Agent 0 $ ????

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Embattled Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas pled guilty Friday to felony gun possession.  Arenas was originally cited for the locker room incident with teammate Javaris Crittenden, where both player allegedly pointed guns at each other.  Arenas has since tried to chalk all 4 guns he had in the locker room and the entire incident up to a practical joke.  The charge can carry up to 5 years in prison, and the plea is an attempt to get community service and probation instead.  Moreover, its a desperate move to save his $80 million dollars from the Wizards, who would love nothing more than to terminate the contact that has hamstrung the franchise, and start over.

Some news outlets made a giant deal out of it, and perhaps it is to the general public.  To us here at notespn, its business as usual for the NBA.  A league that has gone away from the classy spit and polish of Magic, Bird, and Jordan to the me-first, self-centered thug/gangster that the NBA has become.

Arenas (self nick-named “Agent 0”) falls into that category. And it might be a bigger deal if he was a big star on a big team, but Agent 0 is long removed from the day he hung 60 on the Lakers.  Certainly, if this were Kobe or Lebron, it would be shattering.  But this gives David Stern, which regularly rules with a Stalin-esque iron fist minus the genocide, a chance to firmly discipline a talented player without any real detriment to the league’s popularity or its marketing.

This is why players like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are so refreshing.  They take us back to the glory years of the NBA, the 80’s and the 90’s.  Charismatic, engaging, and making the league fun.  Players that help out in their community and do charity work.  No promotion of “being hard”, having guns, bitches and ho’s.  No “making it rain” in the club or treating a hooker like your own personal sex puppet while your wife and 3 kids can’t wait for loving husband/father to get back from the 3 game road trip.

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Conversely, this is why players like Allen Iverson, Ben Wallace, Anthony, Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest, and (any of the rest of the players vs. fans brawl from the Palace a few years ago) the like are such pains in the ass…players who’s sense of self is greater than the good of their team, players like Kobe Bryant used to be, not that long ago.

We’ll see how it plays out, and without any jail time, the Wizards reportedly will have a tough time getting out of the rest of the $80 million they owe to Arenas.  But we can rest assured of one thing.  Players like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are few and far between, and until the culture changes, we can rest assured more happenings like Arenas will continue.

Let’s just hope next time, the perps don’t take the safety off.

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