LINKS: The Persecution of Gilbert Arenas | Wizards Blog Truth About

LINKS: The Persecution of Gilbert Arenas

Updated: June 4, 2010

Daniel Wattenberg writes a very insightful piece, “The Persecution of Gilbert Arenas: How gun prohibitionists and an image-conscious NBA scapegoated a basketball star,” at He covers the entire gun saga and the surrounding implications, such as …

D.C. gun laws after the Heller decision:

Taken at face value, the Supreme Court’s ruling opened the door to a broad, though not unlimited, right to carry handguns in the District of Columbia, inside and outside the home. And why would Arenas have taken it any other way? Like many of us, he had probably heard or read something about the widely publicized Heller decision—and little or nothing about the inside-page story of the D.C. government’s response. Now there may be a broad public understanding of the District’s new gun rules. But if so, that’s largely thanks to Arenas’ own highly publicized arrest and prosecution.

Overzealous prosecutors:

In the prosecution’s theory of the case, Arenas was the Wizards’ alpha male, bent on preserving his supremacy against all rivals. Accordingly, his actions in the locker room were part of a dangerous, darkly motivated plan to intimidate an upstart benchwarmer. In stubbornly insisting the incident was no more than a “misguided prank,” the prosecutors claimed, Arenas was refusing to own up to the seriousness of his crime. Because the act was premeditated, they argued, it must not have been a prank—as if the two concepts are mutually exclusive.

That damn Peter Vecsey:

Not merely inaccurate, Vecsey’s coverage was taunting, the rhetorical equivalent of bear-baiting. In a particularly provocative passage, he gratuitously floated a scenario—betting on NBA games—that would have triggered the lifetime ban he thought Arenas deserved.

The whole piece is a good recap and a must-read.

No matter what you think of Gilbert Arenas, he was, as Wattenberg suggests, a scapegoat … on some level. But it’s not to say Arenas didn’t deservedly suffer the consequences of his own immature actions.

The remainder of the season suspension was much too harsh. At the same time, I can’t exactly blame David Stern for making an example out of Arenas for, A) failing to comprehend the perception of his actions outside his own little sheltered world, and B) failing to keeping a separate perspective on the irresponsible ridiculousness of Peter Vecsey.

Oh, and then there’s that whole ‘I got the guns out of the house because of my kids’ lie.

But in the end, no part of the ordeal, as overblown as it was by today’s media world, is a reason to deduce that Arenas is a poisonous cancer. He is human. Humans make mistakes. Humans, good, genuine guys like Arenas, can mature for the better (I hope).

{More Links}

>> I recently took part in a blogger poll/commentary for Complex Magazine on who would win the NBA Finals (before last night’s game). For the record, I picked the Lakers in six games, instead of five, because of the silly 2-3-2 formatting change for the Finals.

>> Would John Wall make you buy Reeboks?
[Bullets Forever]

>> Flip Saunders and Jim Rome praising Rod Strickland.
[DC Sports Bog]

>> Michael Lee reports on what John Wall has been doing while he waits for the draft.
[Washington Post]

>> The story of Providence’s 1997 NCAA Tournament run with a team featuring the fabled God Shammgod, Austin Croshere, Ruben Garces and Derrick Brown.
[Order Of The Court]

>> LeBron James continues to make it impossible to like him.
[NBA FanHouse]

>> And Bethlehem Shoals rips into him for it.
[NBA FanHouse]

Shoals writes:

I was a teenaged LeBron James defender, and now, the pendulum has come swinging back in the other direction. On a gut level, as a fan and writer, I feel right now like James deserves no benefit of the doubt, no close reading. This is clown-ish, buffoon-ish behavior that plays into every negative assumption anyone’s ever had about James — or the rest of the NBA. Bare bones, we’ve got a perplexing exit from the postseason, followed by the Super Summit, and now the whistle stop, all while other players continue to toil for a ring.


What James doesn’t consider, and what drives me mad, is that what will happen on the court should be at the heart of all this. That he doesn’t, or is as flippant about that as he is new marketing opportunities, is why today, I can’t stand LeBron James.

>> Michael Beasley’s value is so low that the New Jersey Nets reportedly rejected an offer to acquire him in exchange for Keyon Dooling.
[The Baseline]

>> Is basketball fun? Phil Jackson answers.

>> The top 10 moments in Ken Griffey Jr.’s career.
[The Sporting Blog]

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.