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Players union head Billy Hunter discusses Arenas situation

In his time as NBA players union executive director, Billy Hunter has represented players through some difficult situations. From problems such as Dennis Rodman kicking a photographer, to Latrell Sprewell attempting to choke P.J. Carlesimo, to that night when Ron Artest charged into the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich., and set off the most gruesome melee between players and fans.

So, when I asked him on Tuesday if he had ever witnessed anything such as this current gun probe involving Gilbert Arenas, Hunter simply shrugged.

"There's been a litany of violations that we've been involved in," Hunter said. "I think the only thing that is significant about this is the fact that he had a couple of guns in his locker, which is prohibited by the collective bargaining agreement, and the question is, what do you do in the face of that?"

Hunter and union associate council Ron Klempner are in town to meet with Arenas to discuss where they stand and gain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the incident on Dec. 21, when guns were displayed in the Wizards' locker room at Verizon Center during a dispute between Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. Hunter said he wants to ensure that Arenas receives due process in this situation and doesn't want the punishment to exceed the transgression.

"You don't use a sledgehammer to drive a tack," Hunter said. "Right now, we're just waiting for the investigation to conclude and then we'll see what level or degree of discipline the commissioner is talking about imposing. And once the commissioner makes his decision, that will what extent we get involved and don't get involved."

There has been speculation that the Wizards could look to void the remainder of Arenas's six-year, $111-million contract under "moral turpitude" provision of the uniform player contract. The provision gives teams that option if a player pleads guilty to a violent felony crime.

"I've never seen that happen before," Hunter said. "I don't know what the Wizards' plans are. I don't want to speculate as to what we would do. My obligation is to represent the players. I intend to do that under any circumstance. What I do is always contingent on what somebody else does. So I don't know what they plan to do other than honor whatever the commissioner imposes in terms of discipline. I don't know if there is any thought or discussion beyond that. I haven't heard anything."

By Michael Lee  |  January 13, 2010; 12:24 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards (12-24) at Hawks (24-13)

Comments

yes having handguns in DC is against the law. No doubt. But in the lockerroom without having bullets, it is using a sledgehammer on a tack!

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

are they for voiding DeLonte West's contract?

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Hunter was really quick to jump to Gilbert's aid. Maybe if he would have given him a call after noticing the tone of his tweets, he could have done something in time to save the situation.

Posted by: mike8 | January 13, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Hunter was really quick to jump to Gilbert's aid. Maybe if he would have given him a call after noticing the tone of his tweets, he could have done something in time to save the situation.

Posted by: mike8 | January 13, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse


It's his job to jump to his aid, and all of his public statements will be to that effect.

Behind close doors, between the 2 of them, I wouldn't be surprised if Billy Hunter chews out Arenas for being a stupid selfish immature nincompoop who is jeopardizing his career over a prank.

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

yes having handguns in DC is against the law. No doubt. But in the lockerroom without having bullets, it is using a sledgehammer on a tack!


Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse


What exactly is the "sledgehammer" being used here?

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

No reason I can see the team should allocate much resource to re-signing him

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse


I've never thought Brendan was the problem w/ this team, but I also don't think he's going to be worth re-signing.

He's a piece, not a real difference maker.

All you have to be is "decent" as a center in the NBA to get paid big bucks; and he's probably going to get that.


A random trade thought:

If Michael Jordan still likes Brendan Haywood, maybe we trade him down there for Raymond Felton.

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

p1funk

They want to use the "moral turpitude" clause to void Gilbert's contract over guns that, according to what has been said, had no bullets; but, cheating on your wife and children is not a violation of one's moral standards, driving on the highway strapped.

Or game fixing/point shaving referees, are not? Why do you think that after calling goal-tending on Dwight Howard, the refs reversed the call because Howard cried? The ref was right there and don't tell me he wasn't watching the ball. Don't tell me it was a bang-bang play and he couldn't see when it was originally obvious? If it wasn't obvious, why change the original call? If it was replay on the play, it would not have been reversed, it would be that obvious, and if the call was "good block" and replayed, it would have been reversed, it was that obvious. Bad call, take away 2 points from the Wizards. Point shaving! But you want to hold Gilbert to a higher moral standard than they hold themselves. And don't talk about the refs didn't intend to shave points when Gil with no bullets, certainly did not intend to shoot nobody.

