Washington Wizards franchise point guard Gilbert Arenas is undergoing an investigation by the NBA and his team for possibly violating league rules in regards to weapons possession.
News of the investigation was first reported by CBSSports.com on Thursday afternoon, and later on Christmas Eve, the Wizards and Arenas released statements on the matter.
“The Washington Wizards have learned that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in a locked container in his locker, unloaded and without ammunition,” the Wizards’ statement read. “The Wizards organization and Arenas promptly notified the local authorities and the NBA, are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time.”
I was able to get a hold of Gil by phone, and this is what he had to say: “It happened like December 10th. Right after my daughter was born. I decided I didn’t want the guns in my house and around the kids anymore, so i took them to my lock box at Verizon Center. Then like a week later, I turned them over to team security and told them to hand them over to the police, because I don’t want them anymore. I wouldn’t have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules. After my daughter was born, I was just like, I don’t need these anymore.”
Arenas did not face any criminal charges for the incident. He does have a prior weapons charge and missed the season opener of the 2004-05 season after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge for possessing a concealed weapon and driving without a license in 2003. But his actions weren’t criminal this time around.
The problem was the league rules. The NBA permits players to have guns, but does not allow them to carry weapons on league property. He could have faced fine or suspension from the league, but no ruling had been made as of Thursday evening.
The most recent case of a player violating weapons policy and receiving punishment was in 2006 when Sebastian Tellfair – then a member of the Portland Trail Blazers — was fined an undisclosed amount of money after a loaded handgun that was registered under his girlfriend’s name was found on the team plane at Boston’s Logan Airport.
Cleveland’s Delonte West is facing weapons charges after being arrested in September and indicted on two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, two counts of carrying a handgun, two counts of transporting a handgun, a count of reckless driving and a count of negligent driving. West has not been convicted yet, however.
And speaking of Arenas’ new daughter, Arenas said her name is Hamiley Penny and she weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 20 inches long — if you care. Gil said he gave her the middle name of Penny in honor of Penny Hardaway, his idol growing up. And while receiving Christmas eve off yesterday, Arenas celebrated the 4th birthday of oldest daughter, Ivela.
Arenas also saw the dentist on Thursday after taking a spill and knocking out his left front tooth in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ win over Milwaukee. Arenas had a veneer on that tooth after having his original tooth knocked out during a collision with Delonte West – go figure – four years ago.