Jan
8

Bad Decisions Abound in Arenas Incident

Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, Gilbert made a stupid and arrogant mistake in pre-game warmups.  It was irresponsible and immature of him to turn a criminal investigation into a joke with his teammates. There’s no denying that. But Arenas isn’t the only one who has handled this situation poorly, the Washington Wizards organization and David Stern have made decisions too quickly and offer no attempt at finding the truth of what happened on December 21st.

The Commish: Does Stern know best?

As the Commissioner of the NBA, David Stern clearly has the authority to discipline players.  Stern reacted to Arenas’ attitude and comments regarding the investigation by suspending him indefinitely, just a few hours before the tipoff against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Mind you this is  probably before the criminal investigation is even halfway through and before Gilbert has even formally been charged with a crime.  It has been noted that the NBA has an image problem: thuggery, but those who have watched Agent Zero during his career in D.C., know that he is not a thug.  David Steele lays it out clearly here and Adrian Wojnarowski does the opposite here.

Often times league commissioners get high marks from the public when “swift justice” is served on the players that sacrifice their body for the games they play.  Fans see the privileged, multi-million dollar athlete in legal trouble and before the whole story is out, scream for judgment.  But in this specific instance, the whole story isn’t out yet.  Let the legal system do what it’s set up to do! Why should Stern think he knows better than the American justice system? While the legal system in America isn’t perfect, it’s made to find the truth and to administer true justice. You can’t tell me that the NBA League office is equipped to find truth better than the U.S. legal system.  Stern acted too quickly here, and like I said, his comments on Gilbert being “unfit” to be on an NBA Court are absurd.

The Club: Betrayal for the sake of rectifying a heavy contract?

Unfortunately, the NBA Commissioner isn’t the only one who reacted poorly in the Arenas situation.  The Washington Wizards who are, supposedly looking into ‘voiding’ Arenas’ contract have quickly condemned him and his teammates for the 76ers pregame.  They’ve stripped Verizon Center of his likeness and are doing whatever they can to push him away right now.  I understand keeping some distance but completely disowning him before the facts are out?  Bogus betrayal.

Really, which is worse?

What should have been done was to wait until the facts were out on the issue and hold the person responsible for the wrongdoing accountable (which more and more seems to be Javaris Crittenton according to some reports).  Instead Stern decided to make an example of the wrong man and the Washington Wizards are using this as an opportunity to try and unload a contract as if it were a strictly financial decision.  As wrong as it was for Arenas to have guns in the locker room, I find the actions of Stern and the Wizards reprehensible.

Related Links

***MUST READ***Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports offers a reality check on people trying to kill Gil’s career.

Mitch Lawrence of the NY Daily News is one of those people who needs a reality check.

Mike Wise from the Washington Post gives reports on Crittenton’s possible actions in the incident.

For all the latest Wiz and Arenas news: Wizard Insider by Michael Lee at the Post.

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