Gilbert's Arena No More - NBC4 Washington

Gilbert's Arena No More



    A billboard featuring Gilbert Arenas is removed from the Verizon Center. (Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010)

    The massive banner bearing the image of embattled Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas fell with dramatic flourish Thursday, as crews took the poster off the Verizon Center wall.

    The banner is gone in response to what Arenas is accused of doing inside those walls. He admitted to bringing guns into the Wizards locker room last month. Now under investigation by local and federal authorities, Arenas also faces an indefinite suspension from the NBA without pay -- meaning zero dollars for Agent Zero until he's allowed back on the court.

    While D.C. police expect the investigation to wrap up within a few days, it seems to be just the beginning of intense speculation into what exactly went down in the locker room.

    Arenas allegedly brought the guns to Verizon in some sort of confrontation over a gambling debt with teammate Javaris Crittenton, according to witnesses who talked to the Washington Post. Crittenton also reportedly brandished his own loaded firearm. Arenas has said his guns were not loaded, while Crittenton denies any wrongdoing.

    Gilbert's Arena, No More

    [DC] Gilbert's Arena, No More
    As the Gilbert Arenas gun case deepens, his banner falls from the Verizon Center Wall.
    (Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010)

    Neither Wizards player faced any charges on Thursday evening. But when asked earlier in the day, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier confirmed that it is indeed illegal for someone to carry handguns into the District. She was otherwise tight-lipped about the investigation on WTOP-FM's "Ask the Chief" segment.

    What happens next is likely to be decided behind the walls of the U.S. Attorney's Office, where prosecutors will decide what if any charges to bring in the case. While Arenas has apologized for his actions, calling it a bad attempt at being humorous, Post columnist Mike Wise believes the actual details are no laughing matter.

    "I think [people will] understand things were a lot more volatile in that locker room than people originally believed," Wise said of the incident. "Child's play, a silly prank, went way beyond what most people consider to be a practical joke."