WASHINGTON - Straight-faced and subdued, Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty Friday to a felony gun charge connected to a locker-room argument with a teammate, leaving his All-Star career in limbo and his freedom in doubt.
Arenas won’t know whether he must serve jail time until his March 26 sentencing and remains free until then. The judge can give Arenas anywhere from probation to the charge’s maximum term of five years, although guidelines call for six to 12 months.
Arenas did not speak to reporters after his 20-minute hearing.
In court, Arenas was barely audible, offering mostly terse answers such as “Yes, your honor” or “No, sir.” His demeanor stood in stark contrast to the gregarious, blog-writing, jersey-tossing persona that made the player known as “Agent Zero” a fan favorite. It also contrasted with the player who cracked jokes in the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 21 confrontation with a teammate that ended with guns being displayed.
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The Wizards issued a statement, saying: “Gilbert Arenas has been a cornerstone of the Washington Wizards for six years. We are deeply saddened and disappointed in his actions that have led to the events of this afternoon. Gilbert used extremely poor judgment and is ultimately responsible for his own actions.” 1 HAITI RELIEF The NBA and its players’ association will contribute $1 million to support relief efforts in Haiti, saying they would join with UNICEF and other relief agencies to provide assistance. Haiti native Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers taped a public service announcement for UNICEF encouraging fans to contribute, then made a $100,000 donation and said he would match fans’ donations at Friday’s game. Dalembert then went out and racked up 17 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Sixers to a 98-86 win over the Sacramento Kings.
2 B-A-A-A-D DAY It was a not a real good day for Shawne Williams. Early Friday, the New Jersey Nets waived the 23-year-old forward out of Memphis, saying he was “way out of shape.” Later in the day, prosecutors said Williams had been indicted on felony drug charges – eight counts of possession and conspiracy to sell a codeine-based syrup – by a county grand jury. Then he was hauled off to jail.