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Gilbert Arenas Facing Year-Long Suspension, Sources Say

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 19:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards sits on the bench during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Wizards 121-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Tony OwusuContributor IJanuary 7, 2010

Gilbert Arenas may be facing a year-long suspension, according to a league source who spoke to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Last night Wojnarowski tweeted, "'Stern feels like he's been taunted by (Arenas),'" NBA source says. "'He's done for the year....at the very least.'"

If this is indeed the case then one could logically assume that the Wizards might be looking into voiding Arenas' contract.

It seems like this sudden change in direction from the league—NBA Commissioner David Stern at first deferred to the investigation by the Metro Police Department—was sparked by two things stemming from Tuesday's game in Philadelphia.

First was the photo that was taken during the team's warmups before the game. Arenas can be seen in the photo encircled by his teammates, pointing his fingers like a gun while his teammates laugh at the gesture.

The second incident that may have led to this tipping point was Arenas' glib post-game interview. Arenas described David Stern as "mean" after a reporter asked him whom he feared more, David Stern or the authorities investigating the incident.

If Arenas is in fact on the way to a season-ending suspension, this would be the third year in a row that the former all-star has failed to play in at least half of the team's games. Arenas played in a total of 15 games the previous two seasons.

It has been a precipitous fall for Arenas since he signed a six-year, $111 million contract extension with the Wizards in the summer of 2008.  Arenas suffered two injuries to his left knee during this period.  Couple that with off the court domestic issues with his fiancee that went public and 2009 was a year that Arenas, and Wizards fans, would love to forget.

While it is extremely difficult to void a player's contract in this league—look back at Latrell Sprewell after he choked P.J. Carlisimo and the Warriors were unsuccessful at voiding that contract—if Arenas is suspended for the remainder of the season, then the Wizards owe it to their fans to finally blow this thing up.

His absence would almost guarantee a third straight season without a playoff appearance. Meanwhile, the Wizards are over the luxury tax limit and have one of the highest payrolls in the league.

The situation is unfortunate for Arenas and his fans but this may turn out to be a boon for the Wizards as a franchise if they can turn the page on what has been to this point a failed experiment with Agent Zero.

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