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Arenas's statement on gun incident

Gilbert Arenas's lawyer just released the following statement on behalf of his client:

Washington, DC-- January 4, 2010 -- Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner in the Washington, DC office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP and attorney for Gilbert Arenas, stated today:

"This afternoon, Gilbert Arenas voluntarily met with federal prosecutors at the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department to explain the circumstances surrounding the presence of his unloaded firearms at the Verizon Center last month.

From the outset of this incident, Mr. Arenas has been fully cooperative with the investigation. He acknowledged his possession of the guns when questioned by Washington Wizards team officials; he immediately offered and relinquished the guns to Wizards security personnel; and he had me proactively reach out to the U.S. Attorney's Office and make an immediate self-disclosure about the guns.

Consistent with that cooperative approach, Mr. Arenas felt it important that we meet with law enforcement at the first possible opportunity so that he could tell the full story. Over the course of a two-hour interview this afternoon, Mr. Arenas answered every question asked of him.

Mr. Arenas has been constrained in his public comment about these circumstances out of concern that he not do anything to interfere with the ongoing law enforcement investigation. Please understand that his public comments will continue to be limited as long as the investigation continues. Nevertheless, now that he has completed his interview, Mr. Arenas wishes to make the following statement about last month's events and today's interview."

Mr. Arenas' Statement

"I appreciated the opportunity to meet with law enforcement officials today. As the person who caused this trouble in the first place, I thought it was my duty to be the first witness to come forward and meet with the prosecutors and detectives. I told my attorney I wanted to get in for an interview as soon as we could arrange it, and that was today.

I told the detectives and prosecutors the whole story about my storing the unloaded guns at the Verizon Center and what I was intending to do when I took them out of my locker on December 21st.

As I have said before, I had kept the four unloaded handguns in my house in Virginia, but then moved them over to my locker at the Verizon Center to keep them away from my young kids. I brought them without any ammunition into the District of Columbia, mistakenly believing that the recent change in the DC gun laws allowed a person to store unloaded guns in the District.

On Monday, December 21st, I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate. Contrary to some press accounts, I never threatened or assaulted anyone with the guns and never pointed them at anyone.

Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to DC in the first place, and I now realize that there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns -- even if unloaded.

I am very sorry for the effect that my serious lapse in judgment has had on my team, my teammates, the National Basketball Association and its fans. I want to apologize to everybody for letting them down with my conduct, and I promise to do better in the future.

I also want to thank the detectives and prosecutors on the case for the professionalism and courtesy they showed me during the interview today. I stand ready to continue to give my full cooperation to them and to the League as they investigate this incident."

By Alexa Steele  |  January 4, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

"On Monday, December 21st, I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate."

If the joke was that Critt thought the guns were loaded, Gil's really not the comedian he thinks he is

Posted by: divi3 | January 4, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Where was all this humility before this incident? I really believe that Gil's intention was not harm Crit but that does mean that he should escape punishment. He has to man and face the consequences.

Posted by: terryt0201 | January 4, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Good shot GIL. Fire another for effect. For those of you who thing I have been dogging ARENAS for this latest escapade, think again. I have been down on him since the "JAMISON stays, or I walk" incident. The inmates can't run the asylum because the "gun fight joke" is the kind of debilitating crap you end up with. Even if GA is completely exhonerated and nothing happens to him from either the police or the league, he better be dammed happy I'm not the owner of this club. He would pay dearly for imperiling my investment. I don't know if IRENE POLLIN understands his childish pranks, but I hope she can't count, or doesn't care to.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 4, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to "Innocent until proved guilty?" Arenas is not a bad guy. Give him the benefit of any doubt until the authorities have had their say.

Posted by: joe2chase | January 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"he better be dammed happy I'm not the owner of this club"

We're all happy about that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I have been one of the biggest Gilbert supporters since he has been here and have put blinders on when it came to some of his antics, but the blinders have been ripped off with this admission.

It is disturbing to hear this report of Gil, who has been one of my favorite DC athletes in a long time, what the freak!

I have also been a supporter of EG but have withdrawn that support, not just because of Gil but his decision to hire Flip Saunders as head coach. I am Not impressed.

What in the world is wrong with our local sports teams? Players believe they are bigger than the team and management allowing them to feel that way.

Time to break it up and that includes EG, you're judged based on the performance of your team. He fired EJ after a bad start even though he knew what the problem was, (injuries) let the same rule apply to him.

Posted by: zxhoya | January 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

If you don't know by know that the NBA isn't run like the real world,


Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Kal,

Sure it is here in the good old USA money talks...

http://www.amazon.com/Bronze-Finish-Justice-Statue-Themis/dp/B000NHWR9M

The lady isn't blind she wears a blindfold because she doesn't care who is in front of her all she cares about is the amount of money you are putting on the scales.

