Gilbert Arenas might like to pretend that it never happened, but back in December 2009, he played a big part in a crazy incident involving his teammate Javaris Crittenton. The two Wizards players were accused of pulling guns on one another in the team’s locker room after a dispute over a gambling debt. However, the intimate details about what exactly happened that day have never actually been released. Until now.
Caron Butler released his new book, Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA, today, and the Washington Post just published an excerpt from it. In it, Butler details how Arenas and Crittenton ended up in the Wizards’ locker room with firearms. According to Butler—who played for the Wizards from 2005 through 2010—the beef between the two players started after Arenas refused to pay Crittenton $1,100 during a card game on a team flight. They argued on the plane and nearly came to blows before they had this interaction:
“I’ll see your [expletive] at practice and you know what I do,” Gilbert said.
“What the [expletive] you mean, you know what I do?” replied Javaris.
“I play with guns.”
“Well I play with guns, too.”
Butler writes that the team had off the following day, but that it didn’t do much to reduce the tension between Arenas and Crittenton. And as a result, the two were involved in a standoff before the team’s next practice. Here’s how Butler describes the scene:
Gilbert was standing in front of his two locker stalls, the ones previously used by Michael Jordan, with four guns on display. Javaris was standing in front of his own stall, his back to Gilbert.
“Hey, MF, come pick one,” Gilbert told Javaris while pointing to the weapons. “I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.”
“Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,” said Javaris, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. “I’ve got one right here.”
He pulled out his own gun, already loaded, cocked it, and pointed it at Gilbert.
Other players who had been casually arriving, laughing and joking with each other, came to a sudden halt, their eyes bugging out. It took them only a few seconds to realize this was for real, a shootaround of a whole different nature. They all looked at each other and then they ran, the last man out locking the door behind him.
I didn’t panic because I’d been through far worse, heard gunshots more times than I could count, and seen it all before. This would have been just another day on the south side.
I talked calmly to Javaris, reminding him that his entire career, not to mention, perhaps, his life, would be over if he flicked that trigger finger.
I looked back at Gilbert. He was silent as he removed himself from the scene.
Javaris slowly lowered the gun.
I know that Gilbert was thinking, “I went too far. I had a gun pointed at me and it was loaded.”
Somebody outside the locker room called 911. Flip Saunders was the coach back then, but he was too scared to even come into the locker room
HOLY. SHIT. The “pick one” part of the story is pretty well known. But the bit about Crittenton cocking a loaded gun and pointing it at Arenas? Wow. That’s an insane new wrinkle.
You can read the entire excerpt here.
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[via Washington Post]