Morals! What morals?

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Morals! What morals?

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse


OK. First, I hate NBA refereeing. In my book it ranks right below WWE refereeing, because at least WWE refereeing is honest enough to be upfront that it's a sham.

Second, "moral turpitude" is a techincal term with legal significance. They're not talking about religious morality or morality relative to other facets of the NBA. It's a term used to indicate that a player can do something/behave in a way (outside of strictly basketball actions) that is so bad that the team can end its relationship with them. Apparently, one of the specific provisions under the "moral turpitude" clause is if a player pleads guilty to or is convicted of a felony offense. Right now, it looks like Gil is guilty of or will pleadeguilty to a felony offense b/c of the way the DC gun law is - bullets or not. That has nothing to do with the Wizards interpretation or feelings; it has to do with the way the DC gun law is written.

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why is it not called a "felony" turpitude clause if it is not about morals? Now you got DC gun law vs NBA rules and guidelines. Just because Gilbert did have a gun with no bullets don't mean you got to void the contract, that is using a sledgehammer on a tack. Just like Jayson Williams serving 18 months for a crime that resulted in murder is REVERSE using a sledgehammer on a tack.

What it is is a loophole to randomly choose who to terminate. Gil shouldn't have put himself in that position but I don't want to hear about selective morals, or morals for some but not all.
Gilbert should be suspended without pay for a while, but his contract should not be terminated using that clause as a "get out of Jail" card for getting out of a bad contract.


Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think the "sledgehammer" is the threat by the Wizards to void the player's entire contract--which, as Hunter says, has never been done before. If it turns out that DC law enforcement only sees like a 30-day jail sentence or characterizes the transgression as a misdemeanor, then should the Wizards "throw the baby out with the bathwater"???? Maybe not. But they appear to be headed in that direction with the ERASING of Arenas from the Wizards environs, even in the merchandising. My guess is the Wizards REALLY want to get out of that $111 million contract anyway...now they see an opportunity.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | January 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

This is really sad. I think Sharpton's op-ed really did nail the issue on the head. Our standards and expectations have sunk so low that we don't give a crap if a guy takes a crap in someone's shoes, it's a simple mistake to put other people's lives at risk or at minimum to break the law. No wonder we have a nation at risk, nobody had the balls to hold people accountable, to elevate our expectations, and to know that every adult, expecially those in the limelight, should strive to be role models for our kids. I don't think the guy should be incarcerated, but he should have to be dealt with like any other citizen. Hell, I can't even get out of a parking ticket. Moral decay, cynical society, I do love my sports, but these excuses make me ill.

Posted by: lk11 | January 13, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse


The Wizards can remove every semblance of Arenas' presence from the whole DMV tri-state area, but they still have to pay him once his suspension over if they cannot void that contract.
Arenas is getting harsh treatment from the front office because he didn't have the good sense to keep his head down and be serious for once in his life. They removed his images from the area after he was suspended, not before.

Posted by: tgif11 | January 13, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@FergusonFoont

Now, about Gilbert. As this story unfolds I am gaining in sympathy for his point of view. It seems that he never threatened anyone with a gun, never pointed a gun at anyone, and his role in every aspect of this situation was purely humorous in nature.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carrying a weapon into DC is a felony crime. To bring one into an NBA locker room is against the rules of the NBA.

How many folks have been seriously injured, paralyzed, or killed when someone was just joking around with a gun?

You people that keep making excuses for bad behavior are troubling.

Posted by: hessone | January 13, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You people that keep making excuses for bad behavior are troubling.


Posted by: hessone

I have yet to hear or read any one that thinks Gil should not have to be disciplined for his actions. But using famous people to drive a point home? I have no faith that ever makes any difference. It only gives the resentful some satisfaction.

