Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said Saturday that the team will not attempt to void Gilbert Arenas’ contract next year, saying “people forget that he’s still one of the best players in this league.” The Washington Post
Arenas was sentenced Friday to probation, but no jail time for charges stemming from his infamous altercation involving guns with Javaris Crittenton.
It’s interesting that the Wizards have come out and supported Arenas after this whole mess. He embarrassed the organization, brought weapons into the locker room, helped prompt the team to blow up the nucleus of Arenas-Butler-Jamison, and then laughed it off. He managed to slip away from jail time but it’s surprising to see the Wizards come out strong behind him.
So the core next year features Arenas, Josh Howard, Al Thornton, and mercurial Andray Blatche. Unless the Wizards luck out in the lottery, it’s hard to see how the Wizards will really be moving forward. That may be the most devastating result of this lost season for the Wizards. They’re stuck with the player who wasn’t playing that well and who submarined things for the club, and they’ve lost the glue locker room guys they had depended on for stability.
The Wizards will need Arenas to return to 2005 standards of shooting, ahem, as it were, if they want to try and climb back to respectability. The drama continues.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.
I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.
However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…
The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.