Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton pulled guns on each other? Allow me to figuratively hang myself (UPDATED WITH ARENAS REACTION)

If we're going by stages of grief, I'm still in the denial stage when it comes to the latest news about Gilbert Arenas.  I mean, really?  Pulling guns?  This is so "holy crap" bad if true that it's almost impossible to conceive.

We already have a FanShot about this, but here are some excerpts from the stories.  

Yahoo! got to it first.

An NBA investigation into Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas’(notes) possession of guns inside the team’s locker room has been linked to a confrontation with teammate Javaris Crittenton(notes), multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The league’s ongoing probe hopes to determine whether Arenas had accessed any of his unloaded firearms while engaged in the dispute prior to a team practice at the Verizon Center on Dec. 21 in Washington. Tensions between Arenas and Crittenton escalated because of a festering disagreement between the two players, sources said.

The duel in DC -- unprecedented in sports history -- was sparked when Critten ton became enraged at the vet eran guard for refusing to make good on a gambling debt, a source said.

"I'm not your punk!" Crittenton shouted at Arenas, according to a league source close to the Wizards.

That prompted Arenas to draw on Crittenton, who then also grabbed for a gun, league security sources said.

Ernie Grunfeld says the team is looking into the matter, while Arenas gave a typical goofy Arenas response where he sarcastically said he was a bank robber, or something.  The Wizards released a statement that basically said what Grunfeld said.  Lovely.

Look, if this is true, this is career-altering for everyone involved.  It's impossible to defend anyone involved, particularly Arenas.  Knowing the way the NBA operates, I'd guess that Arenas and Crittenton will be suspended for the season, if not longer.  I don't know about voiding Arenas' contract or anything, but my guess is this will have to be a Latrell Sprewell-like situation, where the Wizards are desperate to give him away and some team will take him on for nothing.  Of course, the difference now is a) Sprewell never pulled a gun, b) there's a salary cap in place that makes it harder to pull off moves like the Sprewell one, and c) we're in a recession and Arenas' contract is bigger.  So basically, that's a terrible situation.

Happy new year everyone!

Should he be convicted and receive prison time, he likely would have his contract voided because every NBA player has a clause in their deal that allows the team to void a contract over breech of contract.

UPDATE: Michael Lee tracked down Arenas and tweets that Arenas is considering filing a lawsuit against the New York Post because the story isn't true, according to him. 

I grabbed Arenas after practice.  He told me he is considering filing a lawsuit against the NY Post.  "That's not the real story," he said.

UPDATE: Gil, who is apparently Tweeting now, wrote this:

i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE..lmao media is too funny

UPDATE From Rook:

I just want to caution everyone to let this story come out naturally. Quick judgements and rash presumptions are the purvue of tabloid journalism; and I hope we here in the BulletsForever community can stay above that muck.

In this day of shrinking newspaper coverage, blogs, web news sources and instant coverage; sometimes things are put out there prematurely - before all the pertinent facts are known. Even in the "olden" days, when newspapers were king and big market Local TV news crews had dozens of reporters, the news was triple checked... and all the facts were verified before anything was reported; even then, they got things wrong sometimes.

I am always leery of "facts" as relayed by sources close to the team, or unnamed league sources; especially when those facts seem to be as fantastic as these seem to be. Teammates pointing guns at each other in the Locker room? Gambling disputes? And all of this happened more than a week ago? But we hear nothing until today?

I think we should hold off talk about "trading" Arenas, voiding his contract, or putting him in jail, etc.... until we hear from someone with enough courage to go on record. If they're credible, and if the League or the DC Police find enough evidence to warrant action - then we can worry about what the team will do next. In the mean time, Gilbert Arenas deserves to be what is every other citizen's right: Innocent until proven guilty.

UPDATE from Chris Miller at CSNWashington.com (via Rook):

Chris Miller is reporting that Arenas did not point a gun at Crittenton and that Crittenton himself did not have a weapon.  Miller has confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report that an incident between the players occurred before practice on December 21 and that the disagreement was over a bet.

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