Sad but in most cases folks don't learn from others mistakes you learn when yet get your own butt burned.

Posted by: millineumman | January 13, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Sprewell assualted his coach on nba property, Artest/Oneil and whoever assaulted PAYING FANS on nba property....no one's contract was voided.

The only way Gil's deal is voided is collusion from above, which may be the case, and then arenas will win an appeal down the road.

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert's problem is that this was done at the place of employment.

Posted by: lauther266 | January 13, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

No kidding, Hunter jumped all over this one...like two weeks late.

See, they have to show they have a backbone because if Gil goes to jail then there ain't squat they can do about it.

Nothing.

He didn't once mention that fact, he's just talking "NBA" jargon.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Billy Hunter chews out Arenas for being a stupid selfish immature nincompoop..."

He said "poop." Aheh, heh-heh. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 13, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

WIZARDS suck.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 13, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Carrying a weapon into DC is a felony crime."

Not necessarily. If the reports are accurate (a big "if" with this mess) there are two potential charges Arenas is facing: Carrying an illegal firearm and gun possession. The first is a felony, the second is a misdemeanor. Since he (A) was, in fact, not arrested while walking around in public carrying the guns and (B) turned them over willingly to NBA security prior to the police even getting involved, odds are he should only be charged with possession.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

rmcazz, hessone, and all the others who live in a fantasy world where Gilbert Arenas will be doing hard time for a likely misdemeanor offense, when all is said and done and you realize your were living in your delusions, what will you say then?

Also, for the ignorant clowns on here that continue to state that "guns in DC are illegal" PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STFU!

Guns are NOT illegal in DC anymore. Read a newspaper!

Posted by: Barno1 | January 13, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the Wizards/Stern didn't paint a fuller picture to the rest of the country that Gilbert is in no way a thug. Stern is paid to grow and promote the NBA, but instead, by suspending Gilbert and saying nothing positive, he fully endorsed the pervasive racist stereotype of NBA thugs running rampant. Clearly Gilbert made a major stupid illegal mistake and it's gonna cost him millions and millions. But the NBA and Wizards should have called it a stupid illegal act and and then quickly added that Gilbert is a great goofy colorful personality who has successfully battled back from major reconstructive knee surgeries and he is buds with his teammates etc etc. Instead the NBA and Wizards basically told white Americans who don't know the NBA, much less Gilbert: "Yeah, we agree. The NBA is full of black thugs and we're gonna be wicked tough on them." Way to go Stern, that's really gonna help the NBA. Wait, no, it's just gonna confirm the flimsy stereotype. This is what I would have said if I were the commish: "We're all absolutely stunned that Gilbert did such a stupid illegal thing. He's a goofy immature maverick, but he's a ton of fun and in no way is he a thug. We're gonna have to suspend him and it's gonna cost him millions, but we look forward to his amazing return to the NBA."

Posted by: davi_lama | January 13, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

stupid selfish immature nincompoop?

I would have said stupid selfish immature
poopinnike.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"The only way Gil's deal is voided is collusion from above, which may be the case, and then arenas will win an appeal down the road."

Pretty easily, you would think. All his lawyer has to do is roll out a list of all of the other NBA players who have committed/been convicted of actual violent crimes without the issue of voiding their contracts even being raised, then plop down a stack of articles about how dismally the Wizards' season was going before the gun incident, with all of the references to Arenas' contract being a terrible deal and a lodestone around the team's neck highlighted, and just connect the dots.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And if there is a trial of some kind, I really hope Arenas' lawyer calls Peter Vescey as a witness. I would love to hear who his "sources" were for the "Shootout at the VC Corral" story were.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Says the all-powerful OZ:

WIZARD ARENAS will not be charged with any felonies, misdemeanors only. He will be suspended by the league for some as yet indeterminate period of time, after which he will be reinstated. He will not be traded. His contract will not be voidable. He will play again for the franchise. It will not be pretty with some of the team supporting him, and some loathing his presence. The WIZARDS will be lottery-bound for a couple of years to come.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 13, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Why is it not called a "felony" turpitude clause if it is not about morals? Now you got DC gun law vs NBA rules and guidelines. Just because Gilbert did have a gun with no bullets don't mean you got to void the contract, that is using a sledgehammer on a tack. Just like Jayson Williams serving 18 months for a crime that resulted in murder is REVERSE using a sledgehammer on a tack.

