NBA suspends Arenas for rest of season
NBA commissioner David Stern has suspended Washington Wizards guard
Gilbert Arenas for the remainder of this season, the league
League sources told Yahoo! Sports that Stern had been considering two
suspension scenarios for the former All-Star: the remainder of this
season or a full 82-game ban that would extend into next season.
Sources said players association executive director Billy Hunter and association
attorneys had negotiated the suspension terms with Stern over the past
several days. If the association vowed to appeal the shorter penalty, sources
said, Stern was prepared to suspend Arenas for the full 82 games.
Legal counsel made it clear to Arenas prior to his Wednesday meeting with Stern that he risked the longer suspension if he didn’t accept a ban for the remainder of this season. The Washington Post reported that Arenas told Stern he would ask the association not to fight the suspension.
Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton(notes), who was involved in the incident with Arenas, also was suspended for the remainder of the season.
“The issue here is not about the legal ownership and possession of guns, either in one’s home or elsewhere,” Stern said in a statement formally announcing the suspension. “It is about possession of guns in the NBA workplace, which will not be tolerated.”
Including the 12 games he has already missed, Arenas will be suspended for a total of 50 games, costing him nearly $7.4 million in lost salary.
The players association had held out some last-minute hope that Stern would allow Arenas to return to the NBA sooner than next season if the association would concede to amending the current Collective Bargaining Agreement to include a zero-tolerance gun policy. No formal proposal on the specifics of possible penalties for the policy was exchanged, sources say, but the association was open to the idea had the commissioner been willing to shorten the suspensions of Arenas and Crittenton.