Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas revealed new details Tuesday regarding the 2009 locker room confrontation between him and then-teammate Javaris Crittenton when they played for the Washington Wizards.
In an interview with Jon Gold of The Action Network, Arenas described the start of the issue between him and Crittenton, which was born from the result of the card game Bourre during a team flight:
“They figured it out, JaVale [McGee] wins. The plane lands and now Javaris says to JaVale, ‘So you just gonna let me lose my money like that? You ain’t even gonna be a real n—a and give me a chance to get my money back? Aw hell naw, this is the type of s–t that gets you f–ked up in these streets.’ I was like, ‘Javaris, I will burn your car, while you’re in it. Then we’ll find an extinguisher to help ya ass out,’ and he says, ‘Well, I’ll just shoot you then.’ I said, ‘Man, I’ll bring you the guns to shoot me!'”
That led to Arenas and Crittenton reportedly pulling guns on each other in the locker room, and both players were suspended for the remainder of the season.
On the day of the incident, Arenas brought four unloaded guns into the locker room. He explained the rationale behind his decision, saying, “It was about me calling his bluff. You say you’re going to shoot me? Fine, I’ll bring you the guns to do it.”
When Arenas told Crittenton to pick a gun, Crittenton responded by saying, “Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those. I’ve got one right here.”
Per Gold, Crittenton then pointed a loaded gun at Arenas before the situation was eventually diffused.
Although it was widely reported initially that the dispute was over gambling debts, Arenas downplayed that notion:
“This had nothing to do with gambling debts. It was about the s–t-talking while I was losing. It was like someone scoring on you every time down. I’m the designated s–t-talker. I could be down $40,000, but if I irritated someone so bad they feel like they lost $20K? I’m happy. I won. I don’t feel like the biggest loser of the night.”
Arenas returned to the Wiz the following season, but he was traded to the Orlando Magic.
He was a three-time All-Star in Washington and was averaging 22.6 points per game in 2009-10 before his suspension. Upon returning, Arenas played just two more seasons in the NBA and was never the same player.
Crittenton never appeared in another NBA game following his suspension.
Now 30, Crittenton is serving a 23-year sentence in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 2011 killing of 22-year-old Julian Jones.