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Mike James defends Arenas

Over the past few days, most members of the Washington Wizards have ducked and dodged questions surrounding the locker room incident involving Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton in which guns were displayed. But on Monday, Mike James defended how Arenas has been handling the latest controversy in his life.

Anyone who follows @gilbertarenas on Twitter knows that Arenas has been a tweet fiend ever since reports of his dispute with Crittenton became public. His tweets have ranged from bizarre to outrageous, but they support Arenas's claim that he is a "goofball."

James has responded to Arenas's tweets with some of his own on @mikejames7, in which he urged Arenas to keep faith in God through his struggles. After practice, I asked James what he hoped to accomplish with his message, and he spent the next five minutes saying, essentially, to back off of Arenas while he deals with this ordeal. He specifically went after those who have been critical of the lighthearted way that Arenas has handled some complicated and serious problems in his life.

"That's his own situation, however he feels he needs to cope with it, that's how he needs to cope with it," James said. "We're not the ones to judge, but at the end of the day, we all have issues that we have to face. But it's easy to talk about somebody elses issuses. That's why I wrote what I wrote, because I'm in his corner. Whatever happens, that's my teammates, that's my brother here.

"Everyone is going to judge, everyone is quick to point the finger, but ... God is the only judge, in any situation. Whenever something happens in life, our focus always has to be on Him," James said. "So many times, people call him stupid, ignorant. 'Why should an athlete carry guns?' And other issues, but what people don't understand is, we are victims as athletes. Everybody, they can go to USA Today, they can type in our name and here it is, every other article that's been written, our contract is being talked about in it. There's a lot of people that's hungry right now and they look at athlete's like, 'Hey. We can get everything off them, because they have insurance on everything.' So here we are, we can't even go to the grocery store without somebody coming up to us. We can't hang out, can't do nothing.

"People say, 'Yeah, you're an athlete, you should be happy for what you have, because our face is always in the light.' Now we can't even live. It's almost like we live in a glass house," he said. "So anything we do, it gets blown up that's much harder. But at the end of the day, we all make mistakes. It's not the mistake, it's what you do after it."

Another reporter asked James if Arenas and Crittenton got along. "We a team. We're going to stick together through good times. We're going to stick together in bad times," he said. "If you have an issue with one of your co-workers, the next two days you go to work, I'm pretty sure you're going to do what you have to do and that co-worker is going to do what they have to do. It's still a job that has to be done.

"At the end of the day, we all friends. That's our family. Its like anyone, brothers, they always have arguments, but at the end of the day, they're talking again," he said. "It's the media that blows everything out of proportion. It's the media that makes everything bigger than what it is."

James also said that he wasn't a witness to the confrontation on Dec. 21, but he said people should let the legal process play out before condemning Arenas. "He know it's serious. But at the end of the day, this is how people cope with things," he said. "How would you cope with it if it was you? What you want to sit in a corner crying, curled up in the fetal position. Maybe he doesn't want to do. Maybe that's how he deals with the situation. Everybody deals with situations differently and how he deals with it, that doesn't mean he's making a joke of it. That's how he deals with it. They want to make him look worse than what is going on. He knows what he's facing. Don't judge him on what he's doing."

By Michael Lee  |  January 5, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm glad one of his teammates has stepped out and defended him.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | January 5, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Agreed...hey media guys...if you guys followed the 9/11 fraud or other government issues with the same vigor you follow gossip like Arenas and Tiger the world would be a better place. I know this is the sports page, but back to business.

Posted by: Gooddad | January 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

so many of these athletes have that "only god can judge me" attitude..this lack of maturity and professionalism is why so many people consider half of these guys a joke..not to mention how athletes are "victims"...because i'm sure mike james gets recognized everywhere he goes..

Posted by: jdwood84 | January 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I too am glad that "someone" is speaking up for him. I am angry that he put himself in this position to begin with and hope that somehow things work out okay for him and his children. If he somehow gets out of this situation, I hope and pray that he will now grow up and put away all of those foolish and silly pranks. He is almost 27 now and has 3 kids of his own and needs to realize that his actions reflect on his children and father. I truly don't believe Gilbert is a bad person. He is a kid at heart who really needs to grow up.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"this lack of maturity and professionalism is why so many people consider half of these guys a joke"

considering what Mike James does for a living and how much he gets paid to do it, you have to wonder who the joke is on.

