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NBA shoot-around

Gilbert Arenas brings the Bullets back to Washington. Plus, a D-lineman dustup.
By MATT TAIBBI  |  January 27, 2010


Sometimes, even superstar athletes just wear out their welcome. When Gilbert Arenas came into the league back in 2001, and especially after he moved to the Wizards in '03, "Agent Zero" was poised to be the next big thing in basketball. (There are many of us here in Celtics country who got used to watching him torture whichever also-ran we had running the point back in those days.)

He was weird, though, and kind of a handful off the court, and it's all come to a head now that he's been arrested and forced to cop a plea to carrying a pistol without a license, following an utterly moronic incident in which he apparently drew a gun on teammate Javaris Crittenton in the Wizards' locker room. There are conflicting reports about what happened here — some say both players pulled guns on each other — but apparently the whole brouhaha was over a debt from a card game, something that happens in the NBA a lot more often than fans would probably want to know.

Arenas still might have skated — hell, we've seen players get away with rape in this league and keep playing — but he made a wrong move soon after the incident, pointing his fingers as though they were guns in warm-ups before a game against the Sixers. Then he tweeted one of the all-time un-PR-savvy messages, which doubled as a furious broadside against the English language (needless to say, put a big sic before all this): "I know everybody seen the pre game pics . . . my teammate thought to break the tention we should do that . . . but this is gettn way to much . . . I wanna say sorry if I pissed any body off by us havin fun . . . I'm sorry for anything u need to blame for for right now . . ."

Gil has been suspended indefinitely and may serve time. He gets 40 points for bringing a gun (even unloaded) into a locker room.

Dvoracek dusted
This is the time of year when players for non-playoff or playoff-ousted NFL teams start showing up on the police blotters in force. Those whose seasons ended early, and who don't have the Pro Bowl to worry about, find this a good time to start breezing into nightclubs in random cities, pounding lots of brew, and getting into altercations with underpaid bouncers who want no part of their 300-pound selves.

Enter Dusty Dvoracek, a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears who has a history of this sort of thing — while in college at Oklahoma, he had some problems that got him kicked off the team and into alcohol counseling.

Dusty made it through the program and still had enough talent to get picked up by the Bears in the third round of the 2006 draft. He's had a so-so career to date, although this past summer he had a full monty knee blow-up that forced him on injured reserve (not exactly a shocker — Dvoracek has finished all four of his NFL seasons on the IR).

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 See all articles by: MATT TAIBBI

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