Tweeting For Tiger – Arenas to the Rescue
Note: Since the following article was written, Gilbert Arenas was suspended by the NBA indefinitely and without pay. This action was publicly endorsed and supported by the Washington Wizards.
Tiger Woods owes Gilbert Arenas a “Thank You” letter. Tigergate dominated both sports and regular news headlines from Thanksgiving until Christmas and was showing no signs of losing steam. With steroid allegations swirling, supposed mistresses popping out of the woodwork daily and rumors of a “Girls Gone Wild”-esque Bahamas boat cruise all dragging him down to the depths of tabloid hell, Tiger needed a helping hand. Lucky for him, Agent Zero aka Gilbert Arenas came to his rescue.
Through a combination of bizarre behavior and uncensored/unadvised tweeting, Gilbert Arenas may have singlehandedly cost himself tens of millions of dollars and made it possible that he may soon be trading in his Wizards jersey for a prison jumpsuit. (Speaking of weird, how about Ninja Gaiden Tiger?)
There are a number of different reports, but in a nutshell it appears that Arenas was storing unloaded handguns in his locker, according to him, in order to prevent his children from playing with them. Probably not the best storage place in the world, but maybe he could’ve got a pass on that. However the guns didn’t stay in storage.
After a dispute with teammate James Crittenton over payment of a $25.000 gambling debt (and this is where reports differ), Arenas either pointed one of the guns at Crittenton or placed them on a chair outside Crittenton’s locker with a sign instructing him to “pick one.” Some reports say that one of the guns was then thrown, some say Crittenton talked of shooting Arenas’ car at some point, etc; luckily no shots were fired.
Apparently the recent struggles of Plaxico Burress and Delonte West with gun-related issues went unnoticed by the outspoken point guard and even his own gun incident six years ago (which resulted in a suspension from the NBA) wasn’t enough to influence his current judgment. It’s also very hard to imagine any scenario in which bringing a firearm into a legitimate place of business would be acceptable or even logical behavior. Obviously people have the need and right to protect themselves, but cushy NBA locker rooms are not traditionally thought of as epicenters of violence.
One NBA player had this to say:
“Guys have got to protect themselves, but it makes no sense to have a gun in the locker room….There’s no reason to get so mad you’d want to pull a gun on a teammate…I can’t imagine that. No way would I ever think about that — bringing a gun to a game, or into the locker room.”
That quote is from Charlotte Bobcats forward Stephen Jackson. The same Stephen Jackson who was involved in the famous brawl between the Pistons and the Pacers a few years back during which players entered the stands and fought fans. The same Stephen Jackson who was suspended by the NBA for a gun related incident – firing shots in the air outside of a strip club, supposedly in self-defense. If Captain Jack is saying he wouldn’t do it, it probably shouldn’t be done.
Some people have common sense and some don’t. For people who don’t have common sense, logic is a good substitute. Logic is something that can be taught in schools and institutions of higher learning. Perhaps Gilbert just may not have had enough classroom time to figure out that the US does not currently celebrate a national “Bring Your Gun to Work” day. As he says on twiiter:
“i was in college at 16 sweetie i do hav sum brains – @myboookofrhymes i said i went at 16 i didnt say i did well in college lol”
After the news leaked out and Arenas was confronted by police, he had this so say: “I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate… I now realize that there’s no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns — even if unloaded.”
This guy plays in a town that has one of the highest murder rates in the country, a problem that was so bad that the franchise Arenas is currently a part of, (although who knows for how much longer) the Washington Bullets, were forced to change their name to the Washington Wizards. Arenas hadn’t exactly exercised a lot of common sense up to that point, so there was no reason for him to start then.
Bring on the tweets:
“why would i owe sumbody money and pull a pistol out sounds a little backwards rt . . . yea rt.”
“i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE. … Media is too funny,”
“if ur not laughing i dont think u should follow me becuz im never serious and i will never not say anything dumb and silly.”
At this point I don’t know if Gilbert thinks that joking with guns is funny or not but I am sure that if I had twitter he would be one of the first people I followed. Instead of pulling the Tiger move and just clamming up, Arenas decided to amp up the drama even further. At some point during his barrage of gun related tweets he responded to and discussed allegations that his fiance had slept with Shaq, resulting in these gems:
“i understand this is serious..but if you ever met me you know i dont do serious things im a goof ball this story today dont sound goofy to me”
“first the SHAQ drama..which im sorry to say wasnt true but was great drama..girls was throwin them panties Lt and rt pay her back”
“i felt it was the diesel problem ad i ws the victim..lol…being the victim was great i had girls hit me saying im so sorry u need any”
In a stroke of good luck, Agent Zero enjoys being the victim because he is probably going to have ample opportunity to play one in the coming days. Depending on how the investigation goes (there are rumors of a Grand Jury being brought in) the Wizards may have the ability to exercise the morality clause in Arenas’ 111 million dollar contract and terminate his employment with the team.
Especially if there are no financial repercussions, and given the current economic state coupled with all the negative publicity and potential fallout from this incident, it would probably be much more prudent for the team to cut ties with Arenas than to keep him on. Add in the fact that the Wizards have been awful this season and it would only make sense that Arenas is a marked man. (Had to put in a pun somewhere.) Don’t worry about Gilbert though; he’ll be fine.
“i dont get anger..nothin outside basketball makes me anger…if u ever met me you know…life is fun if u want it to be”
He also has major cause to be concerned about the legal ramifications because he is facing potential felony charges and, since the incident occurred in DC, the federal government is involved and they may want to make an example out of someone ala the Plaxico situation. All things considered, I think paying off the gambling debt would have been a better choice but that’s just me.
What Arena needed to do was embrace the Tiger Way – Pay people off, keep things quiet, and don’t say more than is absolutely necessary. After all it worked for Mr. Woods for quite some time and if wasn’t for some damning voicemails and texts, it may have continued to. However instead of avoiding the technological traps of the modern age, Arenas embraces them to the point that they could eventually be his undoing.
“thinking im having a meltdown on twitter…i guess i hav to explain myself to sum of u real quick so u can understand me alittle better”
Good luck explaining it to the feds Agent Zero. (Can tweets be used as evidence in court… I smell legal precedent.) Sure you may lose your job, your money, your freedom and maybe your mind, but at least your mission was a partial success: You got the heat off Tiger.
“I am very sorry for the effect that my serious lapse in judgment has had on my team, my teammates, the National Basketball Association and its fans,”…. “I want to apologize to everybody for letting them down with my conduct, and I promise to do better in the future. I also want to thank the detectives and prosecutors on the case for the professionalism and courtesy they showed me during the interview today. I stand ready to continue to give my full cooperation to them and to the league as they investigate this incident.”
And one more for the road, Gilbert asking the question that has been most pressing on his mind:
“quick question they can take ur twitter page from u if ur reckless?”
For his sake, I hope not. If you’re interested in the man’s musical tastes, see here:By Evan in Opinion Comments Off