*Suspended Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas says he is deserving of punishment for bringing guns in to the locker room, and will do everything possible to restore his good name in memory of the team’s late owner, Abe Pollin.
In an interview with Esquire magazine, the athlete said he wasn’t using “longevity thinking” when he took out four guns in what he says was an attempt to play a prank on teammate Javaris Crittenton in December.
Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge in January and will be sentenced next week. He told the AP this month that he would have “no problems” playing for the Wizards again and that he’s not nervous about his sentencing date as long as the judge “goes off the actual real story” of what happened.
Arenas said he and Crittenton returned to good terms almost immediately after their confrontation, which stemmed from a card game on the team plane. Crittenton also displayed a gun during the spat and was sentenced to unsupervised probation for a misdemeanor gun charge.
“He goes into the Jacuzzi,” Arenas told the magazine. “You know what? I gotta warm my knee up anyway. I go in and sit with him. We’re just sitting in there talking. We didn’t have no problem. It was just some fun that got out of control.”
Arenas has been suspended until the end of the season by the NBA. In the Esquire interview, which hits newsstands next week and was obtained by The Associated Press in advance, Arenas says he has “messed up” the legacy of Wizards owner Abe Pollin, who died in November.
“I have a painting of him in my garage. I just walk by it with my head down,” Arenas said. “I called Mrs. Pollin and said, ‘If Abe was still with us, I would’ve had to talk to him, so I’m gonna give you the same respect. I want to say sorry to you. I deserve to be punished. I’ll do everything it takes to get back your husband’s respect.'”
Below, Arenas and the late Abe Pollin.