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Wizards ban gambling on team charter flights

A league source informed me on Friday that the Washington Wizards banned cards and gambling from all team charter flights after a Dec. 21 incident in which Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton got into a dispute over a gambling debt in which guns were involved.

As reported in The Washington Post this week, Wizards players were involved in the card game Bourré when Arenas needled Crittenton for losing at least $1,100. Arenas and Crittenton exchanged harsh words afterward, with Arenas threatening to blow up Crittenton's car and Crittenton threatening to shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired left knee.

Arenas is currently being investigated by the NBA and federal and local authorities for bringing four guns to the Verizon Center. He claims that he displayed as "a misguided attempt to play a joke on a teammate." NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Arenas indefinitely on Wednesday after the three-time all-star trivialized the seriousness of his plight by clowning and playfully "shooting" his teammates in pre-game warm-ups before a game in Philadelphia.

Coach Flip Saunders and President Ernie Grunfeld decided to implement the gambling ban, according to the source. The New York Times reported on Friday that the New Jersey Nets are no longer permitting gambling on the team plane and that the NBA is considering new gambling restrictions for players.

By Michael Lee  |  January 8, 2010; 12:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

Great move! After all, guns don't kill people, card games do.

I think what the Wizards need to get rid of is Gilbert Arenas, not recreation.

Posted by: fmjk | January 8, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I thought that state law banned gambling. I wonder what else they do on those flights since the only law that seems to apply there is the team's.

Posted by: Ken-ArlingtonVA | January 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Pollin family is loyal as long as they are making money on you?"

That's not fair at all. Gilbert was given the reigns of the team and he let them down big time, AND the NBA. He takes no responsibility for what he does(guns), lies about it, and then slaps the commissioner in the face. That first word on that banner said "Character."

Com'on people stop it.

I will say that I hope the first person out the door when Ted Leonsis takes over is Ernie Grunfeld. He knew what they had in Gil and still gave him that money. He's just as responsible as anyone.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 8, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

A good owner who knew anything about basketball would have told Ernie not to resign Gil in the first place. But Abe knew fans would fill up the Verizon Center once Gil came back and if you remember Gil Arenas has had previous weapons charges as he was suspended in the 2004-05 opener for the season when he plead no contest to a misdemeanor weapons and vehicles charge when he had a concealed weapon while driving without a license back in 2003.

Do you think the Wizard organization is going to give back money to the people who bought season tickets?

NO!

They conned everyone over the last 3 years in regards to Gil's injury and now that people have spent their money guess what too bad.

If you’ve ever read any of my post I think Gil is a poor man’s AI and I’ve always stated he is too short to play SG and doesn’t have the skills to play PG. So I put all of the blame on Gil’s shoulders for his mess.

I agree Ernie needs to go, but if the new owner is a smart businessman he needs to understand the organization is a joke and everyone needs to be replaced.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Gambling is not "recreation." Any employer has the right to ban gambling in a place of business, especially if it has caused serious issues in the workplace as it has in this case.

Javaris Crittenton should be in every bit as much trouble as Gilbert - his actions were just as unacceptable. I would have reacted very badly if someone threatened to shoot my surgically-repaired knee.

Posted by: jjhare | January 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

That first word on that banner said "Character"

And all of the players were acting like clowns when Gil did his thing at the Sixers game which shows you none of the players have any “Character”?

The second word is Commitment

Show me a player who is committed to playing “D” and I will show you a coach (Flip) who isn’t committed to playing him.

The last word was Courage but they change it to Connection but if you remember during the holidays they changed it to a holiday season ticket package with a bow on it. So, please don’t try to stick up for an organization that has been conning their fan base for years.

Can you say Susan O’Malley?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

And from now on they will also take scheduled potty breaks with the teacher's (coach) aid holding hands crossing the street together. When they get in trouble, they will have time-out and sit on the bench. Thats what its come to with these guys, because thats what they need.

Posted by: nowhine | January 8, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they ought to just ban flights and take the bus.

