Doube Standard: What If Arenas Had Been Lebron?

Sam YoungerContributor IIJanuary 7, 2010

CLEVELAND - APRIL 21:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards tries to get around LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena April 21, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Yesterday, a statement was released claiming that Gilbert Arenas had been indefinitely suspended on account of possessing unloaded guns in his locker room, and because of his attitude towards it later on.

Stern claimed that Arenas was not yet ready to play, and there is now a decent  chance that the dismissal will be for the whole season.

Now, what Arenas did was indeed wrong. He didn't have a license, hence having those guns was enough of a crime. He then jokingly threatened a team-mate, an action that would stun and embarrass the league as a whole.

As if to cap off his misbehavior with a grand finale, he posted lame attempts at jokes on his twitter page, further pushing him into the dog crap. He amused himself answering reporters, and, finally crossing Stern's line, made gun motions two days ago  towards all his team-mates.

Stern made his decision for the sake of the league, players, or perhaps even Arenas, and has yet to face much controversy about it.

So, it has been clarified that Arenas' acts were not only bad decisions on his part, they could be classified as dangerous.

But this whole dilemma proposes a new one: and if it was Lebron?

Hypothetically, if it was our dear, untouchable Lebron James who had been the one with unloaded guns in his locker room, joking about it with his teammates, what would have been the consequence?

Could we have seen a statement released by Stern with the words "innocent mistake" in them?

Lebron, in many aspects, was like the Tiger Woods before the whole "mistress" situation was publicly released;it's not only that you can't imagine them doing anything wrong, it's that you don't want to imagine them doing anything wrong. And neither does the league.

There is nothing wrong with Lebron; in fact, that's what makes him so precious to the league. Sure, he has tattoos, he shouts after big dunks, but (setting aside last year's walk-out at the end of the conference finals) he carries himself in a very professional way. That's why the league struck gold with him.

And that's why they wouldn't want people to find out that the gold is in fact mere plastic, and is worth nothing.

So if it was Lebron in Arenas' shoes, the league's action towards it would differ completely.

The league, with all due respect, has no reason to care for Arenas. In fact, his disappearance from it might be highly beneficial toward league executives. So far, this season, Arenas has brought extreme embarrassment to his team and league.

The league has made it more than clear that they want nothing to do with guns. And getting rid of an over-payed guard  who called the commissioner "mean" in the process would make it even better.

Put Lebron in the same situation and, though he would still have to go through the legal process, the league would try it's best to keep Lebron's good guy persona and would most likely excuse him.

I like Stern. I like what he's done for the league and for certain teams. But I think he needs to take a step back, let the judges to the hard work, and think about the Arenas situation.

If it's an absolute necessity to suspend him for a long length, then I guess he should. But Stern should put Lebron in Arenas' shoes.

Because was it really the gun issue that bothered him to such an amount, or was it Arenas being Arenas joking around.

Arenas faces five years in jail--all he's attempting to do is to make light of a dark, dark situation.

Arenas should be suspended--but for no more than around ten days, and only as a warning. (This is if the court rules that he can, and if no more information is found)

Arenas' career could be ruined in the next couple of days by a slight biased move by the league. That can't happen. No matter his attitude and subconscious, Arenas deserves what others have already received.

And for all of you still doubting that it really does have something to do with Arenas' attitude:

This is what the site says:

"So if the league is going to punish Gilbert Arenas

 Shouldn't the same level of punishment be bestowed upon other offenders?

Kobe Bryant. Crime: alleged rape. Punishment by league: nothing.

Chris Webber: Crime: assault, possession of MJ, resisting arrest. Punishment by league: nothing.

JR Smith: Crime: Vehicular manslaughter. Punishment by league: 7 games.

Ok, so these guys have nothing to do with guns and the cases are dated. So lets look at recent cases that do involve a firearm:

Sebastian Telfair: Crime: criminal possession of a weapon. Punishment by league: 3 games AFTER a guilty plea.

Delonte West: Crime: Carrying 3 loaded guns. Punishment by league: nothing yet."