What it is is a loophole to randomly choose who to terminate. Gil shouldn't have put himself in that position but I don't want to hear about selective morals, or morals for some but not all.
Gilbert should be suspended without pay for a while, but his contract should not be terminated using that clause as a "get out of Jail" card for getting out of a bad contract.


Posted by: G-Man11 | January 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse


Why call it a "high"way when it is low to the ground?

Look, I'm just explaining the term and the issue here. These are legal terms that are put in contracts; they have legal definitions.

If Arenas is charged with anything less than a felony - like a misdemeanor - then the Wiz cannot void his contract under the clause b/c there is no felony involved - which was also likely the case w/ Sprewell and the melee at the Palace...as far as I know, no one was convicted of or plead guilty to a felony criminal charge.

If Arenas's stupidity has opened the door for the Wiz to void his contract, so be it. I don't feel bad.

If we want to opine about "morality" and "fairness", you lost me at the door of the discussion.

We are talking about people who make tens of millions of dollars for playing a frickin' schoolyard game, while teachers lose jobs and hospitals get their budgets slashed. What's "moral" about that???...

Excuse me if I don't shed a tear or get riled up if poor Gilbert Arenas is not allowed to go on taking a dump in someone's shoe and collect an $80 million check for throwing a leather ball through a metal hoop...maybe, just maybe he'll have to get a real job for a living...or maybe he'll have to suffer the horrible injustice of trying to live off the tens of millions of dollars he's already made...

Boo-Frickin-Hoo

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"The WIZARDS will be lottery-bound for a couple of years to come."

A couple? Aren't you the optimist?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ERASING of Arenas from the Wizards environs.....

speaking of which...

I was at the game last night and there is literally NO SIGN of Gilbert anywhere from the promotional material to the pregame video introduction. Hell, even McGee was in THAT.

Based on how they are treating Gil, it seems to me that they really intend to part ways with him.

Gil is stupid, immature, selfish, etc. and I am in no way trying to defend him. BUT....if his crime is a misdemeanor, he should be treated as though he committed a misdemeanor. Picking up a prostitute, speeding, DUI's, possession of weed, etc. are various misdemeanors that Bullets/Wiz players have been charged with over the years.

We cut the line with CWebb when he got caught with weed fumes pouring out of the car during a traffic stop to the best of my memory.

I understand being angry but since we are undoubtedly shackled to him, why alienate him further? At least publicly say that the team is withholding any comments until the legal process plays out. Would his image in the arena really harm the team any more than it has? Can't we wait til he's off the team b4 we start that?

What I dont want to see happen is him being cleared, reinstated and pouting for 4 more years here til his expiring contract allows us to trade him. Treat him as an asset rather than devalue him.

If I was EG, I'd be talking about how great player he is when his head is right. Heck. As long as Elgin and others like him are in the league, there's a chance we'd be able to fleece someone.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Vick's roster bonus was illegally voided by the NFL for what amounted to PR reasons, then subsequently reinstated by a federal judge. The Falcons had changed some of his signing bonus money into a roster bonus for CAP purposes, and were held to that when the case went beyond the court of public opinion.

Call me a cynic, but I feel like Stern has already told the Wizards that arenas' deal will be voided so America can celebrate.

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Charles Barkley:

On Gilbert Arenas' decision to bring guns into an NBA arena:
I think that's stupid to take a gun into an arena. I don't understand that at all.

But you know what I really want to hear, Dan? I want to hear what really happened. Because it started out that they pulled a gun on each other, which I don't think happened because [Javaris] Crittenton has not been suspended...

