Arenas pleads guilty
WASHINGTON — Straight-faced and subdued, Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony gun charge connected to a locker-room argument, leaving his All-Star career in limbo and his freedom in doubt.
Arenas won't know whether he must serve jail time until his March 26 sentencing and remains free until then. The government indicated it will not seek more than six months, although the judge can give Arenas anywhere from probation to the charge's maximum term of five years. Guidelines call for six to 12 months.
Arenas did not speak to reporters on the way into D.C. Superior Court — only shaking his head when asked if he wanted to tell fans anything — or when he walked down the block to police headquarters after his 20-minute hearing.
In court, Arenas was barely audible, offering mostly terse answers such as "Yes, your honor" or "No, sir." Those hands that have made so many shots and earned Arenas millions of dollars were shoved into the pockets of his gray, pinstriped suit. His demeanor stood in stark contrast to the gregarious, blog-writing, jersey-tossing persona that made the player known as "Agent Zero" a fan favorite. It also contrasted with the player who cracked jokes with reporters and on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 21 confrontation with a teammate that ended with guns being displayed.
Indeed, the loudest words yesterday came in a statement issued by the Wizards about 2 1/2 hours after the hearing ended.
"Gilbert Arenas has been a cornerstone of the Washington Wizards for six years. We are deeply saddened and disappointed in his actions that have led to the events of this afternoon," the team said. "Gilbert used extremely poor judgment and is ultimately responsible for his own actions."
The NBA didn't comment yesterday, while the players' union offered support, with executive director Billy Hunter saying: "The Players Association will continue to make all of its resources available to Gilbert. We remain committed to aggressively representing him in the same fashion that we represent every player in the league."
LEAGUE WILL ASSIST HAITI
The NBA and its players' association will contribute $1 million to support the relief efforts in Haiti.
They said yesterday they would join with UNICEF and other relief agencies to provide assistance, and Haiti native Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers has taped a public service announcement for UNICEF encouraging fans to contribute.
Dalembert addressed the crowd before the 76ers' home game last night and made a $100,000 donation to UNICEF. He said he will also match the donations made by fans at the game.
FULL SUPPORT FOR ARENA
The NBA and the Sacramento Kings are throwing their support behind a proposal to build a new arena and entertainment complex.
The league and the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, announced Thursday they would support the plan unveiled by Gerry Kamilos, a Sacramento land developer.
Kamilos' proposal involves moving the State Fairgrounds to the Arco Arena site in Natomas, and building a new arena in downtown Sacramento.
His plan was one of seven submitted in response to Mayor Kevin Johnson's request in November. Johnson says the 22-year-old Arco Arena is outdated, and without a new facility, the Kings might leave town.
According to the NBA, the Kings agreed to put $300 million into the project by signing a 30-year lease with an annual rent of $10 million.
10 MORE DAYS FOR GAINES
A day after hitting the game-winning shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers, rookie guard Sundiata Gaines of the Utah Jazz has signed a second 10-day contract.
Gaines' first career 3-pointer beat the buzzer Thursday night and lifted the Jazz over the Cavs, 97-96.
Gaines was signed just last week to a 10-day contract. Thursday's game was only his fifth in the NBA.
The 6-foot-1 guard out of Georgia is averaging 4.2 points and 1.4 assists in five games with the Jazz. Utah has gone 4-1 since signing him.