Former Wizards react to Arenas sentencing
Don't try to tell DeShawn Stevenson that Gilbert Arenas's celebrity helped him received preferential treatment from Judge Robert E. Morin in D.C. Superior Court on Friday. Although Arenas avoided jail time, Stevenson said that Arenas's punishment - 30 days in a halfway house, two years of supervised probation, 400 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine - was sufficient considering all that has happened to him this season.
"Some people will think he got off easy, but I don't,'' Stevenson told the Dallas Morning News on Friday. "He's been gone a whole year. They took his whole check which is $15 or $16 million. And then to get 30 days in a halfway house and be away from his children and stuff like that. I think he did his time."
Stevenson always said that he considered Arenas to be like a brother to him, and they shared nearby locker room stalls at Verizon Center. He was happy to see his former teammate allowed to move forward. "Obviously, he did something wrong and he's paying the price being suspended all year,'' Stevenson said. "And for him to get 30 days in a halfway house is awesome. I hope he can take this experience and understand that as a professional you have a target on your back and I'm just happy because they were trying to take everything away from him that he worked so hard for."
The Arenas gun fiasco forced the Wizards to hit the reset button on the franchise and deal away the core of a former playoff team. Stevenson, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison were moved to championship contenders in Dallas and Cleveland, respectively. But they have all kept close tabs on Arenas. Jamison told reporters in San Antonio that he was hoping that Arenas could avoid jail.
"Any time you think of jail, you think of really bad people and that's not Gilbert," Jamison said. "He's a good friend of mine and I've been struggling thinking about it. He already had the season taken away from him. Hopefully he'll be able to come out of it and be well."
Haywood told the Dallas Morning News, "Gil's the luckiest guy in the world. He must have a whole back yard of four-leaf clovers. He gets 30 days in the halfway house instead of 90 days in the big house. I'm happy for him.''
Although he has made a considerable leap in the standings, Jamison still expressed regret that the Wizards were unable to have success together.
"We had such high expectations this season. Gilbert was back, the young guys had a chance to play last year and we had a coach with a great resume in Flip" Saunders, Jamison said. "Everything went well in the preseason and we thought we were going to have a good year. Add that to the way the season turned out and you wish things wouldn't have gone that far off course. There's regrets, we all had a vision and wanted the fans to have something to be happy about. To have it turn out this way it has been disappointing. I'm happy with where I'm at but we all wish there'd been a better outcome in D.C."
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