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Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009

Wizards say Arenas had unloaded firearms in locker

NEW YORK (AP) Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas stored unloaded firearms in a container in his locker, according to the team, and the NBA is looking into the situation.

News photo
Loose cannon: The Washington Wizards said Thursday that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in his locker. AP PHOTO

The Wizards issued a statement on Thursday saying there was no ammunition in the locked container, and Arenas and the team have notified authorities and the league.

Arenas told The Washington Times he took his guns to the Verizon Center after his daughter, Hamiley Penny, was born this month. About a week later, he said he handed them over to team security to give to police.

"I wouldn't have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules," Arenas told the newspaper. "After my daughter was born, I was just like, 'I don't need these anymore.' "

Arenas was suspended for Washington's season opener in 2004 because he failed to maintain proper registration of a handgun while living in California in 2003. Arenas formerly played for the Golden State Warriors.

Officer Quintin Peterson, a spokesman for the Washington police department, told The Associated Press on Thursday there was no report of any active investigation involving Arenas.

The team and the three-time All-Star "are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time," according to the Wizards' statement.

Wizards spokesman Scott Hall wouldn't say when or where Arenas had the firearms in his locker.

The NBA's collective bargaining agreement allows for players to legally possess firearms but prohibits them at league facilities or when traveling on any league-related business.

"We're aware of the situation and are working to gain a full understanding of the facts and relevant legal issues," the NBA said in a release.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Sebastian Telfair was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount in 2006 after a loaded handgun registered to his girlfriend was found in his pillowcase aboard the team's plane when he was with Portland.

Arenas is averaging 22.2 points. He turns 28 on Jan. 6, is in the second season of an $111 million, six-year contract, and is one of the NBA's most popular players, but a series of injuries has limited his time on the court. Nicknamed "Agent Zero," he has a career average of 22.7 points over nine NBA seasons.

Injury sidelines Pierce

ORLANDO , Fla. (AP) Paul Pierce could miss at least two weeks because of an infected right knee, the severity of the injury catching the Boston Celtics by surprise.

The All-Star forward didn't make the flight to Orlando for the Christmas Day game against the Magic. The Celtics are on a six-day, four-game trip before returning home for a Jan. 2 game against Toronto.

Coach Doc Rivers said Thursday it was doubtful Pierce would join the team on the trip. He couldn't say for sure how long Pierce would be out.

"We just don't know," Rivers said. "The two weeks is a guesstimate by a doctor who has never played basketball before."

Pierce was in so much pain he called team trainer Ed Lacerte on Wednesday about 3 a.m., Rivers said. Lacerte went to Pierce's house and took him to the hospital, where fluid was drained from the knee.

"What he's going through is pretty significant," Celtics guard Ray Allen said. "It is serious. Because me knowing Paul, he's always practicing and he's always playing, so for him not to be here, it must be very significant."

Pierce, the 2008 NBA Finals MVP, had played in every game this season, leading the team with 18.2 points a game. Pierce complained of soreness in his knee after Tuesday night's game. He missed his first 10 shots against the Indiana Pacers but wound up scoring 21 points in the win.

The team left the arena thinking he was fine.

"It's amazing," Rivers said. "He won the game for us the night before and he woke up in the middle of the night hurting."

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