Posted by: divi3 | January 5, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

How many times are people in the media and prominant individuals going to use the phrase "At the end of the day"! Mike James uses this phrase and cetainly KILLS it to death. This phrase has to be the most used up phrase within the last year. How about some individuality here and going forward when being interviewed.

Posted by: ltazwell1 | January 5, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

exactly div some of us put way too much faith in the professionalism and maturity of a bunch of men playing kids games.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 5, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"considering what Mike James does for a living and how much he gets paid to do it, you have to wonder who the joke is on"

these guys can make their millions, but they should just be a little more grateful and understanding that they are blessed to be doing what they are doing..i understand james' point that the only reason this story is so big is b/c gil is an nba star..but how exactly does that excuse what gil did? bottom line is that gilbert should've known the severity of the situation right away..and somehow he had no idea, and tried to excuse his behavior by describing himself as goofy

Posted by: jdwood84 | January 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing in James' statements that suggest he thinks Arenas should be "excused" for what he did. his point (pretty clearly, I think) is that people shouldn't rush to judgment (they way they have been) simply because Arenas is a highly-paid athlete.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a statement from Mike James backing his "Brother". That changes everything!
Gilbert, you are officially let off the hook and no longer responsible for your actions, past, current and in the future. Mike explained it so well that you rich Athletes can't do nothing without being bothered. That simply justifies carrying guns or playing games with them in the locker room of a "Professional NBA Basketball team". Thank you Mike James. You said it all so eloquently and with such thougtfulness and intelligence that we now all know that Gilbert is truly a victim and not accountable for what he does. After all, he is just a "goofball" right?

WRONG!

Mike James, you are an ASS of the first order. You, like GA are completely delusional and out of touch with the real world.

Is their any wonder that my 10 year old Son who loves Gilbert Arenas, watches every game, reads every word written about GA, wears his jersey to bed and thinks he is the greatest Baller to ever play the game (at least since he was 4 anyway) is confused about this?
I had "the talk" with my Son. You know the one where the Adult carefully bursts the bubble of a child who is too young to know better but smart enough to get it. I had to tell my Son that GA and the most famous of Ballers and Entertainers are only People. I explained to him what truly makes a role model and to my Son's infinite credit, he get's it though his disappointment will linger awhile.

Moral to this story: 10 year old Boys can have more sense than 28 year old "Superstars"

Posted by: jshavatt | January 5, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a big fan of Mike James as a player, but he's a good human being and a stand-up guy.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | January 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with kalo-rama. James is not excusing the actions of Arena but rather pointing out that people should not rush to judgement.

Hard to do on this case, and the following sentence from above:

" ... knows that Arenas has been a tweet fiend ... "

should be changed to:

" ... knows that Arenas has been a TWIT fiend ... "

Posted by: hock1 | January 5, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

i understand that athletes can be zoned in on simply b/c of their popularity...but it comes with the territory...you get paid millions, while the media and your fans hound you and follow your every move...don't whine and complain about the negative attention, while you soak in the positive..i think the facts are out on what exactly happened..and while he was just trying to be funny and joke with crittenton, it was obviously really stupid and in the wrong

Posted by: jdwood84 | January 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. Billionaires such a Bill Gates Warren Buffet, Paul Allen end even Tiger Woods dont carry a gun. Ever here of bodyguards? Only cowardly stupid Jocks carry guns.

Wizards/NBA should void his contract. That would teach said other stupid jocks a valuable lesson.

Posted by: rockbroker | January 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Im sick of people criticizing the man talking about kids idolize athletes it may be true but as parents you have the authority and they should know right from wrong its not like their idiots which is basically what most of you are implying...get of gils sack and let him cope with it its not like they were loaded and most of you dont take this story in this article as a possibility

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR2010010403077.html

Posted by: skinzwiz1721 | January 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even know that Mike James still played for the Wizards.

