Friday, March 26, 2010

Gilbert Has to Serve His Time

Maybe it's me, but I don't think three months in jail is enough for Gilbert Arenas:
When Gilbert Arenas appeared at a charity event a few weeks ago, no amount of smiles and hugs could hide the underlying tension surrounding the next big date on his calendar.

"So that's what everybody's waiting for," Arenas said. "March 26, huh?"

The fateful date has arrived.

The Washington Wizards three-time All-Star point guard will be sentenced Friday in D.C. Superior Court on one felony count of violating the District of Columbia's strict gun laws. Judge Robert E. Morin will decide whether Arenas does jail time or gets probation.

The prosecution and defense teams stated their cases earlier this week in voluminous filings. It's all far beyond anything Arenas imagined on that December morning when he says he brought four guns to the locker room to play a prank on a teammate.

Prosecutors want Arenas to go to jail for at least three months. They point out that he lied repeatedly about why the guns were in the locker room, that he tried to cover up what happened, that he displayed a cavalier attitude about the whole affair, that he knew bringing guns into D.C. was illegal, and that he has a prior gun conviction.

What kind of message does that send to other players? I would have expected at least a year in jail, Washington D.C. being what it is, which is a playground for illegal weapons and home to a lot of gun violence. I don't think Arenas should be allowed to play in the NBA ever again. I think some mistakes bring with them some measure of forgiveness, but four guns in the locker room and then the lies that went with them? Sorry, that's a level of poor judgement which goes beyond the privilege of playing professional sports.

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