One of the most notorious gun incidents in the history of the NBA is perhaps the locker room showdown between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. The consequences of the clash that eventually saw both players being suspended from the league are well remembered.
In the NBA, where arms possession is a serious crime, it is shocking to consider that two professionals would bring loaded guns into a locker room. A game of cards that got heated, fierce trash-talk from both sides, and the eventual gun showdown – all in a notorious turn of events.
So what had exactly transpired between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton that saw the two players bring out guns at each other? And how was Caron Butler involved in the altercation between the two? Know all about the gun incident between Arenas and Crittenton that spurred wide controversy in 2009.
The dispute that would lead to their eventual gun showdown originated over a game of cards. Not just any other game of cards but the Acadian game of Booray – and it had money being gambled upon. The game was quite often played in the Washington Wizards’ locker room, and that day was no exception.
Arenas, back then, had somewhat of a flair for troublemaking and simply couldn’t resist messing with Crittenton, who was losing heavily – with a lot of cash at stake. The heated altercation would, at some point, lead to some heavy trash talk, and Crittenton blatantly threatened to shoot Arenas.
Why did Gilbert Arenas bring four guns into the locker room?
Calling his threat, Gilbert Arenas decided to bring four guns into the locker room to challenge Crittenton to shoot him. Unbeknownst to the other, Arenas had all four guns unloaded. But to his surprise and to that of his teammates, Crittenton pulled out a gun of his own. And this one was clearly loaded.
Everyone stood frozen in their tracks, anticipating the inevitable outcome. With fingers on the trigger, Javaris indicated to his other teammates to leave the locker room. Fortunately, that night, there was no bloodshed, but the consequences soon followed.
Who hid Crittenton’s gun?
The news of the incident spread in no time, and NBA Commissioner David Stern had both of them suspended from the league. Fortunately for Crittenton, his fellow teammate Caron Butler hid his gun for him. Javaris got away with misdemeanor charges, but Arenas was not as lucky. He was banned from the league for two seasons and was pressed with felony charges.
The cold locker room showdown between Javaris Crittenton and Arenas Gilbert remains one of the most controversial gun incidents in the history of the league. Although Arenas made it back to his professional career, Crittenton did not. In 2011, he was convicted of running over a 22-year-old woman and served prison time for involuntary manslaughter.
Ritvik Malhotra is an NBA editor and writer for FirstSportz. He has previously worked with renowned media outlets such as FootTheBall and EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for nearly a decade and has been a diehard fan of Kevin Durant since his heydays with the Oklahoma City Thunder. When not writing about the beautiful game, he enjoys his rock playlist.
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