Thanks For Screwing Up The Party, Zero

So when the NBA suspends Arenas into the Stone Age in the near future — and you can bet that’s what commissioner David Stern is going to do — it will be partly to deter similar idiocy, and partly to fight off any looming stain on the league’s image.

Now, a lot of NBA players own guns, as do many Americans. And some of them, like some Americans, are not so wise about it.

But this incident does not prove the NBA has a thug problem, or a gangster problem, or any of the other racially charged code words that get thrown around at times like this. What this incident proves that the Washington Wizards — and the NBA — have a Gilbert Arenas problem, because Gilbert Arenas is basically a loon. Check his Twitter account, if you don’t believe me.

via NBA’s problem is Arenas, not thuggery.

Absolutely fantastic stuff from Bruce Arthur at the National Post. There’s been so much written I really appreciate this kind of straightforward approach. Concise, eloquent, self-mocking, direct.

He also tackles one of my biggest problems with Arenas’ excuse:

“Other have echoed that feeling. Arenas has said he removed four guns from his home after the birth of his third child — what, the first two kids weren’t cute enough to warrant a gun-free play area?”

I don’t buy what Arenas is selling. Call me sensationalistic. That’s fine. And believe me, I’m no more a fan of the original New York based reporter who “broke” this story than anyone else. But there’s a lot of really weird stuff that doesn’t scream “silly man,” but screams “cleverly disguised cover-up.” Damage control. I mean, you can say this weapon was for self-defense. IT WAS GOLD PLATED. What difference does that make? If you buy something for protection, don’t you want to avoid advertising it? Isn’t it unnecessary to have it be a fashion accessory? We’re off the point.

And that is the point. This whole thing confuses points. Arenas and the Post and Forbes Magazine confuse the point. Wizards bloggers are more outraged by shoddy reporting about exactly what went down and if Saunder sand Arenas had a tiff than Arenas’ behavior which was irresponsible and borderline dangerous. The whole world thinks the NBA has a thug problem, when as Arthur points out, we have an Arenas problem. For every ten thousand NBA Cares commercial and All-Star charity event, there’s one of these stupid events which overshadow all of that.

People say Gilbert’s a mystery. The only mystery I’m seeing right now is how he could manage to screw up this badly in such an obvious, avoidable way.

(Side note: Anyone else think Arenas was playing “Goldeneye” for the N64 when he came up with the golden gun desire?)

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.