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NEW YORK (AP) – Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended without pay for the remainder of the season Wednesday by NBA commissioner David Stern, who said guns in the workplace “will not be tolerated.”
Stern delivered the punishment after meeting with Arenas earlier in the day, turning his indefinite suspension into a suspension without pay.
Both players have admitted bringing guns into the Washington Wizards’ locker room, a violation of the collective bargaining agreement, following a dispute on a team flight. Stern said the players expressed remorse, but added, “nevertheless, there is no justification for their conduct.”
“The issue here is not about the legal ownership and possession of guns, either in one’s home or elsewhere,” Stern said in a statement. “It is about possession of guns in the NBA workplace, which will not be tolerated.”
Arenas, who is forfeiting about $147,200 per game, had already been suspended indefinitely earlier this month. Crittenton, who met with Stern on Tuesday, will lose about $13,435 per game.
Arenas pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to a felony gun charge after an alleged confrontation with Crittenton in the at Verizon Center. Arenas, who is scheduled to be sentenced March 26, is in the second season of a six-year, $111 million contract.
He has asked the players’ association not to contest the penalty, while Crittenton’s plans are unclear. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Associated Press that, “David Stern has done what he thinks is right for the league. We’re going to look at it and talk about it with Javaris and the players’ association.”
The Wizards have 38 games left in a woeful season that was thrown into turmoil when news of the confrontation involving the guns broke on Christmas Eve. The team has distanced itself from Arenas since Stern indefinitely suspended him, removing his likeness from the Verizon Center. Crittenton has been injured and wasn’t playing, anyway.
The team said it supported Stern’s ruling.
“Their poor judgment has also violated the trust of our fans and stands in contrast to everything Abe Pollin stood for throughout his life,” the Wizards said in a statement.
“It is widely known that Mr. Pollin took the extraordinary step of changing the team name from ‘Bullets’ to ‘Wizards’ in 1997 precisely to express his abhorrence of gun violence in our community. We hope that this negative situation can produce something positive by serving as a reminder that gun violence is a serious issue.”
Piper Hall, a spokeswoman for Arenas’ lawyer, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press that neither Arenas nor his lawyer, Ken Wainstein, would comment “at this time.”
AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington contributed to this report.