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Guns and the NBA

The players, the incidents, and the penalties


Gilbert Arenas isn't the first NBA player to be suspended for handling guns irresponsibly. Heck, Arenas' suspension for storing guns in the Wizards' locker room isn't even Agent Zero's first gun-related suspension. Here's a look at some of the most notable incidents in recent years involving NBA players and firearms.

Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton (December, 2009)

Gilbert Arenas
Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas brings four handguns to the Wizards' locker room at the Verizon Center, to get them out of his house and away from his young children. But things take a turn for the worse when he includes the guns as part of a "practical joke" on Crittenton, who -- according to some reports -- pulled a gun of his own. Arenas has been suspended indefinitely, and both players are facing criminal charges.

Delonte West (September, 2009)

Delonte West
Chris McGrath / Getty Images
Stopped by police for a traffic violation, police found Cavaliers guard Delonte West armed to the teeth, with a loaded gun in his waistband, another strapped to his leg and a third in a guitar case a la Antonio Banderas in Desperado. Criminal charges are still pending, and the NBA has not taken any formal action as of yet.

DeShawn Stevenson (August, 2007)

DeShawn Stevenson
Drew Hallowell / Getty Images
A man was shot at Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson's Orlando, Florida-area home in August of 2007. Neither the shooting victim nor any of the other witnesses agreed to cooperate with investigators, and under Florida law, "if there is no victim, there is no crime."

Stephen Jackson (October, 2006)

Stephen Jackson
Al Bello / Getty Images
Indiana guard Stephen Jackson fired five shots in the air during a confrontation outside an Indianapolis nightclub. Teammates Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmie Hunter were also present during the incident. Despite Jackson's long history of disciplinary problems -- he was one of the players involved in the legendary Pacers/Pistons brawl in 2004. Jackson was suspended for seven games.

Sebastian Telfair (February 2006 and April 2007)

A repeat offender -- in February 2006, Telfair was cited for attempting to board a team flight with a loaded gun in his luggage. In April of 2007, police found a loaded gun in Telfair's car at an otherwise routine traffic stop. Telfair was suspended for two games for the plane and three for the car.

Chris Mills (December, 2002)

On December 20, 2002, Mills and Portland's Bonzi Wells were involved in an on-court tussle. The technical fouls called didn't settle the matter to Mills' satisfaction, so he followed Wells out into the arena parking lot and used his car to prevent the Trail Blazers' team bus from leaving. According to most accounts of the incident, Mills was armed, though that was never proven. The incident is generally seen as the biggest motivator for the NBA's official "zero tolerance" policy on firearms, added to the collective bargaining agreement in 2005.
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