Posted by: richs91 | January 8, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead and lock that barn door. Pay no heed to the fact that the horse is long gone.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It took them this long to do this? why is crittenton still not suspended? Why hasn't the NBA instituted league wide spot checks for guns in the locker room?

Based on what we have learned (and the reactions of the other players to this incident) it seems quite clear that having guns in the locker room is a regular league wide occurrence. If they (either the league or the team) was actually serious about enforcing the rule then shouldnt they at least try and see how endemic it is?

every day i become more and more convinced that EG, Stern and the Wizards are guilty of suspect judgment and super sketchy business practices. Arenas should have been suspended 10 games for bringing the guns and 5 games for the bullying. Crittenton should be on indefinite suspension under threat of league wide banishment and every NBA player should be subject to spot checks regarding what they bring into/keep in the locker room.

the failure to take these actions and the complete and total scapegoating of Arenas for this incident reveals their true motives. they dont care about the actual issue raised. all the wizards care about is getting out from under a big contract and all the NBA cares about is preserving the appearance of doing something (without actually having to do anything).

Posted by: PindarPushkin | January 8, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

EG, the League, and the Pollins have sold Gilbert out. Realistically, he isn't going anywhere, so the smart thing to do would be to continue to hold his hand, no matter how much the Pollins regret offering him $126 for 6 seasons. If they wanna blow the team up they can go right ahead, starting with themselves. The whole crowd is a bunch of d-bags.

Posted by: prescrunk | January 8, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

*126,000,000

Posted by: prescrunk | January 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Weill said, PindarPushkin.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards can gamble on the team plane with MY money if we could ban Nick and Antawn from shooting three pointers with 19 seconds left on the shot clock.

Posted by: bryc3 | January 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

We can always count on Ernie Grunfeld for forward-thinking, non-reactionary leadership in times of crisis.

(rolls eyes).

Keep Gil. Fire Ernie. Save us, Ted!

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Major "over" reaction to Gil's shenannigans.

Stern suspending him for his post incident pregame gun pose --- understandable. Is this a lifetime ban type incident? No way! Having guns in the locker room --- Lifetime ban?? No way!

Gilbert didn't go into the stands to take a few swings at fans. He didn't menacingly brandish or fire a gun in public. NBA players who have done that were suspended. Gil's suspension should be no worse than those.
Lifetime?? No Way.

When this goes to arbitration Gil will win.

Posted by: VBFan | January 8, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Keep Gil. Fire Ernie. Save us, Ted!

Posted by: prescrunk | January 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Seconded, PindarPushkin

I rarely use the main entrance for home games since it's pretty far from my seats, but at the Bucks game earlier this year I happened to enter that way. Everyone entering was searched by guys with portable metal detectors. Is that typical? Or were the 6,000 or so people who actually turned up to watch that game particularly dangerous?

Posted by: bryc3 | January 8, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The NBA and its stars are above the law. As Stern knows, big money talks, the law walks.

Posted by: llrllr | January 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

VBFan raises some very good points. What Gil did was incredibly stupid and immature, but he didn't actually hurt anybody. Other players have done far worse, and gotten off with little or no punishment. (Kobe Bryant, who punched out a teammate and had to pay off a woman to get out of a rape charge, is the poster child for NBA hypocrisy.)

Posted by: pjkiger1 | January 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Keep Gil. Fire Ernie. Save us, Ted!"

I'd wear that t-shirt...LOL.

Posted by: t-train | January 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

LA didn't over-react with the Kobe situation and get rid of him. And there was some pretty bad publicity bandied about then. We also have Baltimore and the Ray Lewis episode. They didn't throw him under the bus, and that was way worse (aiding and abetting a murder suspect) than what Gilbert has done. So let's just throw Gilbert under the bus, drop his contract, be lousy for another 18 years, while we watch him flourish with another team that picked him up for nothing ... all the while, we are left to ponder ... why did we have such a knee jerk reaction!!!

Posted by: original2cents | January 8, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, guns on a chair and threats to blow up a car... what a funny guy Gilbert is-

I am simply amazed at all the Gilbert apologists on this board, flat out stuns me.

