According to ESPN, NBA commissioner David Stern has indefinitely suspended the Washington Wizards guard without pay after the baller reportedly brought a gun to the team’s locker room. He is expected to lose $147,208 a game.
Stern issued a statement today on the NBA’s official site nba.com saying, “The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us. I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation involving the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department, and the consideration of this matter by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia. For the same reason, I directed the Wizards to refrain from taking any action. Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game.”
Arenas, a three-time all-star who was making a comeback after missing the 2007-2008 season due to knee injury, released his own statement on the matter.
“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 D.C. 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 D.C. 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.” ––Keith Murphy