The Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton Locker Room Gun Duel Was Even Crazier Than You Thought
Caron Butler's memoir includes a crazy telling of the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton locker room showdown.
It's hard to imagine a headline like that being truthful, but here we are. Caron Butler has a new memoir out today, Tuff Juice, and the Washington Post has an excerpt of Butler's account of the infamous armed showdown between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton in the Wizards locker room. If you don't recall, it was over a game of cards. It's outrageous and cinematic all at once. The excerpt begins on the flight home from a loss in Phoenix, and several players were playing cards.
My eyes popped open when I heard Javaris say, "Put the money back. Put the [expletive] money back."
"I ain't putting [expletive] back," Gilbert replied. "Get it the way Tyson got the title. Might or fight or whatever you got to do to get your money back. Otherwise, you ain't gettin' it."
From there things got physical. Crittenton lunged after Arenas, and only Smiling Antawn Jamison could control the situation: he pinned Crittenton down on the table and told everyone to chill out. Butler also interceded. Arenas and Crittenton kept chirping as the plane landed and even on the shuttle back to the cars, where the following exchange occurred, started by Arenas: "I play with guns." To which Crittenton responded, "Well I play with guns, too."
Then shit got real.
Even with an off day for everyone to cool down, Arenas and Crittenton renewed hostilities before the next practice. Here's Butler:
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.
Whaaaaat the fuuuuuuck? Arenas sitting in front his locker like an arch villain and Crittenton stepping out like Clint Eastwood, this is absolutely insane. I can actually hear Crittenton saying those words and it sounds dramatic as hell. It very much sounds like, as Butler says, "a shootaround of a whole different nature."