Now that's news....

Posted by: ENJOYA | January 5, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Don't JUDGE him for brandishing a gun? I'm just shakin' my head at the stupidity of that statement. These guys clearly live in a world of their own.

Posted by: shanks1 | January 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone is going to judge, everyone is quick to point the finger, but ... God is the only judge, in any situation."

Amen brother!

But remember, God also WILL test you and this is no exception for Gilbert Arenas.

It was not a good decision on his part, and as far as living in a glass house you guys are in the lime light all of the time. You've got to have some kind of a shred of common sense and to me that's what this is about.

The basketball part, well, that's entirely different. I don't feel bad for "booing" someone who makes a ton of cash but can't live up to expectations. A lot of people put both of them together and no it's not fair. But that's the nature of the profession that you chose.

For example, I think Jim Zorn is a very kind and friendly person but he had no business being a head coach in the NFL.

Does that make him a bad guy? Of course not and I know people can't distinguish between the two.

Gilbert Arenas should know better. Guns are no joke, and again look at Jayson Williams. Someone is dead because he was not mature enough to handle something like that.

And I am a person that feels professional athletes SHOULD carry protection, you guys carry a big fat bullseye on your backs where ever you go.

His "joke" is no laughing matter. It could have cost him or Crits thier lives. At some point Gilbert is going to have to take responsibility for his decisions.

I hope he does not go to jail, but I also hope he gets traded to another team. It's not a good time to be a Wizards fan right now and a lot of that has to do with Gilbert Arenas.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

who the heck is Mike James?! ;)

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Only cowardly stupid Jocks carry guns.

Posted by: rockbroker | January 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

and our elected officials (congressman/senators)
http://www.normantranscript.com/localnews/local_story_226234439

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 5, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't know who Mike James was if he walked in and sat next to me - but I do think this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. Gilbert did a stupid thing but those calling for a season-long suspension really need to just calm down. This is nowhere near as bad as the four goons in Indiana running into the stands to mix it up with fans -for no reason.

Posted by: AsstGM | January 5, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"So here we are, we can't even go to the grocery store without somebody coming up to us. We can't hang out, can't do nothing."

Um, I'm pretty sure Mike James can go to pretty much any grocery store in the country and not have anybody bother him.

Posted by: clocker58 | January 5, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Mike James is defending Arenas specifially with respect to his lighthearted tweets after the story broke.

I don't think he's downplaying the seriousness of the incident or excusing anything.....

Posted by: CF11555 | January 5, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I think we parents have a responsiblity to be a roll model to our kids.If my life is a failure and have not much to be a roll model to my own kid atleast i do not late them waste their valuable time in the fantasy world.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I see "Void his contract" everyday on these blogs. Did Carmelos contract get voided after he knocked that Knick player out? Arenas bringing UNLOADED guns to the arena is nowhere near as serious as Carmelo punching a guy or the brawl in Detroit. Get off Gils case!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | January 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh that Gilbert Arenas, what a terrible human being: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/29/AR2007102901892.html

Man that Agent Zero, what a selfish criminal: www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/sep/07/20050907-095333-1122r/

That damn Arenas kid, he's always up to no good: www.gilbertology.net/2007/03/20/gilbert-arenas-in-freddie-macs-hoops-for-the-homeless/

Boy we sure do need less guys like Gilbert Arenas in this world: www.zerotwoherofoundation.org/

This Hibachi character sure does ruin a lot of people's lives: www.yourcause.com/gilbertarenas

The world would be a better place if Gilbert Arenas were simply behind bars:
www.blackgivesback.com/2007/10/gilbert-arenas-scores-for-schools.html

Posted by: Barno1 | January 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It's very interesting how Gilby's position takes a clear 180 turn after his lawyer puts out a statement from Gilby.

First it was "I'm Goofy...." and then after the lawyer scrub, it's "I'm sorry."

Note also that Gilby said (aka lied) that he brought the guns on Dec. 9th to VC because of his baby, but then pulled those weapons out on Dec. 24th.

If he indeed wanted to turn them into security, was Security not available for almost 2 weeks?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 5, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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