Gilbert is a jokester. I don't understand why he would take the guns into the arena. Should he be penalized for doing something stupid? Of course.

But I'm worried about the Wizards, who are a horrible organization using this to save money. This to me is not a 90 million dollar penalty. Gilbert Arenas did something really dumb and really stupid, and I think David Stern, who is the best commissioner, has the right to suspend him, but this notion that Gilbert Arenas should be kicked out of the league and lose 90 million dollars or be suspended for the whole year, I think it's really easy for sportswriters to say that. Most of them are only making 50 to 100 thousand dollars per year. I think it's really easy to give away somebody else's 90 million dollars. Gilbert Arenas was wrong ,let me clean that up. He was wrong. But anybody who thinks this is a 90 million dollar penalty is just an idiot.

Posted by: demonj21 | January 13, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"If I was EG, I'd be talking about how great player he is when his head is right."

You gotta think everyone from EG on up is absolutely FURIOUS with him, and understandably so. Probably never want to see him again.

In a few months from now, maybe that changes....but it seems like the decision has been made.

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

O Mark's Bottom Line:

As long as Gilbert plays well enough to make the team money, he should be allowed to stay without the cloud over his head.
His play lately has been All-Star caliber. He's scoring less and assisting more. CB's struggles and the revolving door at SG have been our Achilles heel. Gil will be a circus attraction when he returns and will attract ppl (translation: money) to the games.

Keep him. Marginalize him. Win with him as a contributor but not the main guy. This means we need to find a main guy.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Le Batard had it right the other day: When all is said and done, this is about Stern being pissed that Arenas didn't kiss the ring and show contrition.

Stern has long had a rep as a martinet, but no one cared as long as the profits kept climbing. But if he actually manages to banish Arenas from the NBA (without or without the benefit of a felony conviction) coming on the eve of a new collective bargaining session in which the owners are expected to ask the players to give up a share of the profits, the tide could change. Allowing Stern to exile Arenas over this would set a precedent that the players' union isn't likely to let go unchallenged, because it would be giving Stern more power at a time when that's the last thing they want.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

divi3, You're absolutely right.

I'd get it if they made a public statement about how stupid they think he is as long as they promised to give him due process and wait it out.

What amazed me was the total absence of anything 'Gilbert' in the arena. Once he's cleared and reinstated (and he will be), can you imagine how mad he'll be at the team? Remember this is the guy who refused to shoot for 3 quarters once because someone accused him of being a ball hog. We know he can be immature.

He's going to hate the team for not supporting him during this and it'll be reflected in his play. It's all his fault, of course. But we know how he is.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying kiss his butt but at least proceed and wait b4 you purge the arena.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Keep him. Marginalize him. Win with him as a contributor but not the main guy. This means we need to find a main guy"

i dont think he'll ever play for us again, the erasing done by the team and the league (pulling video clips??) seems unprecedented to me.

But if he is our PG next season, imho, the biggest help for him would be a PF or C that finishes around the rim.

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

We still don't know what happened with Arenas,Crit and the guns in the locker room and won't until the grand jury finishes investigating and decides whether to proceed with indictments. A number of Wizards have been interviewed and it may even be possible that false testimony, resulting from players providing cover for Gilbert or Crit, could incur perjury charges, against Gilbert, Crit or even other Wizards. One thing DC peeps know; often it's not the crime but the cover up. Yet another distraction to thank Gilbert for.

Arenas has admitted having the guns but intent is important, specifically was either Arenas or Crit handling the weapons in a threatening manner. The element of threat is the key for laying felony charges. The accounts seems to suggest that of the two Crit was the more threatening, Arenas apparently just laid his guns out for Crit to choose one from. Paradoxically Crit may actually take the steep fall, though initially Arenas claimed he was trying to cover up for Crit.

Gilbert is also claiming he was confused, something we can all attest to, by the recent Supreme Court ruling nullifying the DC ban on guns, which forced the District Council to issue new guidelines regarding gun possession twice in 2008 the last time in December.

