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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."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 28, 2010; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

It's so great to hear that only Mike James lifts weights before practice. It is, however, not surprising.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 28, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As much as I think he's a selfish ballplayer who isn't a team player on the court, I think Mike James is a good guy off the court. At least that's how he comes off in these interviews.

I think it's clear to anyone with any common sense that Gilbert's "threats" were not intended to be serious threats. Of course Crittenton's lawyer's defense claimed that he felt threatened and that's why he brought the gun to work, but that is just a legal defense. Though I don't know much about his intelligence, I refuse to believe Crittenton is that stupid that he actually thought Arenas was serious.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 28, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Dan, any plans to blog about Will Chang as DC's first sports owner to join the Twitterverse?

Posted by: VercengetorixII | January 28, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Jeeeeeez....Shaq, too, with the doodie in the bootie? I immediately thought of Jack Palance's line from City Slickers...."I cr*p bigger than you." With Shaq that might be true! What would his nickname be for that? The Big (What)?

Great insight from James though. I didn't really see anything and I really don't know anything. Thanks for sharing Mike.

Posted by: ts35 | January 28, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

James did offer some insight...he did say he didn't think Arenas was serious in his threats.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 28, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd argue it's the most insightful info we've gotten on this.
---
"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."
-----
Shows it was less of a joke than it was made out to be.
------
"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."
------
Shows the card dispute was less of a big deal than it's been made out to be.
------
"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."
------
The fact that he needs to mention that is telling.
------
"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."
------
Shows that it's a lockerroom thing, in the vein of Goose Gossage, AJ Burnett, and all the other practical jokers than they highlight on the ESPN personal life specials, and that it doesn't mean that Gilbert is some depraved, crazy, evil beast.

Posted by: Urnesto | January 29, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

To be really mean, I can't help but wonder who is really interested in Mike James' memoir? And, to be even meaner, I sure hope he had a ghost writer to put it into legible English with all of the pronouns and adverbs that will be needed.

ts35 got it right. Thanks for nothing with your insights into what really happened.

I'm sure Mike is a fine guy. I'm just not sure, at this point, what relevance he has to any of the "shoe full" going around.

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 29, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Or Urnesto, it could just as easily show that no one on the team really talks with Mike James. Not saying that's true, but we have no context.

And I'm sorry, even if Shaq did it too, even if it's a staple in NBA locker room antics, taking a dump in someone's shoe is in fact a sign that something is wrong with you. Not saying it's evil, just saying there's a serious screw loose.

Posted by: ts35 | January 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Mike James certainly had his good spots last year and I would like to see him play more this year.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 30, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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