The Charlotte Bobcats announced today that they have released point guard Javaris Crittenton, who was not only fighting for a spot on the Bobcats roster, but perhaps also fighting for his NBA life. As Gilbert Arenas’ opposite in last season’s gun scandal, Crittenton was hoping to clear his name with an NBA gig this season, but now it seems that Critt will be forced to seek employment elsewhere.
Crittenton has never been a can’t-miss talent, and as such, his NBA future could be forever impacted by the events of last December. If he were oozing with potential, Crittenton’s days of making the headlines would be but a blemish on his overall résumé, but considering how few his opportunities to prove himself have been, he doesn’t yet have the body of work that could discount that kind of bad press.
I wouldn’t expect that a lot of NBA decision-makers necessarily fault Crittenton for what happened, or think of him as some kind of villain. That said, his past brings headaches. Headaches that minimum-salary talents don’t often come with, and don’t have to, given the sheer number of roughly equivalent players out there. This isn’t necessarily a death sentence for Crittenton’s NBA career, but it’s a significant blow. It’s likely he’ll float around in the NBA’s atmosphere for awhile (Summer League, training camp, etc.), but this was a solid shot to make a team weak at his position and yet Crittenton couldn’t get it done. It might be due to his recovery from ankle surgery, play in camp, or his past, but regardless of the justification, Crittenton won’t be an NBA regular this season.