Why did Gilbert Arenas have a gun showdown with Javaris Crittenton? Uncovering details behind the infamous 2009 scandal

Washington Wizards v Phoenix Suns
Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas was one of the most electric players to watch in the NBA during the 2000s. However, he was part of the infamous scandal in 2009, involving a gun showdown with Javaris Crittenton.

Arenas began his career with the Golden State Warriors but later found success with the Washington Wizards, where scored a career-high 29.3 points per game during the 2005-06 season. He played with the Wizards for seven seasons and was an All-Star in three of those.


Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton and a game of cards

Booray was the name of the card game that started it all. It would usually be played during team flights in the plane and involved huge amounds of money and prizes.

Explore the NBA Draft 2024 with our free NBA Mock Draft Simulator & be the GM of your favorite NBA team.

After being traded by the LA Lakers to the Memphis Grizzlies during his rookie season and then to the Washington Wizards, Javaris Crittenton played for three teams just two seasons into his career.

With Gilbert Arenas being the face of the franchise for the Washington Wizards, Booray presented itself as an interesting form of welcoming for the newcomer.

During the team flight, Javaris Crittenton was not having the best of luck in Booray, and Gilbert Arenas just woke up from a nap.

When Arenas saw Crittenton's current situation, he immediately saw an opportunity to take advantage of as Crittenton's money was there for the taking.

Gilbert Arenas was a trash-talker in the NBA as his game was able to back it up. It was no different when it came to playing Booray.

As the game went on, so too did the trash-talking. Crittenton's frustration escalated after losing to JaVale McGee and even denying him the chance to win back the money he lost.

The trash-talking continued with Gilbert Arenas not holding back. Tensions flared to the point of Crittenton telling Arenas that he would shoot him after picking and chirping on him.

Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton and the gun incident

On Dec. 31, 2009, Gilbert Arenas called Javaris Crittenton on his bluff and decided to enter the Wizards' locker room with four unloaded guns and asked Crittenton to pick one.

Crittenton denied the offer and pulled out his own gun and pointed it at Arenas. The locker room went silent with each player realizing the danger involved. They all left immediately, as the two teammates were in a gun showdown.

Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton and the aftermath

David Stern, the NBA commissioner at the time, made the decision to suspend both Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton after the situation.

Crittenton was out of the league and got involved in accidentally killing Julian Jones, a 22-year-old mother of four children. He was charged with manslaughter by authorities.

Gilbert Arenas, on the other hand, was charged with illegal gun possession and was out of the league after two years.

Quick Links

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
App download animated image Get the free App now