If you have enough cash you can tip the scale in your favor and get community service for whatever crime you commit like a lot of celebrities.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Whatever.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Kal,

How many poor people in this country get to hire a Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner in the Washington, DC office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP?

No, they get public defender that is right out of law school and don't really care about who they are defending.

Yes, there are some who are good but they don't stack up to the kind of lawyers Gil can afford to hire.

So, “Whatever” just doesn't cut it, but good try to defend your worthless point like usual?


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 4, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dfresh58 | January 4, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

So, based on that statement, you either (A) think Arenas deserves a more serious penalty for committing a more serious act, which makes you a liar for saying you never said that or (B) you think Arenas deserves 3 times as much punishment as Jackson for a less severe act, which just makes you an idiot.

Pick one.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2010 4:32 PM

It's neither internet tough guy. I did not initially write my whole thought process which I later explained. But keep picking those nits.

Why are you getting so made over this anyway? Nobody ever taught you how to disagree without being disagreeable? Name calling from a distance is weak. I guess you'll next challenge me to meet you in Dupont Circle for a slap fight.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | January 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to "Innocent until proved guilty?" Arenas is not a bad guy. Give him the benefit of any doubt until the authorities have had their say.

Posted by: joe2chase | January 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

This isn't innocent until proven guilty. He has admitted having the guns in the lockerroom. He has admitted to transporting them there. He has admitted to various other acts that may be chargeable under DC law.

"How many poor people in this country get to hire a Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner in the Washington, DC office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP?

No, they get public defender that is right out of law school and don't really care about who they are defending. "

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 4, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

That is just ignorance. Most people who become public defenders actually do care and work pretty hard for their clients. What they do not have is a client whose mere presence in a room is some how noteworthy. Their clients may be newsworthy when the crime occurs, a verdict is read, or an appeal is won.

And as for the debate of whether or not a celebrity should recieve a more severe punishment. I would say yes but I would lump the wealthy, those with higher education, those in public office, those who have asked for and recieved public trust, and anyone who has a bully pulpit.

But that would be based on a theory that those who make their livelyhoods from the public and those who have no truly mittigation should be treated in a draconian to discourage others. The fall from grace should be a steep one.

Posted by: Hank4 | January 4, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I love the " constrained in his public comment" line from the attorney. If by constrained, you mean 'amazingly active on twitter', then that 100% on point

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | January 4, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"I did not initially write my whole thought process which I later explained."

Yeah, you later "explained" it by trying to softpedal Jackson's firing a gun in public amidst a crowd of people as a some kind of "private conduct" thing over which the NBA had no dominion, while trying to paint Arenas as a hitman in the making for putting an unloaded gun on a locker room bench. An explanation that (aside from being nonsense) only further reinforced your clear belief that Arenas committed the more severe transgression.

But feel free to continue to act like you didn't say something you clearly said more than once and hope no one notices. That always works.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Still with you Gil.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

And just so you know:

I'm not mad at you for being an idiot. I know you can't help it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I love all this piling on Gil this situation is so overblown that it has reached the talk show's here in Atlanta not the sport's talk show mind you the "talk shows" i can appreciate Gil statement through his attorney and if the Wiz were playing winning basketball and Gil was playing well this situation wouldn't have been an issue "OR THAT BIG OF AN ISSUE" and everybody from Wilbon to Feinstein are calling for Gil to be traded that is stupid and an obvious knee-jerk reaction,you trade Gil then what? Not one fan is willing to deal with another 60 loss season and since EG has made a mess of this roster and the season it will be a long time before we'll see winning basketball in Washington.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 4, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Gilbert's greatest crime is not leading this team to a better record and more playoff success. If we're 21-10 right now we wouldn't be nearly as upset. That's not to say we would condone his mistake or even defend it, but I think we would be much more willing to forgive him, and we'd view him in a far more positive light. If he leads us to a winning record, we focus on his remarkable gifts to charity and his magnetic personality. If we stink, we choose to focus on his shortcomings.

What bothers me most about this entire story is that Gilbert felt compelled to gamble and make jokes while the team is mired in its most disappointing (and that's saying something) season ever. I don't care about guns, or bad judgment, or arguments with teammates, or bad contracts. I want this team to win, almost at any cost, because I have invested a lot of time and money in them. That is what matters most to me, and that is why I am so upset. I suspect I'm not alone.

So if we're going to judge Gilbert, a man none of us know, maybe we should focus a bit of that judgment on ourselves, too. Perhaps we should reflect on what we're really so angry about. Maybe we'll learn that Gilbert's not the only guy whose priorities are out of whack

Posted by: bryc3 | January 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee, quit protecting these guys, the NYPost has you scooped every day on this issue.

