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Suspended For The Season
NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for the remainder of the NBA season for their roles in last month's locker room dispute. Both Arenas and Crittenton brought guns to the Verizon Center, which they displayed. The incident followed an argument between the players on the team plane.
Arenas entered a guilty plea on January 15th to a felony weapons possession charge, and is awaiting sentencing. Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation.
Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement about the decisions:
"The NBA has conducted a thorough investigation of events relating to this matter."
"It is not disputed that, following an argument on the team's flight home from a game in Phoenix, both Mr. Arenas and Mr. Crittenton brought guns to the Verizon Center locker room and - with other players and team personnel present or nearby - displayed them to one another in a continuation of their dispute. The players engaged in this conduct despite a specific rule set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the Players Association prohibiting players from possessing a weapon at an NBA facility, and reminders of this prohibition given annually by the NBA to players both in writing and in person."
"The issue here is not about the legal ownership and possession of guns, either in one's home or elsewhere. It is about possession of guns in the NBA workplace, which will not be tolerated."
"I have met separately with Mr. Arenas and with Mr. Crittenton. Both have expressed remorse for their actions and an understanding of the seriousness of their transgressions. Both have volunteered to engage in community service in order to turn the lessons they have learned into an educational message for others. I accept fully the sincerity of their expressions of regret and intent to create something positive from this incident."
"Nevertheless, there is no justification for their conduct. Accordingly, I am today converting Mr. Arenas' indefinite suspension without pay to a suspension without pay for the remainder of the 2009-10 season, and am also suspending Mr. Crittenton without pay, effective immediately, for the remainder of the 2009-10 season."
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"Slap In The Face"
Patriots' DT Vince Wilfork is not a fan of the franchise tag. The two-time Pro Bowler said Wednesday he would consider it a "slap in the face" if the Patriots designate him as its franchise player. Wilfork completed the final season of a six-year rookie contract, and has vocalized his desire for a long-term contract. The Patriots could prevent the 28-year-old from being a free agent if they place the franchise tag on him, which the team could do during a two-week stretch in February.
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Filling A Void
The Yankees have agreed to terms with OF Randy Winn on a $2 million contract, reports ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. The switch-hitting outfielder fills a need for the Yankees who have been looking to add a left fielder. Winn, 35, hit .262 last season and stole 16 bases for the San Francisco Giants. He is expected to split time with Brett Gardner. The addition of Winn should end any speculation of Johnny Damon returning to the Yankees.