arenas has a prior conviction for the same offense, hence the felony charge.

3. As a gunowner, we all know its never safe to play with guns. See, even now nobody knows if Javarias' gun was loaded, and that's frequently the case when the play is in progress.

Posted by: milfordone | January 26, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

There are lots of versions of the story coming from lots of different people but it all amounts to the same repeating line of a terrible joke.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 26, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Mike, killer job of putting this info side by side. It really shows how little we still know.
I just wish we had the real story so I knew if I am right to support Arenas (after he serves a reasonable punishment)

Posted by: djnumb | January 26, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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