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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 2, 2010

Arenas says it was 'bad judgment' to bring guns into locker room


JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas (0) talks to Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs tonight.

NICK WASS | Associated Press

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WASHINGTON Gilbert Arenas said today he used "bad judgment" in bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room. He also denied that he gambles and said there are misconceptions in the various stories about a dispute between himself and teammate Javaris Crittenton.

As for the rest, he said he'll tell it to authorities on Monday.

Arenas spoke following the Wizards' 97-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. His remarks came after two days of reports about the investigation into the guns he kept at the Verizon Center and about an hour after the family of late Wizards owner Abe Pollin said it was "extremely poor judgment" that the guns were there in the first place.

"I agree," Arenas said. "That's bad judgment on my part to store them in here, and I take responsibility for that."

Arenas skirted other questions about the matter. Two officials within the league who have been briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on Saturday that it involves a dispute over card-playing gambling debts and a heated discussion in the locker room. Neither official was told of Arenas and Crittenton actually drawing guns on each other as the New York Post has reported.

Both officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Asked about guns being drawn, Arenas said: "I can't speak on that. But if you know me, you've been here, I've never did anything (involving) violence. Anything I do is funny well, it's funny to me."

Asked if the accounts of what happened have been blown out of proportion, Arenas laughed and said: "A little."

"I give money away for free," he said. "I think if I owed someone some money, I think I'd pay it up. I play poker on my phone or my computer. If I lose, I just reset the game. I don't gamble. I don't do anything like that."

Arenas said he was "not nervous at all" about the possible outcome of the investigation, but the implications are serious. What began with the NBA looking into a possible violation of its own rules has turned into a matter involving the U.S. Attorney's Office and District of Columbia police. The legal system, the league and the Wizards could take action if the allegations prove true.

Asked if he had met with police, Arenas said: "I deal with that on Monday. ... I've got to put it in their hands and tell the story and see what they say."