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Gilbert Arenas' NBA Future In Jeopardy After Felony Guilty Plea
Published January 18, 2010
|Prosecutors Have Agreed Not To Ask For
More Than Six Months In Jail For Arenas
TRANSITION OFFENSE: In DC, Michael Wilbon wrote the Wizards "want to distance themselves from Arenas as quickly as possible, and this is surely going to get worse considering management will very quickly seek to void" the remainder of his contract. The difference between the felony and a misdemeanor "could be nearly $100[M], which is a reasonable guess at how much Arenas could lose from his contract with the Wizards and his deal with adidas, which was terminated after Arenas's plea bargain Friday." While it is not a certainty the Wizards will void the contract, "copping to a felony makes it more difficult" for the team to keep ties with Arenas (WASHINGTON POST, 1/16). ESPN's Jalen Rose said, "For the most part, the Washington Wizards have already taken their stance. They're not selling his jerseys anymore, you won't see Gilbert Arenas on any promotions. And a player that you owe $80(M) to, it's hard to have him in uniform out on the floor when you've already shown that you're not going to back him at this point" ("Kia NBA Shootaround," ESPN, 1/15). Arenas stands to lose $9.9M in salary if the NBA maintains his unpaid suspension for the duration of this season, and in L.A., Mark Heisler wrote, "For a dumb joke with four unloaded guns, I'd say justice has been served, or over-served" (L.A. TIMES, 1/17).
REDEMPTION SONG? FANHOUSE.com's Jay Mariotti wrote Arenas' guilty plea will "lead to his divorce from the Wizards and will make him a public-relations nightmare for any team that dares to give him another chance" (FANHOUSE.com, 1/15). But ESPN.com's Marc Stein cited sources as saying that Magic GM Otis Smith, who was "part of Golden State's brain trust when the Warriors drafted Arenas as a second-rounder in 2001, continues to be one of Arenas’ closest confidantes in the league." Sources indicated that it is a "virtual certainty, given the depth of their friendship, that Arenas will lobby Smith to be the GM who looks past the damage this incident has done to Gil's reputation and grants his comeback chance" (ESPN.com, 1/16).
With CBA Negotiations Ongoing,
How Hard Will Hunter Fight For Arenas?