Given these variables and the lawyers Gilbert brings to bear he still has a hope of beating the rap, he may not even be charged and if he is it may just be a misdemeanor.

That said

Posted by: midlevex | January 13, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

'I'm not saying kiss his butt but at least proceed and wait b4 you purge the arena.'

arguably the worst organization in professional sports. What will they do if it's a misdemeanor and he plays again this year? He'd take the court to a standing ovation. Will they put the banner back up the day before? Give away his jersey at the door?

the purge is why i feel like stern has told them the deal is as good as voided.

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

$90 million dollar mistake.
Damn Gil...you effed up.

Funny thing is...I said the other day, fist they love you, then they hate you, then they love you again.

Public opinion is already swinging back in Gil's favor...slowly. He went from a thug who needs to be locked away and banned for life to a goofball who did something dumb and illegal but doesn't deserve what it looks like he's going to get. When he gets back on the court and if handles business...instant redemption.

I'm all over this shirt...LOL

http://twitpic.com/xy8x6

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 13, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

ha! great shirt. for sale somewhere?

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

And if there is a trial of some kind, I really hope Arenas' lawyer calls Peter Vescey as a witness. I would love to hear who his "sources" were for the "Shootout at the VC Corral" story were.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

----------------------------------------

Vecsey doesnt have to answer under confidentiality statutes.

Posted by: mendonsa | January 13, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"the purge is why i feel like stern has told them the deal is as good as voided."

Maybe but Wizard ownership is in transition and it is not clear whether the Pollin sons intend to keep a controlling interest or are just feigning interest to drive up the price on Leonis. I think all is in flux, nothing has been decided and a lot depends on the legal outcome and how Arenas handles himself. Stern, with the indefinite suspension has left himself an out in either direction, harsh or lenient, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Throw in the variables that the trade deadline is bearing down, cap space considerations and the big free agency market in 2010 as well as the owner's, Stern's and the Player's Union jockeying and Gilbert's fate is still probably very much up in the air.

Posted by: midlevex | January 13, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

haven't reporters been locked up for contempt for not divulging their sources in a court of law?

Posted by: tgif11 | January 13, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah they start selling it tomorrow. I'll post a link when I get to the house. I'm sitting in traffic now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 13, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Vecsey doesnt have to answer under confidentiality statutes."

"haven't reporters been locked up for contempt for not divulging their sources in a court of law?"

A leads to B. He has every right not to answer, and the judge would have every right to lock him up until he changes his mind.


Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

A stern lecture about responsibility, accountability, finances and fairness from...

...Charles Barkley...

Nice.


Next up, Lindsay Lohan will be speaking to the young ladies on the topic of "healthy lifestyles".

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The legal technicalities are important to be sure. Gilbert definitely has his rights and his attorneys are from a top-flight law firm specializing in hardball litigation. But the bottom-line is:

Stern doesn't want Gilbert in the league (for a long time at least).

The Wizards don't want him on the team.

He will not play in the NBA for a long time. It's now all about the money. My guess is there will be a settlement or buyout at some point. Gilbert won't get his full $90 million, but he'll probably get $20-$30, just a guess.

Posted by: jweber1 | January 13, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

and Shaq will be rail against infidelity.

Posted by: tgif11 | January 13, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"He will not play in the NBA for a long time. It's now all about the money. My guess is there will be a settlement or buyout at some point. Gilbert won't get his full $90 million, but he'll probably get $20-$30, just a guess."

Make that $20 million-$30 million.

Posted by: jweber1 | January 13, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Keep him. Marginalize him. Win with him as a contributor but not the main guy. This means we need to find a main guy.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse


If the Wiz are keeping him, then they are also keeping his babysitter Antwan Jamison.

If the Wiz are keeping both of them, that's $160 mill tied up right there at a time when NBA teams are desperate to slash payroll b/c of the economy.

That means the "main" guy needs to be a grand-slam lottery pick.

...who can also play lock-down defense on the perimeter and at the 4-spot simultaneously...

...and doesn't mind crap in his shoes...