The fact still remains, the people who were screwed in all this are season ticket holders like myself, who will find for a third consecutive season that their tickets are worthless and undesirable by Valentines Day.

Posted by: S2DU | January 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

You know ... my season tickets have pictures of Gilbert on them. Do you think I can make the Wizards organization re-issue them. They had no problem removing the poster. Just wondering.

Posted by: original2cents | January 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

yeah but at least everyone will no that we are a squeaky clean team!

Posted by: millineumman | January 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

While Gils actions were stupid and he deserves a few months suspension (also unfortunate that the team loses this income to the NBA despite Gil not being paid), Javaris action are far worse and he should be banned from the NBA for three years or more. Locking and chambering a round? Is he crazy. This is the most criminal act that should be accounted for.

Posted by: liveride | January 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

As long as we're paying grown men millions of dollars to watch them play a boy's game, we're going to be fueling a profoundly dysfunctional subculture.

You're supposed to PLAY sports, not sit on your barcolounger and watch them.

Posted by: web_user | January 8, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

EG, the League, and the Pollins have sold Gilbert out. If they wanna blow the team up they can go right ahead, starting with themselves. The whole crowd is a bunch of d-bags.

Posted by: prescrunk | January 8, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree,
Gil should be punished for his bad judgement and he should even be told that he is on a strict probation in which another similar incident could result in voided contract and lenthy suspension. With that said there way too many phony people out here. Getting on soap box so people know where you stand on something is BS. There are a lot of folks (fans included) whom are hiding behind words and are glad to see some one fall from grace.

Not an apologist, just don't believe in piling on. Truthfully a lot of people don't like outspoken and rich. We want are athletes to be quite and humble.

Posted by: millineumman | January 8, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The fact still remains, the people who were screwed in all this are season ticket holders like myself, who will find for a third consecutive season that their tickets are worthless and undesirable by Valentines Day.

My season tickets have been worthless by Valentines Day for 16 out of the last 22 years. So this cr@p really p!sses me off.

I can't wait for new ownership. I am so tired of this Choir Boy team that never wins anything that the current regime tries to hard to keep on the floor. If the piece doesn't fit, get rid of it.

Then we can all watch them flourish somewhere else. We can keep feeling good about ourselves and our Choirboys, while continuously enduring 30 wins or less seasons.

Way to go ... Washington Wizards!!!

Signed .... a disgusted 22 year season ticket holder who is somewhat miffed with Gilbert, but that's all ... why should he be made such an example of.

Posted by: original2cents | January 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

All the facts about this case have not been publicized yet, but I do know one thing, if the Wizards weren’t 11-22and still in the playoff hunt, the Wizards wouldn’t have asked Stern to suspend Gil.

This gets them off the hook. Now they can say if Gil didn’t get suspended they would have made the playoffs.

I have been posting the facts about this organization for years and most of you told me I was wrong.

Larry, at least you are man enough to admit I was right.

I couldn’t think of a better way to end the Pollin administration.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Idiotic, misguided, and unenforcible. And so obvious and overreaction that even Steve Czaban predicted it. In the absence of effective action, the organization has offered us the appearance of it.

Posted by: DCUnited2 | January 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards took down the banner of a player who's not on the team.

The league suspended Gilbert (obviously any commercial enterprise would distance themselves from the idiots in the 'zards uniforms in Philly).

Why blame the Wizards - except for signing the nutcase in the first place.

Any company would ban the gambling if it resulted in this kind of damage.

I mean, what kind of an idiot would support this present team?

Posted by: bflorhodes | January 8, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Nowhine noted:

And from now on they will also take scheduled potty breaks with the teacher's (coach) aid holding hands crossing the street together. When they get in trouble, they will have time-out and sit on the bench. Thats what its come to with these guys, because thats what they need.

============================

Exactly. Really talented atheletes get treated differently from you and I until it's too late to change them. A good athletic trainer reminds a star that his talent won't last forever, and the law of the land, especially not in his home town, won't always turn a blind eye to misconduct.

I can't imagine Cal Ripken Sr. letting Billy and Cal Jr. run around wild.

