Banned For Five Years?


I can't quite make the leap to a "lifetime ban" for Gilbert Arenas, and I can't quite accept a "rest of this season" or a one year ban. I think five years would suffice:
Gilbert Arenas' suspension came as new details emerged about the locker-room confrontation between Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, a Wizards teammate, on Dec. 21 that suggest a potentially far more volatile incident than was originally reported by Arenas to team officials. The two players had been arguing during a card game on the Wizards' flight back from Phoenix Dec. 19, and the dispute spilled into the team locker room at Verizon Center before practice two days later. Arenas has acknowledged bringing his handguns to the arena and displaying them in the locker room that morning in what he maintained was a playful gesture aimed at his teammate. According to two first-hand accounts of the confrontation, Crittenton responded to Arenas's action -- which included laying the four unloaded weapons in Crittenton's cubicle with a note that read, "Pick One" -- by brandishing his own firearm, loading the gun and chambering a round.

Crittenton should get a lifetime ban, starting right now. Arenas should face a similar penalty, and probably just get the same thing. Crittenton being a bit player and Arenas being a hundred million dollar player really shouldn't matter, but, in reality, it does matter. It matters to the franchise. I think that the NBA should void the contract Arenas is playing under, remove him from the league for an extended period, and review his case. I think the act of actually chambering a round indicates an escalation on the part of Crittenton that demonstrates criminal intent. Yes, you can argue that Arenas also had some sort of criminal intent to intimidate. Leaving four guns out like that is intimidation. The old joke about how it isn't armed robbery if the gun isn't loaded doesn't apply here--both players are head cases with severe problems. I just can't quite bring myself to make them equals, though.

Crittenton should never suit up again. Arenas should be given a second chance only if he can demonstrate substantive change in his lifestyle and attitude.
The NBA did try to hide the photo you see above--why? Wouldn't the existence of this photo serve as evidence that Arenas should legitimately be suspended and his contract should be voided? Or is the Public Relations fallout just too negative?