Posted by: cr10 | January 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert's own worst enemy is himself. This statement is a step in the right direction. He should let his counsel speak or write statements on his behalf. Every time he twitters, blogs, etc. he only damages himself. Lawyers and sports management companies make a lot of money to steer their clients in the right direction and manage their affairs.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 4, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe Gil deserves the benefit of the doubt. And he has done a lot for this city, going back to the little boy whose house caught on fire, a stranger, that he mentored and helped because his parents were killed. Gilbert scores for schools, Gilbert first in line for the Katrina victims at the Amory, waiting on the buses to arrive. And exciting basketball to this city after a long dismal period.

Posted by: washwiz | January 4, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

As a long time supporter of Gilbert, I am disappinted by his recent actions. He is extremely immature and hasn't until now taken fully accountability for his actions.

One thing about Gilbert is he is honest. I have mixed feelings about whether to keep him or not. The chemistry is very off and he has not meshed well with Butler recently. Sadly, I think trading Caron is our best move. Strong market value and character is what Caron brings. Not sure if he can pull in a T Mac type player unless we through something else significant which might not be worth it. S

Posted by: FLC-Woodbridge | January 4, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The question is, Did his "teammate" think it was a joke?

Posted by: jethro1 | January 4, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the more Gil opens his mouth the more the original story reported in the NY Post is supported. Imagine that. Now the investigators will get to find out from the other side just how much of a joke he thought was being played.

I can appreciate the thoughts of others here that losing Gil over this would be unfortunate but if you're a tea leaf reader you have to know Gil's going away, not necessarily to jail but certainly from the team, for a lengthy period.

His name ain't Stern for nothing.

And remember, when it happens .. Gil did it. Time to grow up.

Posted by: tslats | January 4, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The question is: did Delonte West think it was a joke?

Posted by: ZeroHero0 | January 4, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

He told a story alright. Why'd it take so long? Had to get the story straight. Make sure all the witnesses went along with the "story". It shouldn't surprise anyone that the team would come together to protect itself. End of story.

Posted by: YesDear | January 4, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't even think Delonte West was suspended....then again he wasn't in a locker room either.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 4, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Delonte West is all effed up, barely holding it together. The guy has a serious mental disorder but is still playing...and acting bizarrely now and again on court.

He should be suspended for his own good

Posted by: divi3 | January 4, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he could start playing a little bit of defense on the basketball court now.

Posted by: nmoses | January 4, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"On Monday, December 21st, I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate."

Yeah, that's a real knee-slapper.

Posted by: presto668 | January 4, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God....he's back on Twitter again.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 4, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

What a load of BS from a complete moron. HE AND PLEXICO CAN SHARE A CELL!

Posted by: BKCT | January 4, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Arenas must not have heard of buying a safe for the house with a combo lock. His story just doesn't make sense which is customary of Arenas.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 4, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I am not a huge Stephen A. Smith fan, but if you get past the screaming and seemingly arrogant attitude he has a lot of very insightful thoughts and opinions.
Please read:
http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/Stephen-A-Smith-Arenas-analysis-010310
Arenas does not even realize what kind of damage he has done, nor does he care.

Posted by: swiftbosox | January 4, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm beginning to hear the groundswell for "Gilbert's Got to Go." I don't think his earnest and legalistic statement satisfied even his defenders. But a lot of people still want to defend this lovable goofball.

You've got to admit: Gilbert has led us to cheer more than he's led us to moan, although this is the biggest groaner of all. He came into town displaying a big heart as well as a big ego, and he spread his wealth around to area schools, matched by Mr. Pollin. Ah, but therein lies the rub.

The guy that challenged Gilbert to be his best is gone now. Mr. Pollin treated his players like his extended family, and that warmth was returned by honest effort. I think that's true with the entire team. Look at Antawn Jamison's collapse beginning with the Wizard's return to Washington after Abe Pollin died. Jamison was pitiful, when he had 6 points and NO rebounds. The Wizards went 5-12 after that.

But I digress. We still have our clown, Gilbert Arenas. I think the Pollin Trust will jettison Gilbert as soon as possible, because he crossed over the line. Sometimes you DON'T send in the clowns, and the case of guns is one of them, particularly to Pollin, who changed the name of the team just to repudiate the violence in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Will Ted Leonsis ride to Gilbert's rescue? I don't think so. Listen to people talking here, and other places. Other places is where Gilbert can start again. I don't think it's going to work here.

Posted by: zinger1 | January 4, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

That's the best his very expensive attorneys can do?
What a laughable "excuse."

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Posted by: iofferkicks391 | January 4, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Sir, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I need 4 guns, yes I do. One is not enough. Thank you for letting me make my statement.