Posted by: GABinOdenton | January 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"Why hasn't the NBA instituted league wide spot checks for guns in the locker room?"

==========================================
I'm guessing that alot of games would get cancelled if they checked for that....Cause we know that these two idiots can't be the only ones in the league with guns in the locker room or in the "slade, Lambo, Benxz, or Bently in the players parking spaces....

I'm betting more than half of them have guns hidden someplace where they are NOT supposed to be.....according to their labor contract, which specifically calls out no guns in the playing arena, practice facilities, and other places.

Posted by: nowhine | January 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It's fun treating adults like children, isn't it? Athletes are in their 20's & 30's, yet they need curfews, get told to not play cards, and for this they are paid literally millions more than the average fan who spends more than $50 to see them. Sweeeeeeeeeet.

Posted by: bascomb | January 8, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

In case you weren't paying attention, this organization pulled Gilbert's image from the outside of the building. You don't need a PhD to figure out that they'll ultimately be voiding his deal and he'll never play another game as a Wizard...

Posted by: randysbailin | January 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

new T-Shirt available: Goodbye Grunfeld

Posted by: horace1 | January 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Uh, gambling is illegal in most of the U.S. is it asking too much for the NBA to ban all illegal activity, not just on flights?

Posted by: justanotherguy | January 8, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

NBA contracts already forbid guns in team locker rooms yet some players seem willing to risk their careers for the sake of their guns. Banning gambling onboard charter flights seems like a trivial reaction to a much more serious problem.

Posted by: Cassopolis | January 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, not that competent. Banning something illegal.

Gotta give it up for the Wizards here....

Posted by: CF11555 | January 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I am going to "apologize" for Gilbert. I think there's a lot that plays into this. He's coming off of successive micro-fracture surgeries, which few players have successfully recovered from and retained their athletic peak (Stoudamire might be as good now as before). Shaq's banging his fiancee, which probably has to do something to his head. I think that when Arenas is playing basketball, he has a focus and energy, which keeps him out of trouble. I just hope he can recover and play basketball back at the level he used to be at.

And yeah, no way, he gets suspended more than 10 games for this. I don't care how he "behaved" afterward at the Sixer's game. Talk of voiding his contract or suspending him the remainder of the season are absurd. Such punishment would be much too severe.

Posted by: vk5u | January 8, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

So what card game were they playing on that flight? Texas Shootout poker.

Posted by: Monty2 | January 8, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Once a thug, always a thug.

Posted by: CaptainJack3 | January 8, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I think they should Ban the Wiz players from attending games. That way they cannot do anything else stupid!

Posted by: ericmc1998 | January 8, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, with all of this new found NBA "sensitivity" I guess it's only a matter of time before they form a lexicon committee to looking in at changing the terminology of the game. Because every time an announcer or sportscaster talks about a player "shooting" or a GM "pulling the trigger" on a deal he's contributing to the culture of violence that is eroding the moral fiber of our great nation.

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

"Areanas makes an attempt on the goal!" I like it kalo_rama :)

Posted by: ericmc1998 | January 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

That should read:

"it's only a matter of time before they form a lexicon committee to begin looking at changing the terminology of the game"

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Will all of you who have written comments or those of you who have purchased tickets to Wizard games, please answer this question. Why do hard working people "donate" their precious money to see a bunch of immature,self-centered morons play their run jump & shoot street basketball? And people actually cheer for these morons. Please give us an explanation.

Posted by: dn2123 | January 8, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MikeLicht | January 8, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....1st time on the 'zards.....
Question:WHATEVER Gil's foolishness...I don't think any of us would accuse him of having a mean bone.....but who is this PUNK CRITTENDON???? No real blow back on him yet....but get him OUTTA here.....
Lets Go Wiz!!!!

Posted by: zendo2 | January 8, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

So the on-flight card game resulted in a threat to shoot out a knee, a threat to blow up a car and high noon in the locker room. Nothing like a nice, friendly game of cards to relax after a road trip...

