At this point, I think it’s pretty fair to say that most people know Gilbert Arenas for his gun incident during his last full season with the Washington Wizards. Well, “full” is a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. Once upon a time, he was the guy who showed up for a game in a wizard’s robe, and now he’s the gun guy. Hal Sparks on the old “Best Week Ever” is like, “Downgrade.”
Funny thing is, no one’s ever really explained what exactly happened during that fateful incident. We know a bunch of the details — it was a bourré game gone bad, “Pick 1,” Javaris Crittenton and Arenas both threatened to shoot each other and cetera — but neither guy has really talked about what actually went down in that locker room.
Until now. Just today, USA Today busted out an incredible piece where Gil finally discusses his version of what transpired, among many other fantastic Wizards stories. Here are the details:
Then-Wizards center JaVale McGee had beaten Crittenton out of $1,100 in a card game. Wizards guard Earl Boykins loaned McGee $200. McGee didn’t immediately pay back Boykins as he won the money and an argument blossomed. Arenas says he wasn’t involved in the actual bet.
” ‘Pay the man his (expletive) money. You’ve got all my money,’ ” Arenas says Crittenton shouted at McGee. “So I jumped in, ‘Why you talking to your teammates like this? We family.’
“That’s when (Crittenton) started coming at me, ‘(Expletive, racial slur), just because you got all money, this and this and this.’ That’s when we started going back and forth. I didn’t owe him anything. It was over a $1,100 pot he just lost.”
Arenas pauses and sighs when asked how the situation escalated to the point of guns.
“Someone said they were going to shoot me. So since I’m one of those guys who says, ‘I want to see this happen. I want to see you actually shoot me,’ that’s where that came from,” says Arenas, declining to mention that someone by name. “I brought the four guns in and said (in a note), ‘Pick 1, so the day you want to shoot me let me know, I’ll be ready to get shot.’ That’s how.”
OK, a few things here. One, Gilbert Arenas is the kind of person who wants to see himself get shot? I don’t get that. But sure. Sure you are, Gil. Who isn’t that kind of guy? We are all that kind of guy. (No, we’re not.) Two, this whole thing started because JaVale McGee owed Earl Boykins money. Nothing to do with Javaris Crittenton or Gilbert Arenas, really. As if this thing couldn’t have completely avoided otherwise, this makes it even more silly. Three, of course it was JaVale McGee. Four, Gilbert conveniently glosses over the part where he threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face. Probably just slipped his mind. Five, I am sure Gilbert Arenas was very calm and not at all exacerbating to the situation when he questioned why Javaris was talking to JaVale like a meanie.
I admit there are more than a few things that seem strange to me here, but I think you get the point. I am sure this is kind of how this thing happened, but this is very much a Gilbert-centric telling of the events. Just remember that.
But hey, that’s not the only good stuff in this USA Today piece. There are all kinds of really Gilbert Arenas-y stories from his time with the Wizards. For instance, how about the infamous poop shoe? Yep, that’s explained.
“It was just dog doo-doo in it. It was really dog doo-doo. … I took his sole out, threw it under there, put the sole back on and threw the baby powder on there so he couldn’t smell it,” Arenas said.
This means that a) Gilbert Arenas saved dog poop and transported dog poop just for a joke and b) Andray Blatche theoretically stepped all over dog poop when he put his shoes on. Gilbert Arenas was 24 years old when this happened.
Or this little tidbit, when former teammates Nick Young and JaVale McGee were traded from the Wizards.
“What’s funny is when JaVale and Nick (Young, another former teammate) got traded this year, they called me and said, ‘We out on good behavior. Dray went up for his parole hearing and got denied,’” Arenas’ way of saying Blatche still remains with the Wizards. “We make a joke about it.”
So basically, playing for the Wizards is like being in prison. Makes sense and seems accurate.
And of course, this little nuggety nugg that is just passed by like it’s no big deal.
There haven’t been any pranks. No altering the name on a jersey as Arenas did with Blatche’s to make it read “Bitch.” No putting dog excrement in teammates’ shoes in Memphis.
I am guessing this happened during Blatche’s rookie year and that this was part of rookie hazing, but it definitely seems like Gilbert Arenas is not the best teammate you could hope to have, at least during the Wizards era. Kind of a nightmare, really. Andray Blatche had to hate him a little bit. Had to. Even if he realized this was just a veteran messing with him because he’s a rookie, I’m sure he hated him just a teensy bit.
So go read this whole thing because it’s amazing. It’s like a throwback to the old days when people thought Gilbert Arenas was the best thing to happen to the internet. Miss you, 2005.