So...NBA All Star Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards and his teammate Javaris Crittenton drew down on each other in the locker room. Yup, with guns.... Over a gambling debt. According to one story, apparently, Gilbert needed $60,000 to pay somebody from whom he'd lost a game of cards... Javaris fronted him the money... and when he asked about his repayment in the locker room, things got heated to the point where each man went to thier locker and pulled pistols.....
Pistols? in an NBA locker room? how many laws does that break? and why oh why are highly paid basketball players coming to work strapped? they were playing cards on the team plane, but playing for real... gambling and all (err, what happened to playing for quarters???) Debts pile up... somebody doesn't pay or doesn't want to pay and pistols are brandished in a false display of bravado, machismo, thuggism, and a very real display of foolishness.
So what is the deal with this exchange? I mean today's NBA player is fabulously famous, fabulously wealthy and they play a fabulous game for a living. They travel the country, gain VIP status wherever they go... It's a far cry from the ghetto.... So what's up with the guns?? It seems to me that these young guys have it made.... They were pampered in High School, given a free ride through America's finest universities, and now are paid millions as they take center stage in one of America's favorite pastimes, professional basketball.
Even if the young men grew up on mean streets where being strapped could be a necessity, a priviliged educational experience and multi millionaire status would smooth the rough edges and every conflict is resolved through reasoning and attorney negotiation, not street justice. The young men are trying to reinforce thier perception of a strong man through the display of firearms, but that's not strength plus the city is full of stories of men in jail or in the ground behind the brandishment of a weapon.
Gilbert Arenas says he had the guns at the arena to hide from his children. Bullcrap. Even responsible gun owners know how to store weapons around thier homes. And even if the safety of his children were the real issue, then why did Jarvis Crittendon have a weapon in his locker? Why are y'all carrying heat? If you're so rich, why not hire someone to carry for you??? And why do you need to carry? So the burden of being a rich athlete is a life threatening proposition? So then the hoop dreams are more like hoop nightmares....
And in these days of terrorism, I am sure the people who run these facilities where professional basketball is played are reviewing and practicing extreme security measures, looking for signs of terror among the fans coming in and around the stadium... These days all facilities are alert to make sure terror does not strike. But I wonder if they ever ever ever thought that they would have to watch the players? Now Homeland Security has a whole new meaning.
And what message are you sending to young people across the globe??? It's ok to pack heat? It's ok to threaten the life of your teammate? And what of the old adage that if you're going to pull it, you better be prepared to use it?
And now as the investigation into the episode unfolds, we find that Gilbert Arenas has been suspended indefinitely. But what about the other guy?? He is just as culpable. Further I'd want both contracts voided. Both men should be forced to make anti gun violence PSA's and appearances around the country. Both men should meet and talk to those who have lost loved ones to the violence of guns...
The damage done to the leauge could be irreparable. They have worked through so much and now, this. The damage done to the black male image is irreparable. They already think of us as violent men who can't control ourselves. These guys should be made into an example. They should bear the brunt of harsh punishment. Their star should be extinguished as a consequence of their actions. Second chance? no. Jail? perhaps. redemptive work in the community? definitely.
For Love of the Game - Pistols and Basketball....... dag.