Watch Caron Butler Recount The Time Gilbert Arenas And Javaris Crittenton Nearly Shot Each Other
Caron Butler has seen a lot of messed up stuff in his life. He's even owned up to carrying a handgun as an 11-year-old drug dealer growing up in Racine, Wisconsin, as a means of establishing the unimaginable conditions he was faced with as a very young child. And though Butler has managed to defy the odds and extract himself from the violence that defined his youth, he wasn't able to avoid the now infamous Washington Wizards locker room incident that ended in a standoff between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton.
In his new book, “Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA,” the 13-year NBA vet recounted exactly why and how Crittendon and Arenas stood toe-to-toe with loaded weapons pointed at each other's heads in 2009.
It all began when Arenas took $1,100 out of the pot of a in-flight poker match, which set Crittenton off.
Everyone could hear Gilbert and Javaris going at it as we rode along.
“I’ll see your [expletive] at practice and you know what I do,” Gilbert said.
“What the [expletive] you mean, you know what I do?” replied Javaris.
“I play with guns.”
“Well I play with guns, too.”
Gilbert Arenas, right, and Caron Butler were the once promising core of a talented Wizards team. The gun incident ended up ripping the team apart. (Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) Gilbert Arenas, right, and Caron Butler (seen in 2009) were once the promising core of a talented Wizards team. The gun incident ended up ripping the squad apart. (Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
We had the next day off, but on the following day, December 21, practice started at ten o’clock at the Verizon Center so we all wandered in a little earlier.
When I entered the locker room, I thought I had somehow been transported back to my days on the streets of Racine. Gilbert was standing in front of his two locker stalls, the ones previously used by Michael Jordan, with four guns on display. Javaris was standing in front of his own stall, his back to Gilbert.
“Hey, MF, come pick one,” Gilbert told Javaris while pointing to the weapons. “I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.”
“Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,” said Javaris, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. “I’ve got one right here.”
He pulled out his own gun, already loaded, cocked it, and pointed it at Gilbert....
...I talked calmly to Javaris, reminding him that his entire career, not to mention, perhaps, his life, would be over if he flicked that trigger finger.
I looked back at Gilbert. He was silent as he removed himself from the scene.
Javaris slowly lowered the gun.
I know that Gilbert was thinking, “I went too far. I had a gun pointed at me and it was loaded.”
Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun possession charge, receiving a year probation alongside a season-long suspension handed down by then commissioner David Stern. He never played another minute in the National Basketball Association.
After a brief stint in China, Crittenton returned to the U.S. and is now serving a 23-year sentence for manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. He was also busted on suspicion of trafficking large quantities of cocaine.
Arenas is currently living out the garish life afforded by the six-year, $111 million contract he signed in 2008.
[Via The Washington Post]
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