I mean, for the NBA commissioner to say this guy is "not currently fit to take the court" is the understatement of the century.
The shrugging. The joking. The tweeting about how everybody else is mistaken these days but the person doing the tweeting. Arenas is listening to the wrong folks whispering into his ears regarding his gun mess. Then again, given the depth of his ongoing silliness in response to the matter, he isn't listening to anybody.
About that gun mess: Since Arenas violated Washington D.C. laws and NBA guidelines last month by bringing several weapons into his Wizards workplace (not to mention his rumored High Noon encounter in the locker room with a teammate), he is headed for more than just the NBA slammer. A grand jury is involved, which means this story isn't going away soon. And unless, say, Kobe Bryant forgets how to dribble by the end of next week, you can bet this story is just a couple of more chapters shy of rocking the suddenly flimsy foundation of the NBA.
Let's see. Arenas said he thought D.C. folks had changed their notoriously strict gun laws overnight when he decided to place four guns in his locker to keep them away from his children at home. He said whatever happened around Christmas involving a combination of those guns in the locker room, teammate Javaris Crittenton and himself was a "misguided effort to play a joke." He said he was just having fun Tuesday night before the Wizards' game against the Philadelphia 76ers when he stood in a circle of his teammates and pretended to shoot them with his finger.
In addition to all of that, Arenas has kept talking and talking (despite begging from the Wizards' PR staff to shut up) and tweeting and tweeting. In fact, after Al Sharpton urged Stern on Monday to punish Arenas severely for his actions, Arenas ripped the civil rights leader by tweeting:
Whatever, dude. Given Arena's already wrongheaded attempts to lessen his sentences with the league and later with legal authorities, you get the feeling that he will continue along these lines of acting like he doesn't get it. He almost giggled while talking to reporters the other day, saying, "If I really did something wrong, I would feel remorse in what I did, but I didn't do anything."For a kid who does a lot of work for the black community I didn't get the memo u were still one of our black leaders becuz if u was
U wouldn't have made a comment like that befor gettn all the faxs str8..I hav my black leaders tattooed on my leg I call it black rush more
That's Martin,Obama,Mr X,and Mandela..so next time before u wash ur hands of something pls hear the real story..God bless..the black C
In other words, Arenas was threatening to show up for the opening tip-off of a game wearing pajamas and house slippers.
Insanity defense, you know.
But here's a scary thought: Maybe Arenas really doesn't get it. Maybe he doesn't realize the brutal message he is sending to the youth that he claims he cherishes so much. More specifically, maybe he joins a slew of other modern NBA players who don't understand that their constitutional right to become knuckleheads not only affects themselves and their teams, but the overall state of the league.
They don't understand that it took something dramatic for the NBA to recover from its original set of knuckleheads -- the ones who spent the post-retirement years of Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson and the rest pushing the league just shy of falling off the face of the earth during the 1970s.
There were drug scandals. There were thuggish acts, with the worst involving Kermit Washington smashing Rudy Tomjanovich's face. In general, there were cries that the NBA was too violent, too volatile and too black.
The public was so disenchanted with it all that the NBA Finals were shown only deep into the night on tape delay.
Then that dramatic thing happened during the 1980s with the prominence of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, both a wonderful blend of charisma and character. They both could play, too. They joined tough-minded commissioner David Stern to save the NBA, and by the end of the 20th century, the league was booming with no end in sight at the turnstiles and in the television ratings.
Well, that was prior to the second coming of the NBA knuckleheads. In 2004, you had those involved with that brawl at The Palace in Auburn Hills, MI, where players battled in the stands with fans. Plus, there were a bunch of senseless gun incidents before this one, ranging from Stephen Jackson firing shots into the air outside of an Indianapolis night club for some crazy reason to Jayson Williams facing manslaughter charges for the death of his hired limousine driver.
In addition to the knuckleheads among the players, you've also had at least one knucklehead among the officials, represented by the convicted Tim Donaghy, who claims crooked refs are rampant in the league.
Thus Stern's need to act swiftly against Arenas. He wanted to wait for Lady Justice to do her thing, but the Fat Lady sings much quicker than that. And the Fat Lady was hitting a bunch of high notes days ago on whether Arenas should stay or go, which is why Stern actually should have acted even sooner than this. For instance, this Arenas controversy has produced more questions than answers from the start. Such as, he said the guns were unloaded, but were they?
What is Crittenton's side of the story? He hasn't played for the Wizards this season due to an injured foot, and he has yet to be interviewed by prosecutors or anybody else.
Oh, and this gun mess supposedly was over Arenas refusing to pay a debt to Crittenton after losing a card game. Did this really involve gambling, or was it something else? If not that, then what? Why? Who? When? Where? And how come we haven't heard from any of their teammates or coaches?
This won't end pretty, but it could have been uglier.
Arenas still could be playing, talking and tweeting.