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Stern says Gilbert didn't request a suspension

Since there have been 17 conflicting reports about every single second of the Gilbert Gunz story, it only figures that the suspension dénouement would immediately produce at least two conflicting reports.

If you recall, in the moments after Stern's rest-of-the-season suspension first leaked out on Wednesday, there were reports--attributed to sources--that Gilbert "requested" to be suspended for the rest of the season, that he told Stern he "expects and deserves" such a punishment. The reports also said Gilbert would instruct the Players Union not to contest such a punishment. Gilbert went on the record with CSN's Chris Miller:

"I said 'I did the crime; let me do the time'. I told him 'I think it will be good to let me sit the whole season'. I think I shocked him, and he said 'ok'."

The word from the NBA, of course, was somewhat different. Here's what happened when a TMZ reporter on the conference call with David Stern attempted to reconcile these differences.

Q: Gilbert Arenas asked to be suspended for the rest of the season and did not want the Players Association to fight it. Did Mr. Crittenton request the suspension as well?

Stern: Is that a statement?

Q: That's what the reports are saying, that Gilbert had asked to be suspended for the remainder of the season....

Stern: Where did you get that report from?

Q: Sources out there are saying this.

Stern: Sources out there are saying it.

Q: So it's untrue?

Stern: That's not true.

Q: And so did he not say that he wanted the Players Association to fight this, then?

Stern: I don't know what you're saying. He did not say he wanted the suspension, and he wouldn't fight it. Asked, and answered.

Boom. I also remembered a conversation I had with Stern last year, during a celebration of Abe Pollin at GW. I asked Stern about enthusiastic celebrations, and he said he was old-school and wasn't too into them.

"But that's changed, and you know what? That's because everything has changed," he said. "If you Tweet, you're telling the world about everything. If you're on social media, you're telling the world about everything. So I consider the exuberance to be a reflection of the way people are growing up and the way they're expressing themselves."

Later, I asked Stern about Gilbert's blog.

"I think he's out there," Stern said. "That's good, that's great, it's fun. First, when I read it originally, I'd go AIIIIIGH. But then I said, 'Hey, ok.' "

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 28, 2010; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Wizards  
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Next: Mike James talks about the day of the guns


Hope the next things we hear are Gilbert Arenas "asking" the judge for a little time in jail...

citing his familiar "did the crime, do the time" ditty...

and the Wizards legal team announcing their intention to void the jerk's contract.

Posted by: Vic1 | January 28, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Gil is so off the mark everywhere.

When he was joking around he should have been apologizing.

So when it is time for a meeting where he should have been silent or apologetic he then plays the I deserve it role, which should be what he says after the court case.

I wonder what role he will play then, victim?

He needs a psych eval quick

Posted by: Zeebs | January 28, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else cry "BS" when they heard that Gilbert ASKED for that specific punishment? There was little doubt in my mind that Gil was just running his mouth.

I'm not a Gilbert hater by any means. I used to love the guy (especially when the Wiz were winning), but over the last two years my opinion of him went from "Love and Laugh at everything he does" to "take everything he does with a grain of salt" to "why does he do the things he does?". Clinton Portis, if you are reading this, you should tread carefully because you are taking a very similar path as Gilbert Arenas.

Here's a tip for all of you athletes who have more ego than common sense: stay out of the spot light.

Posted by: MillBurray | January 28, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I still find it amazing that the biggest sports story in Washington's history was broken by a NY paper and not The Washington Post. What other things are going on that these WAPO reporters aren't either finding out or know about and aren't telling us. This is really amazing. A NY Paper??!! You guys should be ashamed.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 28, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

ummm, why is a TMZ reporter in on an NBA conference call??

Posted by: 3tripleiii | January 28, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Just a few random thoughts:

David Stern is what is wrong with America.

Political Correctness will be the end of all.

I can't think of a single America other than Gilbert ARenas who has ever paid a penalty of more than $10,000,000 for a victimless crime.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 28, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That should say:

Political Correctness will be the end of all of us

Posted by: Barno1 | January 28, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If I was Gilberts parent or friend or advisor, I would tell him to get somewhere and to STFU!! before he fools around to the point where no team wants him. Jeeze, that dude has a mouth like butter. Crap just keep sliding through. I am seriosuly beginning to wonder if something is wrong with him. He is acting like the lights or on and nobody's home. As much trouble as he has gotten into running his mouth to media folks, you would think he would run the other way when he sees them coming. Especially since he has a sentencing date in March.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 28, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the NY Post story is 90% wrong should tell you everything you need to know about why TWP didn't "break" the story. The verison of the story that Mike Wise wrote is far closer to the legal depiction of what happened then any thing in that fictional story by the NY Post. I personally prefer accuracy over speed

Posted by: Solnoir | January 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of accusations that the Post protected the Wizards and intentionally didn't "break" the story. I find these accusations entirely baseless.

I am no fan of Michael Lee, I find him to be phony, small-minded jerk who is incapable of accepting constructive criticism. But I also don't think he would ever pass up the opportunity to be the first to break this story if he knew about it.

If there is any evidence that the Post sat on this story, let's hear it. Otherwise, keep your baseless accusations to yourself.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 28, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Best Stern quote I've ever heard: "AIIIIIGH".

Posted by: Matte | January 28, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"I can't think of a single America other than Gilbert ARenas who has ever paid a penalty of more than $10,000,000 for a victimless crime."

I can. Wizards fans to the tune of $31 million so far and potentially another 80 million. Worst contract in DC sports history. In Redskin terms it would be like the collective values of Deion Sanders, Stubblefield, Arch Deluxe, Jeff George, Mark Carrier, Desmond Howard and Heath Shuler all rolled into one contract and one player.

Posted by: blinders1 | January 28, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Blinders1, where to start with your silly comment? Wizards fans do not pay Arenas's salary, the owner of the Wizards does. And even if the fans did pay it, that still doesn't make any sense in response to my comment that there is not a SINGLE American who has ever paid upwards of $10,000,000 for a victimless crime. Also, it is not yet the worst contract in DC sports history. We don't know the outcome yet, so it's too early to judge. But the vast majority of Wizards fans were in favor of retaining Arenas--and that was his fair market value. Actually, his value was slightly higher, but he took less to stay here.

Get a clue bud.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 29, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse


Send a message for once. Show this moron the door!

Posted by: hessone | January 29, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse


Wizards fans do not pay Arenas's salary, the owner of the Wizards does.

Sometimes I wonder what goes through folks minds. Without fan revenue there would be no NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB with these ridiculous salaries. Barno1 - quit disagreeing with everyone for the sake of disagreement.

Posted by: hessone | January 29, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Actually, hessone, I would bet the revenue from television probably pays more of the salary than fans who buy tickets. That might be a small proportion of the revenue needed to pay those huge salaries, but the majority of it comes from TV. Also, isn't there some profit sharing that goes on among the different franchises?

A few months ago, everything that went wrong in the DC area, including the blizzard, was being blamed on Dan Snyder. I guess this newest cold snap must be because GA and JC brought guns to the Verizon Center. Or maybe, it's because the WIZARDS decided to give Gilbert Arenas a HUGE CONTRACT that everyone on this board KNEW at the time that it was a big mistake to do that!

Posted by: juliagraffam | January 29, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

you'd lose that bet julia. Roughly half of team revenue comes from ticket sales. beyond that i don't see your point. if you acknowledge that arenas's contract was a mistake, then why would you oppose the wizards' efforts to sever ties with arenas?

Posted by: briffy | January 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

At this point I wish something good for Gilbert, enough with the punishment.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 30, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

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