Mike James talks about the day of the guns
Mike James has been doing a mini-media tour this week, promoting his newly published memoirs, Fight For Your Dreams. In the process, he's told many fascinating stories about his life inside and outside basketball; the book is available at his Web site.
Of course, in the process of doing three segments on 106.7 The Fan with The Junkies Thursday morning, the Gilbert Gunz incident came up, and James offered a few answers. Best as I remember, this is the first time a teammate has said anything on the record about the day of the incident, so it seemed worth repeating.
"I was in the weight room, and I stayed in the weight room," said James, who added that he didn't hear any yelling or carrying on coming out of the locker room. "I found out later, later in practice, when people was just constantly just whispering around about it. When I come in, I come in early, I normally get dressed and then I'll go in the weight room and just go lift. No one came in the weight room, and then when I went down to go shoot, that's when everybody started [filing] in, and then all the whispers. And I'm sitting there like, I am so glad that I'll have nothing to do with this, and I'm gonna keep it that way."
The Junkies asked him whether players were laughing about the incident during that practice.
"Pffff," he answered. "Uh, what would you do? Of course it was serious. Like, this is crazy."
James said he hadn't even heard about the dispute on the airplane before this practice, and that he didn't see any tension or conflict between players during or after that practice. He said he doesn't know what the relationship is like between Arenas and Crittenton today.
"They've been isolated from the team," James said, "so because of that, I've texted Javaris, I've texted Gil, just said my prayers are with you, if you need someone to talk to I'm here."
James also said he's never seen guns in an NBA locker room, and doesn't believe Arenas was making a serious threat to Crittenton's welfare. And he was unfamiliar with the tale of Arenas defecating in Andray Blatche's shoe.
"I heard about Shaq took a doodie in somebody's shoe before," James said with a laugh. "I heard that, but I never heard Gil."
Before the segment ended, James was also asked his opinion about the Wizards. He's obviously been kept on the bench for the vast majority of this season, but he didn't hesitate in offering an opinion.
"I say this, one thing that you've got to live by in this game, if it's not broke don't fix it; if it's broke, fix it," James said. "Management, whatever they have to do to try to fix it, that's what has to happen. Something has to happen. The way that we came into this season, with the high expectations, and we didn't live up to none of the expectations...something has to happen....It can't stay the same. Not for the fans. Unless we turn this around right now and completely do a 180 on this season, then they have to, they have to make a change."
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