Posted on: January 6, 2010 8:54 am
Edited on: January 6, 2010 9:07 am

Weapons and the "Modern" NBA Player

I have been curious as to where the tipping point began that makes it ok for current NBA players to think it is a good or wise thing to carry weapons.  It would probably take a bit more research than I have in me, but it seems to have been more prevelant over the last 5 years.  There have been many high profile players who have been caught with guns where they shouldn't have them.  Gilbert Arenas is the latest.  He brought it to work, stored it in his locker and pulled it on a teamate as a joke.  Right.  I'm sure a lot had to do with the debt that Arenas owed his teamate and wasn't willing to pay.  At least not soon enough for the teamate.   He is calling it a big mistake.  Yeah it was, and he may be facing some serious penalties.

Another recent instance is when Delonte West was pulled over for speeding on a motorcycle and had a guitar case with two loaded hand guns and a loaded shotgun.  Really?  A guitar case with guns while riding a motorcycle?  How dumb is that?

I would not deny that these players have the right to own guns.  I'm not going down that street.  However, with ownership of a gun comes a certain responsibility.  You should not use it in any manner that puts innocent people at risk.  That includes bringing it to work, carrying it in the glove box, or having it under your seat in the car.  It should be in your home locked up.  Or in a position of some safety if you have children around.

Professional athletes in this country are viewed by impressionable kids as stars. That`s the life they want to live. They want to be just like them. They work hard because some day maybe they`ll get a chance to be a big-time basketball star in the NBA. With the visibility comes the responsibility.

Look what recently happened in Tennessee. Four Tennessee basketball players, including starting senior forward Tyler Smith, were charged with gun possession and other counts after a Friday traffic stop.  Why do you think these players thought it was ok to carry guns?  Because the players they idolize carry them.

Prior to the 90's I can't seem to remember any players that were arrested on weapons charges.  Maybe it just wasn't as sensationalized as it is today.  I think Plaxico Burress brought the situation to a head when he accidently shot himself.  Do we think Magic, Bird, Jabbar, or Chamberlain carried a gun in the glove box?  Possibly.  Maybe they were never caught or maybe they never felt the need to pull it.

I'm not sure what posseses a person to put themself in a position where they will need a gun outside of personal home protection.  Why would any of them ever visit a night club or bar or strip joint where a gun is needed to protect yourself? 

I think today's "modern NBA player" believes they need the protection of a gun because of the violence they grew up around.  As a society, we need to understand this, however, as individuals we need to take steps to curb this behavior, and it starts with the Commissioner's of the respective leagues.  They must ban players from ever doing what Arenas and others have done with severe penalties.  Long suspensions.  Or possibly banishment if the situation warrants it.
Category: NBA
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