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Stern doesn't want Gilbert in the league (for a long time at least)."

I don't think Stern has any strong feelings in that regard, more a question of pleasing the owners (most importantly the Wizards ownership but that is ambiguous because of the death of Abe Pollin) and not pissing off the Player's Union more than he can afford.

Posted by: midlevex | January 13, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Hunter, if you were really interested in representing the players, you would direct them to the nearest pyschotherapist for the serious help they need.

Posted by: bofo9090 | January 13, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 13, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr Hunter is 100% right on this. What Gil did was dumb but I just don,t see the intent to harm here and see no reason for the Wizard not to stand with him on this. they didn't have to agree on what he did but they should had had his back and the rest of the player on this team and the rest of the NBA know this to, Kobe got blame for rape and didn't miss one game and L A stand by him. sad time by the Wizards. it going to take time to get over this

Posted by: lostdogrwd1011 | January 13, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

thanks sdmdtsu.

p1funk, laughing over here at the babysitter and crap in shoes comments!

the thing is, if the team is forced to keep Gil/AJ...there will still be lots of money to maneuver as so many guys are RFAs or FAs and CB can probably be traded.

Team could have 8 new players next season...

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 13, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

What an incredibly stupid wat of dealing with this!!! I realize Hunter is supposed to be the players' advocate, but come on, wrong is wrong. After the brawl in Detroit, the same thing happened. Stern gave his suspensions, and the union cried that they were too long. The last I looked, the other players in the locker room are in the union as well! Not only might they be a little upset that another player brought guns in the locker room, but that said player put the good of the team in jeopardy by risking a suspension. Who is going to stand up for those players? Gilbert did something wrong, very wrong, and then made light of it! And now in effect you are saying that its really not all that bad, so his suspension shouldn't be so bad. Why is it that these things continue to happen with players from all sports? Could it be that in the past the consequences haven't been strong enough to make the needed impact? Abe Pollin changed the name of the franchise when nobody was asking him to. He took it upon himself to attempt to make an impact, and to simply do the right thing. Now all this nonsense about the punishment being too harsh, although it has barely started. You might have just as well spit in Abe Pollin's face!!!

Posted by: jwat2410 | January 13, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The difficulty in being able to void Arenas' contract is the precedent. There basically isn't one as I can't recall an NBA team ever voiding a player's contract.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 13, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering why so many people essentially say they should simply drop the issue because "the guns were unloaded."

Are you supposed to, if someone takes out a gun or puts guns on a table and says "pick one" assume that the guy's simply joking because he always jokes around, or should you assume that the guns or loaded? Or even that they're not intentionally loaded, but maybe someone forget to remove all the bullets? Shouldn't you assume that the guns are loaded until you know otherwise?

The other question I have, and maybe I'm missing the obvious, is about people saying Mr. Arenas "turned them over willingly to NBA security." If he turned them over to the NBA security (or actually to Wizards security, even in violation of the rules about bringing weapons to the arena), then how did he get them to display and make his "joke". Either he brought them to the arena and played around with them (call it joking or whatever you want), or he brought them to turn them in and he didn't until after there was the incident, or he brought and turned them in and then got them again to make his joke.

What I also fail to see is, while I have a problem understanding how you joke around with one gun, how do you joke around with four of them? Isn't that a little more than a joke? Seems like it's a whole comedy skit more than a simple joke.

dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | January 13, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

lawdie, lawdie...if Gil cops a misdemeanor tomorrow this will all look like a RELATIVELY harmless situation in comparison to brawls with fans, limo drivers being shot dead, rape trials....then what does Stern do? give Gil 10 games with time served?

Such an ez end to the legal trouble is the last the thing Wizard's management wanted to see I am guessing

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr Hunter said, "My obligation is to represent the players. I intend to do that under any circumstance."

Would Mr. Hunter have the same obligation if the guns were unknowingly loaded and Mr. Arenas or someone else took one (the note with them said "Pick one") and pulled the trigger?

