Zeroing in on the truth
Former Washington Wizard Caron Butler released his book, “Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA,” on Wednesday, and it contained the clearest and most detailed account of the 2009 incident that led to five guns showing up in the team’s locker room.
By Butler’s account, a card game involving Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton went awry on the team plane, and it led to an argument that eventually spilled over to the team facility:
“When I entered the locker room, I thought I had somehow been transported back to my days on the streets of Racine. Gilbert was standing in front of his two locker stalls . . . with four guns on display. Javaris was standing in front of his own stall, his back to Gilbert.
“‘Hey, MF, come pick one,’ Gilbert told Javaris while pointing to the weapons. ‘I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.’
“‘Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,’ said Javaris, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. ‘I’ve got one right here.’
“He pulled out his own gun, already loaded, cocked it, and pointed it at Gilbert.”
Arenas was suspended 50 games by the league for his role in the incident, and it’s widely regarded as one of the craziest incidents to have taken place in an NBA locker room.
After Butler’s story was first reported by The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg, Arenas took to Instagram on Thursday to explain his side of the story. In two posts, which have since been deleted, the man once known as “Agent Zero” explained the tale with a rather light-hearted tone.
The two stories diverge at the point that Butler claims he saw Arenas laying out the four guns; Arenas says the guns were there before anyone else arrived. Also, the specific timelines of how Crittenton came to have his gun raised are slightly different.
The first Instagram post was a long diatribe about the specifics of the card game, explaining how Arenas got involved.
“I respect Caron Butler’s book and got my copy but the guns in the locker room story is FALSE in his book,” Arenas wrote. He then goes on to describe the very specific hand that Crittenton was upset about. That’s where the argument started. Arenas details the rest.
“When the plane lands he walks back talking tough, saying if we were in the streets, ‘ I’d pop you in your knees.’ I said ‘[Expletive] I’ll give you the guns to do it on Monday.’ It was Saturday, and we had Sunday off. I get to the gym on Monday at 8 a.m. and put four empty guns on his chair and a note that said ‘ pick one.’ No one saw me touch a gun or put them there. [ When] Crittenton came in I was in the training room. Crittenton, DeShawn Stevenson, Andray Blatche, and Dominic McGuire were the only ones in the locker room when I walked in.
“So Crittenton says ‘ what’s this [expletive]?’ I said ‘ you said you were gonna shoot me so [expletive] there go guns so pick one,’ meaning pick the one you are going to shoot me with like you said. He said ‘ I don’t need this [expletive].’ That’s when Caron is now in the room, and a trainer. Crittenton takes the guns off his seat and throws them on the floor, hitting the trainers foot. He runs into the training room and Crittenton pulls out a little silver gun that Eddie Murphy shot the pinkie toe off with hahahahaha (I’m not going to say if it was loaded or pointed at me, no need to bash a man who can’t defend his name). Let’s just say I started laughing and said ‘put that Harlem Nights gun away, look at the [expletive] I’m GIVING you, imagine what I have at home so you can keep those.’ The [expletive] end.
“JaVale picks up my guns and takes them to my car. Caron hides Crittenton’s gun in the locker room. I was in the jacuzzi so Crittenton comes in with me and we started talking and he said I play too much, and I told him he was just a hot head.”
The posts are meant to be some sort of a self-exoneration, and his lighthearted tone about the events is even a little bizarre.
What’s not funny is that Crittenton is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for the killing of an Atlanta woman in 2011.
Arenas, who is still getting paid to not play basketball, has quite the history on social media and spent the earlier part of the week making fun of Memphis Grizzlies guard Matt Barnes for his role in an incident involving Knicks Coach Derek Fisher and Barnes’ ex-wife, Gloria Govan. Gloria’s sister Laura is Arenas’s ex-fiancee.
A tangled web, indeed.
Gilbert Arenas, right, called former Wizard Caron Butler’s account of the infamous guns in the locker room incident false.