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Gilbert becomes America's punchline

(Via Someecards.)

There's a certain surreal quality to this Gilbert Arenas incident. As immature and irresponsible as is behavior was, he obviously is miles and miles from being one of the bad guys in pro sports, and yet he's become both a punchline and a national symbol for evil athletes this week. Gilbert Arenas? Really?

(Also, Gilbert deleted his Twitter account. Luckily, Truth About It archived the entire weird history.)

Anyhow, might as well give the late-night comics their due, so here's a summary of some of what I've heard.

* Leno, Thursday night monologue:

As you may have heard, there is a rumor floating around that we were canceled....You know what happened? NBC found four guns in my locker. I was suspended....

As you may have heard, the NBA has suspended Gilbert Arenas indefinitely, without pay, for bringing guns into an NBA arena. Then today, the NBA looked at the New Jersey Nets roster and suspended all of them for having absolutely no weapons at all.

* Matt Lauer, interviewing Tony Dungy on Friday's Today Show:

"I try to also talk to my sons about the positive role models in sports," Lauer said. "Because you know what happens, Tony, is they only hear about the negative stories, the Michael Vicks of the world and the Gilbert Arenas of the world. So It's very hard, because the messages are pouring in at these kids."

"They are, but there's a lot of positive ones...." Dungy responded.

* America's Sportswriter Bill Simmons, on Twitter:

Just checking: Can I still bring my gun to NBA All-Star Weekend?

* Hunting show host and Bulls center Brad Miller:

"I was just telling Lindsey (Hunter), I have to get thrown in with the idiots," Miller said with a laugh. "I'm not giving up my guns. They're used for the right purpose."

* Bullets Forever, on Twitter, concerning Texas-'Bama:

Are you serious? Arenas picked off Gilbert to end the game? Why do you hate us, karma??

* The New Yorker, talking about....something:

Responding to the Christmas near-miss on Flight 253 by clinging to Guantánamo and precipitately jumping into a multi-front civil war we don't understand in support of a corrupt government is a bit like the NBA trying to deal with its gun culture by taking over the security checks at Slovakian airports--except that the NBA might do more good.

* James Carville, on The Tony Kornheiser Show, via @Kevin_Reiss:

"It's better that [Abe Pollin] was dead when this happened because it would have killed him."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 8, 2010; 11:27 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Vegas odds on Portis, Campbell


yea, he brought it on himself, but....this is all sooooooooooo ridiculous.

Posted by: SadieV | January 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It's a thug life...

Posted by: popopo | January 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we blew right past rediculous straight into moronic.

Posted by: EricS2 | January 8, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It's fine to make jokes, but this is really upsetting. Arenas violated a minor regulatory law and a minor provision of the NBA's employment rules. No one was victimized as a result of Gilbert's actions. His intentions were unquestionably benign. And for this, Arenas is labelled as an evil athlete?

Arenas has been incredibly charitable and fun loving throughout his career. He is not yet back to his peak ability, but he is still a solid, above average player. I hate it that everyone is dumping on him at his lowest hour.

Posted by: Dellis2 | January 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Posting something from Leno? Hmmm...I may have to suspend the Bog indefinitely.

Posted by: EYoung77 | January 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I like Leno. I heard he's going back to late night. Can't wait. Go Gilbert!

Posted by: richs91 | January 8, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there Gil! Better days are ahead of you! This is an unfortunate incident and we all know you could have acted more mature about this incident but at the end of the day you never ment to do anything bad. Gilbert is a GOOD GUY and the way he has been treated and perceived by the media and his fans is not fair at all!!! This world is full of haters! Everybody loved him before his injury...How easy people forget what a positive and giving person/role model (he has donated mucho $$$$ to various charities) Gilbert has been. He bustesd his ass in the gym to make the wizards a better team then he suffered a few serious injuries and worked his tail off to get back to his old self even with his guaranteed $111 mill contract. He made basketball matter in DC and now he makes ONE mistake and you guys are kicking him to the curb like he's the worst peron in the world. Common people!!! It's sad to see how little loyalty there is in this world! Gil never ment anything bad out of this whole thing! What about Javaris? Why aren't people talking about that jerk? Anyway this is not about javaris this is about Gilbert and how this whole thing has gotten way out of hand. This is like a BAD DREAM!!! I'm a wizards fan that has been waiting for Gil to come back for the past 2 he's back and he's gone.... It's so sad!!! Stern's ego got the best of him and he had to prove a point but unfortunately your making a point against a player who is not a thug or a gangster...he's a nice guy who made a mistake and the mistake has gone too far. Susepend him for a few games to prove your point. Time to end this Mr. Stern. Let the guy play ball and help the people in need. GILBERT IS A GOOD GUY AND I WISH HIM NOTHING BUT THE BEST!!! Hit me up Gil +306974103776

Posted by: Giorgos1 | January 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This just proves that we as a society are much more willing to demonize an easy target rather than genuinely tackle serious issues, such as crimes and actual violence occurring on the street and at homes. Of course, Gilbert Arenas did every possible stupid thing to make matters worse, but now what people are saying, blaming everything bad in our society on him, is nothing short of witch-hunting. The gun-toting, violent, macho, thug images are what Stern and NBA have been selling to the nation for years. If they want to contribute to the creation of a responsible and peaceful national culture, they should start by taking more seriously the cases of domestic and sexual violence brought against their stars (think Kobe and Jason Kidd). Arenas has not beaten up his girlfriend or children (my favorite story about Arenas is actually about him being stranded on the highway by his girlfriend, who got tired of him complaining about the messy car), and has not been accused of ever being violent to anybody. He should have been suspended 10-15 games, AFTER the investigation is finished and things are sorted out by the authorities. David Stern is being his regular hypocritical self, just like Captain Renault in _Casablanca_: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."

Posted by: motherforobama | January 8, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Leno's but that Nets line was pretty good.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Very well said! Gilbert is being made an expample when so many other people have done far worse things!!! This is so SAD man!

Posted by: Giorgos1 | January 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The Pollin family hasn't the slightest clue how to run this franchise after Abe has passed. They ought to be ashamed of themselves the way they are treating Gilbert.

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. Cannot wait until the Pollins have absolutely no say over this franchise.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Where is the loyalty for a player that made the wizards franchise important after so many years of losing....where is the love??? How do you just throw the guy out on the curb when he needs you most??? Way to go Wiz!

Posted by: Giorgos1 | January 8, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Barno1, I agree that Pollin's habit of treating his Bullets/Wizards employees "like my sons" has crippled the team (see: Unseld's GM career; the Jamison extension; Gilbert's 6 years for $111m).

But Webber's pot possession, the traffic stop, and the sexual assault - that's why they shipped him to Sacramento. It wasn't the allure of Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. At the time of the trade they did a lot of jabbering about moral standards and high character and yadda yadda yadda.

Not saying you're wrong overall, but Webber is a bad example to use.

Posted by: hubcap | January 8, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas is a real card.


Posted by: MikeLicht | January 8, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Webber's pot possession, the traffic stop, and the sexual assault - that's why they shipped him to Sacramento. It wasn't the allure of Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. At the time of the trade they did a lot of jabbering about moral standards and high character and yadda yadda yadda.

Not saying you're wrong overall, but Webber is a bad example to use.

Posted by: hubcap | January 8, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I disagree. I think since Webber's transgressions were the most egregious, and since they came during the season on the way to practice and since they resulted in very little immediate action on the part of Pollin and the league, make him perhaps the best example. Sorry

Posted by: Barno1 | January 9, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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