Gut Reaction: No Jail For Gilbert Arenas
Call me surprised. Call me a little bit excited. Call me surprised again.
And call a bunch of other people pissed off because the sentence was too light. Oh well, they’ll get over it.
The sentencing has come down and Gilbert Arenas will receive two years probation, 30 days in a halfway house and must perform 400 hours of community service. He also must donate $5,000 to the victims of violence fund and must register as a gun offender.
The start of today didn’t have a particularly odd feel to it … at least for me in terms of it being sentencing day for Arenas. I suppose some will call “poetic” the fact that it happened to be rainy/cloudy/gloomy weather here in D.C. to start the morning. But now for Gilbert, the sun is shining.
It’s also my mom’s birthday, so I’ve often thought how lucky I am to have her … and that I certainly need to call her more often … especially in contrast to the relationship Gilbert had with his now deceased mother. Or rather, the one that he didn’t.
I did feel a little off today earlier today. Probably mostly a result of sleep deprivation, a prevalent and seemingly perpetual theme as a blogger who also has a busy day job. But the ‘off’ feeling also probably had something to do with nerves for Arenas, a good guy who means well deep down, but also one who deserves the decision handed down upon him … well, actually, probably more.
Some are disappointed that Arenas won’t spend any amount of time in jail. And I am in the camp that thinks he should have spent time in jail, but I’m not disappointed or outraged because he won’t. I’m kind of happy that he isn’t … the light sentencing setting a bad example for kids and accusations of celebrity double-standards be damned.
I mean, it’s not like jail would have humbled Arenas more than he has been. It only would’ve made him more depressed … now whether he was deserving of being more depressed is not my call to make. What he does deserve is to learn a very important lesson. And we still can’t be 100% sure that’s been achieved, but I’m pretty sure Arenas will now follow the path of straight and narrow more staunchly than he ever has before.
Last night, I had a Google Chat conversation with a fellow blogger. He asked if I had any rooting interests in Arenas’ sentencing. The question kinda caught me off guard, but I knew what he meant. Did I hope the sentencing from Judge Morin went one way or another? Or, rather/also, did I hope sentencing would allow for Arenas to return to the Wizards next season?
I told the guy that I was resigned, or accepting, of the fact that Arenas would get about three months in jail. I didn’t exactly want Arenas to go to jail for that amount of time or more … but if he did, I wouldn’t make a stink about it being unjust. By the way, not “wanting” Arenas to go to jail and “thinking” he should are two different things.
As far as Arenas returning to the Wizards. Sure, why not give the guy another chance? Yes, Gil has had a ton of chances, and I’ve criticized him for just about each any every time he’s failed those chances. And I’m still extremely disappointed in his actions, especially the lies and the cover up attempts after the fact.
But he’s also a guy who has succeeded despite slim chances. The path of Zero to Hero has clearly been reversed, but who’s to say that the direction can’t now be reversed again back to a positive one? And why can’t that happen in D.C.?
The Washington Post’s Mike Wise had a column today speculating on what Ted Leonsis might do with the team, especially in terms of Arenas. Back in February Leonsis said in reference to Arenas that he was more of a healer than a breaker-upper. And that’s all I need to know. That the man at least has an open mind to consider all the facts, a willingness to work more with understanding and compassion rather than harsh, unrelenting judgment.
And if Arenas doesn’t return to the Wizards, then I trust that judgment of Mr. Leonsis.
There is still so much to be sorted out. But until then, Gilbert Arenas is free, and that’s okay with me.