Nba- Stern Announced Official Ban For Arenas, Crittenton

NBA commissioner David Stern announced officially on Wednesday that Washington Wizards guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton would be suspended for the remainder of the current season without pay. This includes the 20 games that have already been missed, as well as the 82 games left. Some sources suggested that the commissioner and the NBA were considering suspending the players for not only this season, but next season as well. However, they began negotiating several days ago, and the result was that both Arenas and Crittenton would be suspended for this season only, if they decided not to appeal the sentence. This has not yet been confirmed. Stern was very clear that the suspension, which arose because of an incident between the two players in the locker room, was not about the possession of guns more generally; instead, it concerned the possession of guns in the NBA workplace, behavior the NBA finds intolerable. "[T]here is no justification for their conduct. Accordingly, I am today converting Mr. Arenas' indefinite suspension without pay to a suspension without pay for the remainder of the 2009-10 season, and am also suspending Mr. Crittenton without pay, effective immediately, for the remainder of the 2009-10 season," Stern declared. Both Arenas and Crittenton had already met with the commissioner.

Stern claimed that both players expressed remorse for their actions, acknowledged the inappropriateness of their actions and volunteered to engage in community service. Stern said that he believed the sincerity of their responses and recognized their intentions to transform their experiences into something positive for their communities. Nonetheless, he argued for a season-long suspension. The Washington Wizards supported the Stern decision over their players. It is well known that Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin changed the name of the team from the Bullets to the Wizards to express his aversion for firearms and violence in the community. Arenas still has to wait for the sentence from the criminal court, which is charging him for illegal possession of firearms. Arenas already pleaded guilty and is expecting a sentence on March 26. His sentence could range from probation, community service and a fine to a prison term of up to six months. The Wizards are waiting for the ruling to determine whether or not they can cancel their contract with the player.

The team intends to void Arenas' last four years in the contract, a deal valued at $80 million, but many experts have already said that the Wizards would be unable to void the contract unless Arenas is sentenced to go to jail, an unlikely outcome. Crittenton was already sentenced by the criminal court to one year of unsupervised probation following his guilty plea to a misdemeanor gun charge. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second charge of attempting to carry a pistol without a license. Stern said he would meet with other NBA officials this week to see how the NBA gun policy might be strengthened.

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