Sports Outside the Beltway

Betting the house

Gilbert Arenas, star of the surprising Washington Wizards, found himself in a bit of trouble with the league.

The NBA warned Gilbert Arenas on Sunday not to repeat his actions of Tuesday night, when he said he made $10 bets with a group of fans during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

“We spoke to Gilbert and explained the issue to him,” NBA spokesman John Acunto said. “And he assured us he wouldn’t do anything like this again.”

Arenas was being heckled by Trailblazers’ fans so he decided to put up rather than shut up and promised to make a critical shot or owe the fans (apparently he did this with two fans) $10. He was unsuccessful and the Wizards went down 100-98.

And how did he know how to pay up? He asked the fans for their e-mail addresses.

And how did the NBA find out about his antics? Arenas wrote about the incident on his blog.

I understand that leagues have to take a strong stand about betting. It may be that this was done in harmless fun and he was betting to win. But at some point once someone’s betting, the possibility that he could be compromised if he runs up too many debts becomes real. There’s a need to draw the line someplace. This case was harmless, and, frankly, probably added to the entertainment value of the fans. I understand why the league reprimanded him.

However the league has gone a step further and removed the blog entries referring to the incident from his blog. Now that the story’s all over the news, I hardly see the point to that.

Read the blog. Check out his player page.

Crossposted at Soccer Dad.

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