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Gilbert Arenas Has A Lot Of Free Time To Tweet

Gilbert Arenas does not like to be told when to shut up.  Perhaps that’s one reason why he has decided to not hire a sports agent (in case you did not know, Gilbert signed and negotiated his own contract with the Wizards).  But agents are known to taken on more roles than only negotiating contracts on behalf of their players.  One area that agents may aid their clients is in media/public relations.  Arenas could have used someone like that in his corner this past week.

Yesterday, Arenas was suspended indefinitely from playing in the NBA.  David Stern used the old “not currently fit to take the court” justification.  Article 35(d) of the NBA constitution lays out Stern’s powers in this circumstance (emphasis added):

(d) The Commissioner shall have the power to suspend for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $50,000, or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any Player who, in his opinion, (i) shall have made or caused to be made any statement having, or that was designed to have, an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball or of the Association or of a Member, or (ii) shall have been guilty of conduct that does not conform to standards of morality or fair play, that does not comply at all times with all federal, state, and local laws, or that is prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.

Seems pretty broad, right?  It was meant to be that way.  Maybe Arenas will file a grievance.  Under Article XXXI of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, an arbitrary and capricious standard of review would be used as long as the Grievance Arbitrator finds that there is just cause for the penalty imposed.    That’s a tough standard to meet.

But why did it have to get this far in the first place?  Could an agent have possibly prevented this public relations nightmare?  Jason Wolf says yes, but that it would not help much in dealing with the law.  We can’t keep our clients out of prison after they have committed a wrongful act, but we might be able to save them from making the situation they find themselves in even worse.  We can at least try to stray them away from using Twitter for the wrong purposes.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Gilbert Arenas Has A Lot Of Free Time To Tweet”

Somewhere former NBA Deputy Commissioner, Simon Gourdine, must be shaking his head right now. Not too long ago the NBA was considered “too black” and “drug infested” to ever reach mass appeal. Current players have reneged on their obligation to be ambassadors for a league built by Dr. Jr, Bird, Magic, and Jordan. For the best write-up of the Arenas situation go here:

There is not doubt that any agent would have been able to tell AgentZero to stay on the downlow…but you gotta believe that someone close to him had his best interests in mind told him to stfu and he ignored it. I don’t think guns owned by NBA players is a big deal…they are some of the most easily identified multimillionaires out there…but leave them in the car!!! You are not going to be held up inside the patrolled player parking lot.

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