Arenas to Spend 30 Days in Halfway House

No jail. But no round-the-clock freedom, either, for Gilbert Arenas.

The judge found a halfway point — literally — between prison and probation Friday when he sentenced the three-time NBA All-Star to 30 days in a halfway house for bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room.

Arenas remained expressionless as District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin described a litany of conditions associated with the sentence — two years of probation, a $5,000 fine, 400 hours of community service that can’t be done at basketball clinics — then turned to his lawyer for an explanation of what it all meant. After several minutes discussing logistics, Arenas eventually cracked a smile while talking to a court official.

Arenas’ arrest arose from a dispute with Crittenton over a card game during a team flight on Dec. 19. It escalated two days later when Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton’s locker with a sign telling him to ”PICK 1.” Crittenton then took out his own gun.

Arguing for jail time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh said Arenas had made ”a mockery of the judicial system” by treating the criminal investigation as a joke. He pointed out that Arenas initially lied when asked why the guns were brought to the locker room, and said any other defendant with a similar criminal record would have received jail time.

The Wizards have indicated they would like to have him back, and Arenas has said he would have no problem playing for the team again. Complicating matters is the fact that the team’s ownership is in flux following the death of longtime owner Abe Pollin.

The Wizards could attempt to void the last four years of Arenas’ six-year, $111 million contract, although the NBA players’ union has vowed to fight such a move. Notably, the team did not address Arenas’ future in a statement released after the sentencing.

”Gilbert has admitted his mistakes and will now pay his debt to our community,” said the statement issued by president Ernie Grunfeld and Pollin’s family. ”We are confident that he has learned something significant from the experience and we now look forward to moving on and focusing on building this team into the contender that our outstanding fans deserve.”

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