Gilbert Arenas Sr. Sticks Up For His Embattled Son
I think we as a society tend to not think about the family and friends of those who are guilty of profound newsworthy transgressions. It’s usually just a circus of criticism about this person being so dumb, arrogant or whatever else. Listening to Gilbert Arenas’s father talk about his son’s wrongdoings certainly was interesting and poignant. You get a sense of just how much this has hurt both he and his son. Arenas was of course suspended for the remainder of the NBA season last week. The Washington Wizards will not have to pay him for the prorated amount of the season’s conclusion, and it appears as if the organization has every intention of trying to disassociate itself from Arenas (and his hefty contract) as soon as they possibly can.
Arenas Sr. joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with Mike Wise to talk about how he understands Commissioner Stern’s decision, on how he thinks 85% of NBA players own guns but is not sure why, how his son remorsefully cried to his father after the incident, how the story of how and why his son and Crittendon pulled the guns on each other was entirely untrue, how the guns only wound up in the Verizon Center because of the fact that his daughter found one of the guns in his home which scared Arenas in to taking them out of the house, and what he thinks the future might hold for his son in D.C.
On how he thinks the situation has been handled by David Stern and the Wizards organization:
“Well by David Stern, I understand why he had to do it. I agree 100% with what he did, taking all matters out of Gilbert’s hands at this point. I was a little bit upset with how exposed this story got out. I guess the tactics that Gil displayed in Philadelphia was trying to lighten up on the story that came out. It was not the true story. Eventually some of the true story is getting around and getting out, and it’s kind of helping the situation in the locker room itself. First of all, I’d like to say that guns being in the Verizon Center is definitely wrong. How long they been there? Way before this incident happened. And for what reason why all of this got started over a card game, with no money that nobody owed each other. It was just a heated argument, someone was getting the best of somebody, and it just rolled over to practice and from that, a practice joke really got out of hand. That’s the best I can say of this whole ordeal. I feel bad for Gilbert because he’s been crucified for a whole bunch of things, and he’s taking the punishment, he’s taking it upon himself the best way he can.”
On the endless criticisms of his son and what it’s like for people to label his son a ‘thug’:
“Well let me just say this. I for one, don’t own a gun. I don’t believe in owning a gun but these are young players, young athletes who walk around with plenty of money in their pockets. And I think the best thing they do is they grab hold of something to feel comfortable. You know, you go around the league and ask how many guys own guns, I’m sure it’s 85% of these guys that own guns. What they do with these guns? I have no idea.”
On how players might be owning and carrying guns more as a for ’show’ accessory like jewelry:
“Absolutely. And the guns that Gil had were more show guns. They were guns like the one that Austin Powers had in his movie. The fact of why he brought them to the Verizon Center was to get them out of the house because he had the kids there. His daughter grabbed one of the guns out of the office. We kind of put it in a drawer, and he came in…it wasn’t loaded, none of his guns are loaded. He just freaked out. He freaked out and decided he’d take the guns out of the house so it would be a safe environment. Now, he explained to me he realized the rule had changed leaving Virginia going to the D.C. area because of the gun laws. I think that’s the felony he’s facing right now. But Mike (Wise), I’m just wanting to say – I’m not lightening anything on Gil – it’s just the fact of it is people are taking a perspective…now, this is my son. If your son was in this predicament, if you have any kids at all, you must realize I’m watching this every day, I’m looking at it on the news. And everybody’s just blowing it out of proportion. I agree with what David Stern did, and I’m glad Gil has taken the bulk of the punishment. He displayed the gun as a joke; guns are never a joke to anybody. That’s fully your responsibility.”
On if he and his son have talked about what the Wizards might try to do with his contract in the future:
“Well there’s no question. We’ve talked about it but it’s nothing much more. Everything’s out of his hands. Everything’s controlled by the Washington Wizards at this point. If that’s the direction they have to go, it’s a business move. I understand the organization, I’m not downing them, they gave Gil his job. Hopefully everybody can just move forward from this and learn from these mistakes. It’s funny, Gil’s taking blame for the losses they’re losing right now too. Gil’s taking the blame for the reason why these guys are not where they should be at. Just in light…just look at the situation – you go back a couple of years when Brendon Haywood and Etan Thomas had that altercation. Those stories don’t leak out, they’re not supposed to get out. You understand what I’m saying? This is in house stuff. You keep it in house, whatever is in there. And you got two other co-captains that’s there. You get in Gil’s head – ‘look, hey, leave it alone Gil, let’s move on, we’ve got to win some games.’”
On if he believes his son is genuinely remorseful or if he’s too upset by what he perceives to be poor treatment from the Wizards organization:
“Well I don’t know what he feels about the organization right now, know what I mean? For me as a father, I’m trying to make sure he’s relaxed and he’s okay about whatever decisions he’s making so far. So whatever decision Washington decides to go with, he has to deal with that when it comes. Does he feel remorse? Yes. I literally talked to him an hour or two a couple of weeks after the story had broken, he literally cried about the whole incident. The point that he was trying to get out that hey you guys are taking this story the wrong way, it’s a joke and I think watching one of the games when they had an interview, this was I think it was after the Philadelphia game when they talked..it was Chris and Ron Thompson talking..Gil was trying to say I didn’t do anything wrong. They were looking at him like ‘you didn’t do anything wrong? You brought guns to Verizon Center. That’s wrong.’ His whole point that the story that two guns were pulled on each other, I didn’t do that. That’s what Gilbert was trying to get out, he just couldn’t get it out fast enough. He was just making himself look bad talking to the media.”