Washington’s most gifted Wizard wishes he had the magic to make the gun fiasco disappear.
A day after telling reporters that he was merely joking when he whipped out several guns in the locker room of the Verizon Center last month and told teammate Javaris Crittenton to “pick one,” a grand jury was convened in D.C. Superior Court, and prosecutors have begun presenting their evidence, according to The Washington Post.
Official charges could be filed as early as next week, the Post reports.
See Also: Al Sharpton Blasts Gilbert Arenas
If convicted of felony gun-possession charges, Arenas could be looking at a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even misdemeanor gun charges could mean a year in jail. But even if Arenas is not convicted, the league, which is waiting for the legal process to take its course, could still decide to suspend the player and fine him for as much as $50,000.
The NBA’s 2005 collective-bargaining agreement includes tougher sanctions for violating firearms laws.
Arenas admitted bringing the unloaded guns to the locker room, saying that he wanted to get them out of his house and away from his children.
"I brought them without any ammunition into the District of Columbia, mistakenly believing that the recent change in the D.C. gun laws allowed a person to store unloaded guns in the District. ...”
He denied earlier reports that he pulled out guns to settle a gambling dispute with Crittenton. “Contrary to some press accounts, I never threatened or assaulted anyone with the guns and never pointed them at anyone,” he said. “Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to D.C. in the first place, and I now realize that there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns – even if unloaded.''
The Wizards organization has declined to comment on the episode, but Sixers head coach Eddie Jordan, who coached Arenas for a half-decade before heading to Philadelphia last year, praised his ex-player … sort of.
"When I think of Gilbert, he's a heck of a three-point shooter; he drives to the basket; he's an assassin on the floor; he's a real good player,'' Jordan said. "And that's all I'm concerned about with Gilbert Arenas.''