Wizards React to Arenas' Suspension: 'It's Like a Black Cloud Over Us'
"Strictly legal issues aside, Gilbert's recent behavior and statements, including his actions and statements [Tuesday] night in Philadelphia, are unacceptable," the statement read. "Some of our other players appeared to find Gilbert's behavior in Philadelphia amusing. This is also unacceptable. Under Abe Pollin's leadership, our organization never tolerated such behavior, and we have no intention of ever doing so."
When asked about the picture after Wednesday's loss in Cleveland, Flip Saunders indicated he hadn't seen it and therefore wouldn't comment, but he didn't rule out potential punishment for the other players. "We'll talk about that when we get back home," he said.
Antawn Jamison expressed frustration about the entire situation. "I haven't seen the picture," he said. "This situation puts this whole organization in a bad light. It's an unfortunate situation. We just have to find a way to play through it and put it behind us until the outcome is said. This is not what we are. It's just a bad decision on two people and we have to pay for it."
Arenas told reporters after Tuesday's game that his teammates put him up the pre-game huddle antics, saying he was re-enacting a touchdown celebration from the football movie Any Given Sunday. Jamison, featured prominently smiling in the picture, refused to elaborate on what occurred. "I have no comment. I didn't know what was going on. It happened. I really have no comment on that."
"I don't think we should've laughed at it, but Gilbert always plays around," DeShawn Stevenson said. "We know him always joking. At the time, our team probably was laughing, but it's not a laughing matter and we don't think it's a laughing matter. But at that time and situation, that's who Gilbert is.
"We're not trying to offend nobody," he added. "If you know Gilbert and been around him, he always plays around."
The Wizards were struggling even before this story broke, and, after losing Wednesday, sit 11 games under .500. Needless to say, this distraction, which will only intensify following a report that Javaris Crittenton had a loaded and cocked weapon of his own, makes it extremely unlikely the Wizards will ever salvage their season.
"It's like a black cloud over us," Stevenson said. "Hit us over the head again and we might break. There's a lot of stuff we're dealing with right now. It's tough. We don't know how to react to it. We've got a lot of young guys and older vets. This is my 10th year and I've never been in a situation like this, so imagine all the young guys. It's tough."