Maybe the obligation should be to represent the best interests of the players collectively, not necessarily the players individually. This could have been a very tragic incident if any of the four guns were loaded and discharged either by accident or jokingly.

Posted by: Dungarees | January 13, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

mike8

Do you really think Hunter has time to view the tweets of every NBA player? Do you? Would you if you were him?

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"This could have been a very tragic incident if any of the four guns were loaded and discharged either by accident or jokingly"

By the same token, anyone guilty of DUI could have killed 5 people in a horrific accident. Is that how every DUI should be treated?

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

How is TMZ getting better scoop than our local press? :) Will there be anything around the plea deal TMZ is reporting Arenas is about to take to avoid the felony?

Posted by: cooldavej | January 13, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

lk11

did it take this for you to notice that most americans lack morals and standards? Really? Why doe it take someone famous screwing up before we are outraged? Our own family members and friends do seem to be enough.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

At this point I dont think Arenas wants to come back to the Wizards and I dont think he likes the pressure of playing for that huge contract and all the expectations that comes with it. I think he even wants it voided, so once he is reinstated he can go to a playoff team and be a meaningful role player with a reasonable contract. Do you really think once he is back in the league that the Lakers, Suns, spurs, Cavs, Magic or Mavs wont take this guy for a few million if his knee is completely healed? A year from now we will be watching GA on a playoff team on TV and will be blogging about how lousy we are. Fans call for blowing up the team out of frustration but trust me you will like the even less once they do because they will have a long way to go before you see them good again. DC fans dont have the stomach for this team or a rebuilding team. Think about it, we trade Butler and or AJ for picks or journeymen. How much will you watch the wizards then? You will be longing for a team that can lose in the first round of the playoffs to Lebron.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Well they are in my new hometown tonite(Atl.) and more than likely it will be ugly(and there will be blood) but seriously, as i stated earlier this week the shat in the shoes did it for me with Gil you know how i feel about AB(The Serial Skirt Chaser)but that just really rubbed me the wrong way i'm pretty much old school hell my 17 year old thinks i'm stuck in the seventies but that incident was uncouth and uncalled for and it makes me believe that that dick head has no home training whatsoever and he thinks that his money solves everything,i was raised in a two parent houshold unlike Gil but they're a lot of young people who came up harder than Arenas and still achieved success without being a knucklehead. He needs a big time wake up call not jail time mind you but maybe they void his contract and just cut their ties with him.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 13, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Just wondering why so many people essentially say they should simply drop the issue because "the guns were unloaded.""

I love how people use words like "essentially" and "basically" when framing other people's words in an attempt to sidestep the fact that what people actually said and what they claim was said are two completely different things.

No one has said "they" (whoever "they" are) should just "drop" anything. What has been said (and what is true, as a matter of fact and law) is that intent plays a significant role in determining how a person's actions should be judged and punished. The fact (and, at this point, it does appear to be a fact) that the guns were not loaded and that Arenas never raise or pointed them at anyone indicates, pretty clearly, that he had no intent to harm, which should and most likely will, play a major role in determining whether he's charged and with what.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

It's three weeks tomorrow since the Christmas Eve incident, and my prediction is in another week or two we'll have enough solid factual information to begin to understand what actually happened.

Be months before we have a firm grasp on the consequences, however.

Meanwhile millions (billions?) of words will have been spewed out of thousands of mouths and keyboards, all based largely on speculation, opinion, and outright prejudice.

That's free speech for ya.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 13, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"Guns are NOT illegal in DC anymore."

Unregistered guns are illegal, and on top of that he brought them over state lines.

Barno, stop playing with yourself. :P

Once again, I hope Gil does not go to jail and do not think he deserves that. However, I don't want to see him back in a Wiz uniform. Dude is a cancer and a nut job.

If he's back, I will stop watching the Wiz until he's gone and I have been a fan my entire life.

I love bball, but I just can't do this with this organization anymore. This is like the straw that broke the camels back for me.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 13, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Billy Hunter, like Gilbert Arenas, is a mental midget.

Posted by: dashriprock | January 13, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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