Posted by: getitritegov | January 4, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Bring back the Bullets!!! Seems fitting doesn't it?

Posted by: boomer131 | January 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse".

Perhaps we should ad, "Gross stupidity, even by sports celebrities, is no excuse".

Posted by: lufrank1 | January 4, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It has long been known and reported that Gilbert was a gambler while traveling and even during half time of a game. Plus there is NO excuse for him having guns at VZ Center. I hope Stern shows him the door.

Posted by: sjcmcd | January 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Arenas says that,"... that he now knows," not to joke around with guns. What is he like, four years old?

WHAT AN IDIOT!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | January 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

It is about time Arenas grow up. Apparently this incident will do it.

Posted by: truth1 | January 4, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"...I now realize that there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns -- even if unloaded."

You brought four guns in from your house because you thought they were too dangerous for children to be around, and you didn't realize there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns?

Can I ask that again, because, for the life of me, I can't understand how someone educated, someone who is so much in the public eye, dealing with intelligent people and million dollar deals, someone who's already been involved in a weapons issue didn't realize that there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns. Am I that naive that I can't understand?

dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | January 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

There are jokes, and then there are jokes.

Joking with a gun in an NBA locker room is about as funny as joking about carrying a bomb at an airport security checkpoint. They both can get you into serious trouble.

Posted by: StanKlein | January 4, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how to say this..other than...this guy is a bigger jerk than I thought. The man stores his personal guns at a public stadium because he wants to keep them away from his kids??! This clown is a multi millionaire and he can't buy a lock control cabinet to keep the guns away from his brats? Yes I refer to them as brats because it appears obvious that his kids must be brats if they can't except the word NO in not playing with his guns. The little brats can't be trusted is what Arenas is saying. If they had training the word NO would be the end of discussion. Throw this clown in the slammer he has a very weak argument.

Posted by: matrox | January 4, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

No doubt that someone close to Gilbert realized that he could be coughing up a massive amount of money if the Wizards try to void his contract. Enter the attorneys and their enormous fees. Every statement that you see and hear from Gilbert will be from his lawyers and agent. No doubt that an associate from the law firm will be with him all the time to ensure that he doesn't stick his big foot in his mouth...

Posted by: randysbailin | January 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Stephen A. Smith comes on strong and arrogant but he is one of the most intelligent commentators and his take on this is right on.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/Stephen-A-Smith-Arenas-analysis-010310

Posted by: jackson641 | January 4, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Arenas thought the team mate he had issues with was going to beat him up in the locker room and bought the guns for protection and to scare the guy, or perhaps Arenas just thought he needed protection if he dropped the soap in the showers with all those big strapping men around. In any case Arenas broke the laws which is a $5000 fine and up to 10 years in jail. This guy needs to be playing on a school playground where everyone else is also carrying guns. He doesn't belong on a pro team.

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Posted by: iofferkicks391 | January 4, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: matrox | January 4, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Jesse Jackson needs to hold a weekend retreat of spiritual counseling and invite Arenas and Tiger Woods.

Posted by: matrox | January 4, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I have an old cap gun I got when I was 5. I would have been more than happy to let Arenas borrow for his joke if he promised to bring it back.

Posted by: matrox | January 4, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

What a year for a Caps fan. Nats? Worst in the league. Redskins? Still laughing at them! And now Gilbert's realizing there's no room for jokes when it comes to firearms in the locker room?

Posted by: caps1974 | January 4, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

ok.. so there was a confrontation because JC couln't take or didn't like the "joke"... proven and admitted..
now what about this?
if true (I hope not) then this house of cards comes crumbling down.
..........
The Washington Wizards never told the NBA that two of its players drew guns on each other in a locker-room dispute over a gambling debt, sources said yesterday.

It was only after The Post's inquiries more than a week after the Dec. 21 incident that league officials found out about the unprecedented alleged armed standoff between All-Star Gilbert Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton inside the Verizon Center in DC.

That stunning gun duel now threatens to end the Wizard careers of not only the two point guards -- who stand to lose millions of dollars in pay -- but also of general manager Ernie Grunfeld, a former star Knicks player and president.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/nba_team_hSzEijqYqD45gZL2B78TsK##ixzz0bhg6LjQ9

Posted by: horace1 | January 4, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

When an aide to U. S. Senator Jim Webb was stopped at the Senate metal detectors with a gun, he wasn't charged. Why such a fuss over a black man with a gun?

DC government is immoral. As unemployment topped 10% in 2009, they ran a phony fencing sting operation on the citizens.

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Posted by: d1g00f | January 5, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Not sure about the DC gun laws, call the police, they'll run through hell with gasoline draws on to get guns out of the hands of people who don't know what to do with them.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | January 5, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

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