- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 28, 2004

Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas will miss the team’s Nov.3 season opener at Memphis to serve a one-game suspension handed down yesterday by the NBA in connection with a gun charge last year.

Arenas pleaded guilty last August to misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon and driving without a license in San Francisco in June 2003.

“While I had a valid registration in Arizona, I did not have a registration for California,” Arenas said in a statement issued by the Wizards. “It was an oversight on my part. I have dealt with the situation, and I’m moving forward.”

Said Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld in a statement: “This is something that happened over a year ago, and we were aware of the issue prior to signing him. Gilbert realizes the situation, has dealt with the issue and is anxious to put it behind him.”

Arenas, who led the Wizards in scoring (19.6) last season, was a free agent at the time of the incident. Arenas pleaded guilty to the charge rather than face a trial by jury. A conviction by jury could have resulted in a six-month jail sentence.

When Arenas’ car was stopped, police reported finding a concealed handgun in a bag behind the front passenger seat of the SUV and a .40-caliber gun clip in the glove box. Arenas said he kept the gun for protection.

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