Sacramento Kings forward and longtime NBA veteran Caron Butler just released a memoir, “Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA,” and it includes his first-person account of the crazy gun incident involving former Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton in December 2009.
The Washington Post has an excerpt from the book on that situation, and needless to say, it’s pretty wild. It all started when Arenas and Crittenton got into an argument over $1,100 during a card game on a flight after a game. Butler tried to stop the two from arguing and told Arenas he should give Crittenton the $1,100 back that was owed, but the peacekeeping efforts were fruitless.
When the team got off the plane and got on the airport shuttle van, this exchange occurred:
“I’ll see your [expletive] at practice and you know what I do,” Gilbert said.
“What the [expletive] you mean, you know what I do?” replied Javaris.
“I play with guns.”
“Well I play with guns, too.”
When the team showed up to practice after a day off, it was a surreal scene:
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, the ones previously used by Michael Jordan, 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.
Butler helped deescalate the situation, but the damage was done. After some investigation into the incident, Arenas and Crittenton were suspended the rest of the season, and Arenas lost $7.5 million because of it. Arenas was traded to the Orlando Magic the following season, while Crittenton didn’t play a single minute in the NBA afterward and has since gone to jail for murder. The Wizards were blown up, with Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Antawn Jamison getting dealt away in February 2010.
UPDATE: Gilbert Arenas posted a rebuttal to Instagram that was then deleted. Deadspin has you covered.