Gilbert Arenas is in trouble again. It's unclear exactly why, but whatever the specific reason, no one's surprised.
Arenas announced Wednesday on his Twitter page that he had been fined by the NBA for comments he'd made that were offensive to women. The league confirmed that Arenas had been fined, but declined to disclose the amount or the specific reason.
That said, the reasons are easy to find. The Internet is written in ink. Arenas' mistakes are permanent, out there to be found.
An excellent post Thursday morning by Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg uncovered a long list of offensive comments fired off by the former Washington Wizard. Arenas has unabashedly referred to women as "slaves" to make his breakfast, jokingly referred to cheating on girlfriends, and written "#youknowyouugly if ur a SINGLE MOTHER" for all his 26,000-plus followers to see.
Pretty stupid stuff. And while we've all made mistakes in our lives, and we've all probably made tasteless jokes before that we've later regretted, Arenas' situation is different. He's a public figure. When he makes comments like these, all the world can see them within seconds. And as an employee of the NBA, a corporation with a delicate image to preserve, this stuff is a little much.
Arenas should know by now that he's on a short leash. He's been known as the outlandish prankster throughout his career, ever since the Warriors drafted him out of Arizona back in 2001, but he should have dialed it back long ago. When he was caught bringing multiple firearms into the Wizards' locker room late in 2009, that should have been a wake-up call. He should know his act isn't funny anymore.
Arenas is now 29 years old. He'll be 30 next January. He's not a college kid anymore, and it's time he stopped acting like it.
He's one of the highest-paid players in the NBA today, with three years still left on a six-year contract worth $110 million. With that money comes great responsibility. Not only should he be an elite player on the court, he should be a model citizen off it. When you give a guy a nine-figure contract, you should be proud to call him the face of your franchise. Arenas is missing that boat in more ways than one.
He already tore apart one franchise, turning a playoff contender into a mess of a rebuilding effort with his antics in Washington. Then he went to Orlando, and he's bringing that team down as well. Whether it's on the court or off, he's been more of an embarrassment than an asset.
But there's time for Arenas to turn it around. He's still a superbly talented basketball player, and maybe this time a little discipline will scare him straight.
Or maybe not. It's up to him.
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