"Very unfortunate situation"

January, 15, 2010
1/15/10
8:41
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Gilbert Arenas

AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty on Friday to carrying a pistol without a license in Washington, D.C., and faces the possibility of jail time over the next few months.

Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro spoke for the entire NBA when he started discussing the entire Gilbert Arenas situation before Friday night's game against the Wizards.

"It's a very unfortunate situation," the Bulls head coach said.

The Bulls head coach speaks the truth.

Arenas pleaded guilty on Friday to carrying a pistol without a license in Washington, D.C., and faces the possibility of jail time over the next few months. The news shook locker rooms all over the country and the Bulls locker room was no exception.

"From what I know from him, his teammates like him. He's a good guy. It's just a tough situation for him," Bulls center Joakim Noah said.

Noah has spent some time working out with Arenas at Tim Grover's ATTACK Athletics facility and is just hoping that the Wizards star will be able to get his life back on track after all the hoopla surrounding this case subsides. Noah admitted that the Arenas ordeal is something that he and his teammates have discussed over the last few weeks.

"Of course, we talk about it," he said. "We talk about everything that's going on. It's kind of like the topic of discussion right now. It's obviously a situation that's going to be talked a lot about in the media. He's a star player in our league as well.

"All these things definitely don't help. It's not like he can just really keep it on the hush right now. I don't really know too much about the situation, but from what I know, I hope the situation clears up and works out for him."

While Del Negro didn't specifically address any policies that the Bulls have towards guns, he did admit that the team has various policies in place to guard against situations like the one Arenas found himself in.

"We have a lot of policies and a lot of rules and things, as far as cards and everything and gambling " Del Negro said. "But the Washington thing is just a very difficult subject. It's unfortunate. It's not good for the game, or for the Wizards, or for the league. And for the fans. You just have to try and get through it. It's not an easy situation. It's a very touchy situation. And it should be. It's very serious."

The NBA veteran also admitted that back when he was playing he knew players who owned firearms, but he didn't view the two eras the same way.

"Some guys have guns," he said. "But it was a different time and a different era and a different focus. From all the things to a technology standpoint to a media standpoint to all the things that are involved now. Times change.

"There's no question guys, back when I played, had guns. But it was just different. It was a different mentality. A different time."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5