Questions. Maybe it’s because we’ll never really know the full story so all there is to do is ask questions. Maybe because the story is wrenched in contradiction and it’s worth pointing out more. And maybe it will always be easy to poke holes in a Gilbert Arenas story because he writes his own history from just his perspective — kinda like what my struggling teenage sister is going through now — and that because Arenas takes this course of action, one which has certainly gotten him in trouble, he deserves to have his little manipulations looked at under a microscope. And maybe this is just so interesting, yet so very stupid, that it’s worth writing about.
In any case, Gilbert Arenas’ recent article/interview/proclamation/strange first-person thingee in Esquire has brought up (and/or rehashed) some more interesting things to wonder about. Here those go…
What was the card game dispute about?
This is quite confusing and probably so nonsensical that it’s not worth making sense of, but here goes. Whether you fully accept the Esquire story as fact or not, it does reinforce the idea that Gilbert Arenas is a guy who makes up the rules as he goes, and especially at the behest of others. Because hey, he’s Gilbert Arenas. And with his attention seeking ego, he certainly has a right to duck out on a card game, right? Or at least that’s what he thinks.
In Esquire, Gilbert says:
Javaris Crittenton was losing money. He jumped in the middle of a conversation between two other guys playing and I didn’t want to hear it no more. So I throw my cards down in the middle of the hand, tell them all, “I’m done. I’m getting on up.” Javaris is saying, “No, this is some street shit. Where I’m from, you gotta finish the game. My money’s on the line.” He and another guy say it’s a misdeal and they want me to match the pot. “You gotta pay that debt,” Javaris says, “or we gotta take it outside.”
Arenas, Crittenton and some teammates were indeed playing a card game on the flight back from Phoenix, and both Crittenton and Arenas were coming up on the losing end, but Arenas didn’t owe $25,000, and the amount wasn’t owed to Crittenton, but to JaVale McGee. Arenas bailed on the game unhappy with the rules, and Crittenton was left to pay the pot, much to his displeasure, so he was trying earnestly to get Arenas to pay his part.
Ok, so did Arenas already owe some money before he threw down his cards, causing a misdeal in the eyes of others? Or did he only owe money because he wanted to leave a game in dispute?
In Esquire, Arenas seems to paint Crittenton as someone who was unhappy with the rules. But Mike Jones reports that Arenas wasn’t happy with the rules either. The reality is that both are probably at fault for the dispute in rules.
The Washington City Paper once had a piece about Boo-Ray or Bourré … essentially it’s a card game subject to different variations and that if the rules aren’t laid out beforehand, trouble could be brewing.
So yea, having a familiarity with how Gilbert Arenas operates, it probably would have been his way/rule interpretation versus whomever else’s way, regardless.
The escalation of the dispute began when Arenas decided to quit before play was over … or, how Gil makes himself feel better about his lack of honor, because he “didn’t want to hear it no more.” Either way, quitting the card game is much more of a poor, childlike reflection on Arenas than Crittenton’s “street shit” proclamation.
What song was Javaris Crittenton singing?
Ever since the WaPost’s Mike Wise, et al. reported that Crittenton was supposedly singing while holding his own gun, music heads from D.C. to Atlanta have wondered what exact song does one sing while brandishing a weapon.
The only one that immediately comes to mind is “The Farmer in the Dell” … and that’s courtesy of Omar from The Wire, and that’s also not singing, but whistling … which is something I’ve never been able to do, if you must know.
Well, from Arenas’ tailored Esquire story we learned that he had a “way to put on music” on the airplane … whatever that entails … and played some Michael Jackson “You wanna be starting somethin’” and “Beat it,” while using his joking manner to purposely further ignite someone he already knew was combustible.
But what was Javaris’ melodic contribution in the locker room a couple days later? Arenas confirms that Javaris put a clip in his gun, then put his headphones in, and then started singing. Did Javaris go with something from the Michael Jackson collection too? Smooth Criminal? Or did he opt for the first song that came on because it’s hard to find the perfect tune for loading weapons on an ipod in a timely manner.
It remains a mystery to this day.
How many guns can a man carry?
First of all, the report that Arenas might have owned “hundreds” of guns surfaced way back on January 13th via WTOP, a local D.C. news radio station.
But after Gil mentioned something about his historic gun collection in the Esquire article, some outlets, such as Yahoo, jumped on it as if it were new news. Guess the internet doesn’t spread as much information as we thought.
Now to the guns Arenas brought into the District of Columbia. He gives the magazine the same line about not wanting guns around his kids, etc., says he put the entire gun collection in storage, except …
“I kept four: a gold Desert Eagle. There was a Smith & Wesson 500. A Kimber. The other was an old gun with a long clip. None of them were loaded. I kept them in a lockbox in the empty locker next to mine.”
Ok, so Esquire, i.e., Arenas, glosses over the details of when the guns were brought out of the home and into the Verizon Center. He acts like they ‘happened’ to be around the locker room, just waiting to be used as a prank.
However, we know that at least one gun was brought to the Verizon after the initial dispute with Crittenton. How? Because the proffer of facts from Arenas and his attorneys says so. Specifically, that Arenas arrived at the Verizon Center for practice on the morning of December 21st wearing a backpack backwards and knowingly having the Smith & Wesson .500 magnum, if not all the guns — the proffer does not specifically state whether all four were in the bag or not — within said backpack.
Not mentioning that the worst part of this story is that BOTH Arenas and Crittenton brought guns to work after verbal threats were made, the lesson is, if you’re going to use your kids as a reason for getting guns out the house, might as well get ALL of them out. It only takes one. Speaking of that …
Do less guns = less safe?
Regarding his collection of 400-500 guns, Arenas told Esquire:
“There was an officer who would come by and look out for them. The door was reinforced and a security system was set up.”
Sounds pretty safe. I mean, I could understand not wanting all those antique, likely unable to function guns from the first world war almost a century ago around the kids. But you must wonder if all those precautions are taken, why be concerned about the kids getting into the guns? Unless…
When Gilbert Arenas’ father, Gilbert Sr., was on the Mike Wise Show in late January, he told Wise [via DC Sports Bog]:
“His daughter ended up grabbing one of the guns out of his office, where he had them kind of put in a drawer, and he came in. It wasn’t loaded. He just freaked out.”
Ok, so after (or maybe before) Arenas jettisoned a bulk of the collection, he also got rid of the officer, reinforced doors and security system in favor of just “kind of” putting the remaining guns in a drawer. You know, for the kids.