Posted by: randysbailin | January 8, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Banning Inflight Card Games And Gambling Is A Good Idea!
Shooting At Each Other Over A Card Game, On A Plane, Might Not Turn Out So Good!

Posted by: sdavis4 | January 8, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

This new rule sounds racist!! Most (all but 1 wizard is AA) You can't do this to strong men like DeShawn, and Twan. I hope they sue for reparations.

Posted by: cr10 | January 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully they will take away breathing, too. :)

Posted by: lk11 | January 8, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

In response to the team's laughing at Gilbert's antics before the Sixers game, no player will be allowed to smile without permission from the Wizards front office...

Posted by: randysbailin | January 8, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Still only gets #2 for silliness, winner remains the "no blankets on lap" on international flights. As for the Nets, perhaps they should ban losing.

Posted by: ggreenbaum | January 8, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

So if a Wizard player is playing a game of solitaire on the flight, does a team official come by and confiscate the cards?

Posted by: randysbailin | January 8, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

@prescrunk

Your soft and unrealistic in your thinking.

Posted by: hessone | January 9, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

@VBFan
Ban the moron for life. Stop making excuses for the over paid immature athlete's that think the law doesn't pertain too them. VBFan, I double dog dare you to take a pistol to DC and get caught with it. You might not get the headlines Arenas is getting. But your ass is in prison for 5 yrs minimum.

Posted by: hessone | January 9, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

With the likes of Vick, Buress, Arenas, OJ Simpson, Tiger, Tysons, I'd be embarressed to be a black man. Did I miss any white men that need to be added to this list?

BOYCOTT THE WIZARDS-FIRE GRUNFELD-TED IS OUR SAVIOR!!!!

Posted by: hessone | January 9, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I enjoy doing a little gambling...but in states where it is legal. When you are in a plane..you are governed by whatever laws
the state you are flying over has on the books.
Sure, nobody really cares about nickle dime quarter games..but high stakes games are a different matter.
The NBA has consistently taken an anti-gambling stand, which is correct. Surely, they must have know about what went on during flights. It happens with all sport`s teams.
Maybe the teams could promote reading during flights...some team members seem to be lacking in being able to give an interview using correct english.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | January 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Keep Gil. Fire Ernie. Save us, TED!

100% on the money!

Posted by: Giorgos1 | January 9, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@Giorgos1

Why should we keep Arenas?

Posted by: hessone | January 9, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@hessone

If you can't answer the question yourself then I can't help you....

Posted by: Giorgos1 | January 9, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@Giorgos1

I can answer the question and you can't. My answer is to null and void the thugs contract and send him packing. How's that grab you?

Posted by: hessone | January 9, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Please stop with all the Gil-is-a-thug comments - that's racist as hell. Gilbert is a boy in a bubble. Look at the entire picture before mislabeling someone a thug simply because they are black and carried a gun. Also, ESPN was reporting last night that the only non-Gilbert Wizards to get fined for laughing in Philadelphia are Foye, McGee, Young, and Blatche -- ie, the young guy -- even though in the photo it is superclear that they are ALL laughing. I counted 10 players I could clearly ID who were laughing/smiling. Boykins had his head down and Butler wasn't around, but everyone else, including Jamison, Miller, Oberto, are smiling/laughing. But they only fine the young guys. God forbid they fine Jamison, who is only the biggest image in the photo. The Bullets are handling this worse and worse every day. Their lack of loyalty to Gil is maybe the worst thing I've seen from the team in 30 years of sucking. Gilbert's actions were so minor and maybe do deserve a slap on the wrist, and now he's being treated like the underwear bomber because people are assuming he's a thug simply because he's black. I think the worst part is that this is happening the way it is because of horrible timing. Abe would have been more loyal to Gilbert, despite having changed the name because of Rabin; and Ted Leonis would/will be more loyal as well. But instead we have some headless group of widow/sons who don't know anything, but feel a need to completely overreact out of support for their recently departed. So, they are screwing this team in an effort to "do the right thing for dad's memory." Just chill out, reinstate Gilbert, and maybe we (the real fans) will forgive and forget how horribly the team handled this.

Posted by: Urnesto | January 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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