Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton shook the NBA when they brought guns into the Wizards’ locker room in 2009. Both received lengthy suspensions. Arenas, hit hard by injuries, washed out of the league a couple years later and has repeatedly made a fool of himself in retirement. Crittenton never played in the NBA again and is serving a 23-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.
How did it get to this point?
Because of the second-most-popular game in the NBA, slightly behind basketball – Bourré. Bourré is a card game featuring high-stakes betting, and Arenas, Crittenton and JaVale McGee were playing it on a team flight.
Jon Gold of The Action Network (warning: language):
Then Arenas put his famous mouth to work.
“I’m talking my good old shit. ‘Ooooh yeah baby, don’t fall asleep now.’ When anyone was getting killed, I’d hit the stewardess button. ‘Oh no, we have a jumper. Tell the pilot! We have a jumper, people!’ And Javaris is 1,000 degrees hot. But everyone knows my style. I’m gonna keep poking. I want you fucked up. I flip over a 10 (of spades, establishing the trump card). Oh shit, we live baby! Ain’t no deuces over here!”
Then Arenas notices JaVale McGee flash Earl Boykins a look.
McGee hinted to Boykins that he had a dominant hand — “the shit,” as Arenas called it, “the ace, king and queen!” all in the trump suit — and Boykins folded.
McGee screamed, “I don’t need none” — as in, no new cards — and then Arenas looked at Crittenton, who’s next.
“Javaris has a look like he needs a full five,” Arenas said, laughing. “He’s motherfucking me, motherfucking the game. He screams out ‘Five!’”
Crittenton’s hand was so bad he would need five entirely new cards.
Arenas continues: “I scream, ‘Oh shit, I think he’s going to choke himself with the seat belt. This is about to be a boo record, people!’”
This only a small excerpt of Gold’s excellent article. I highly recommend reading it in full. He explains the rules of Bourré, details more of Bourré-fueled NBA conflict (including the Tony Allen-O.J. Mayo fight) and writes about a $1.4 million hand.