Javaris Crittenton is getting another shot, this time in the D-League.
He has to be approved by the league but that is expected to happen, followed by Crittenton being picked up by the Dakota Wizards, according to Scott Schroeder at FanHouse.
It’s a road back to the league for a guy that showed a lot of promise when drafted in the first round back in 2007 by the Lakers.
In 2008, when the Lakers traded for (or stole outright, if you’re Mark Cuban) Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies, the one minor lament in Lakersland was that Crittenton was going out the door. Crittenton showed a quick first step and some decent play for a rookie — it was possible to see him taking over for Derek Fisher when he retires in 2048.
(Turns out the lament should have been over Marc Gasol, but nobody had really seen him yet.)
It hasn’t really worked out that way for Crittenton. He saw little time for the Grizzlies then was traded from Memphis to Washington, where he played half a season. He missed the start of the 09-10 season due to injury then was the other guy in the Gilbert Arenas gun debacle, which led to him being suspended for the rest of last season. The Wizards then let him go.
The Charlotte Bobcats, needing some depth at the point this season after letting Raymond Felton go, brought Crittenton in to camp this year, but he did not make the squad. He played some in China but that did not end well.
When you’re a 6’5” point guard who is a fantastic athlete, you get extra chances to prove you can be consistent on the court and not a distraction off it. But Crittenton has just about used all his chances up. Let’s hope he makes the most of this one.
Tuesday night, O.J. Mayo was out of the Memphis lineup with what was officially called a case of bronchitis, but a swollen face may be the real cause.
Mayo and teammate Tony Allen got into a fight over a debt from a card game on the team’s Sunday night flight and had to be separated by teammates (Yahoo Sports had the story first). Grizzlies’ general manager Chris Wallace confirmed there was an incident in an email to media in which he also said:
“The club considers the matter closed and will not comment further.”
The cause of the fight, according to Yahoo, was money owed from a card game called “boo-ray” (officially “Bourré”) played on the plane, which Mayo lost (more than $1,000) then he antagonized Allen over it refusing to pay.
Expect the league to come in with potentially harsh fines and suspensions — remember it was a fight over money owed from a boo-ray card game between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton that led to the gun incident in the Washington locker room last year, and subsequent suspensions for the rest of the season. The image-conscious NBA is not going to mess around this time.
This also may cause the league to come in and clamp down on card game gambling on team charter flights, which is a pretty common occurrence (back to Michael Jordan’s Bulls teams and beyond). Several teams took steps after the Wizards incident last year but a league-wide edict would not be a surprise now.
Gilbert Arenas was a dichotomy in Washington — for a while he rekindled interest in what seemed a long-dead franchise. He could ball and he was entertaining. On the other hand there was the juvenile idiocy that led to the gun charges and suspension.
Now he is sent off to try and resurrect his career in Orlando, but he said goodbye to the fans in The District via Comcast Washington:
“I know it didn’t end like I would have liked. I had a great time playing in Washington – They made me feel like a rock star while I was there. I wish I could have took them further than the second round.
I wanna thank Mr. and Mrs. Pollin, Ernie, Eddie, every teammate I went to war with on the basketball court. Thanks for believing in me.
I wanna thank Mr. Leonsis for giving me a chance to regain some basketball respect back in me career, and I hope nothing but the best for him and the Wizards. Last but not least I want to thank the great fans of Washington. It was an honor playing for you guys for 8 years.
I hope when it’s all said and done, I entertained you when you entered those doors at the MCI/Verizon Center and can forgive me as a man for the mistakes I’ve made.”
Gilbert Arenas always came off as a guy above it, a guy who didn’t care what you think. He was playing the game, his way, you could love it or leave it. Agent Zero was footloose and care free.
Except that’s not the case, especially after last season’s gun suspension. He missed a home game this preseason not because of a sore knee (what he told the team) or because he wanted Nick Young to get some burn (what he told reporters and got fined for), his real concern was the crowd reaction, he tells Sports Illustrated.
“I was really scared of getting booed,” says Arenas. “It’s a little crazy because I was here with Kwame Brown when Kwame was scared to go out there. I used to be like, Man, it’s just boos. Now here I was six years later, and I was him. I was scared to go out there.”
You can buy this version of the story or not. To me, it seems the most plausible, and makes Arenas the most accessible. Nobody wants to be booed by 18,000 people. Not even Kobe (although he’ll just grind it up into hate fuel).
The fantastic piece by Chris Manix in SI shows a lot of sides of Arenas, including the one who is sure he and Wall will blend perfectly.
“I said to my friends that I wish (Wall getting drafted to the Wiz) happened four years ago,” says Arenas, 28. “I wish it happened before the knee injuries, because this team would have been fabulous. I always kept saying I wanted another two guard that can take on the scoring or for them to bring in a point guard so I can go to the two. When they drafted him, I thought it was the smartest idea.”
Really, go read the whole piece. Arenas is not a two-dimensional character, he’s real and flawed but seems to have grown through it all.
Gilbert Arenas’ sprained ankle is not getting better — he was walking around in a protective boot Wednesday — and he will miss the first two Wizards games. At least.
That according to a tweet from Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Arenas is going to see a doctor to see if anything more serious is going on, after he had missed four days of practice (counting Wednesday) due to the ankle.
The Wizards open Thursday night in Orlando and play Saturday in Atlanta. Which means it could be next Tuesday and the Wizards home opener that Arenas would finally get suit up for the team again.
Arenas missed 50 games last season due to a suspension after bringing guns into the Wizards locker room, an incident that also led to legal issues.
Arenas absence will likely mean more minutes for Nick Young, the guy Arenas tried to help out by faking an injury so Arenas sat during preseason game. Arenas played in four of the seven Wizards preseason games, due to injuries real and imagined.
On the court this preseason Arenas had seemed to blend with John Wall, the rookie point guard that has become the cornerstone of the franchise and its future plans. A role Arenas used to have.