SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The NBA Has No Choice But to Suspend Gilbert Arenas

And it looks like that will happen.

Otherwise, what type of message is the league sending to players and fans? That anything goes so long as you're an elite performer? That the rules don't apply to you?

History is littered with examples of fallen heroes and stars who surrounded themselves with people who told them their sweat didn't stink, who enabled them, and who didn't tell them when they were out of line. Drunk on their success, these folks would begin to think that everything they touched would turn to gold or that the rules didn't apply to them. What then happened to many of these fallen stars is that they handed out with people who did bad things, who were interested only in their money, or who gave bad advice. In addition, these fallen stars started to act poorly because they saw no limits.

It's an old tale.

And it happens too frequently.

Perhaps by taking a stand every now and then the NBA will hold its players more accountable and, correspondingly, save a few of them from an inevitable decline and, yes, from themselves.

Gilbert Arenas should use this incident as a wake-up call, before he ends up on basketball's scrap heap, a washed-up mid-thirty something sixty-five pounds over his playing weight, having little to do but pass his time and wonder where all his money went. Sorry to sound harsh, but again, this sounds like the late-night re-run of an old movie whose plot line we've seen in many forms before.

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