Javaris Crittenton: His Life and the Scandal That Changed Everything


Javaris Crittenton’s name was marred after an altercation with one of his teammates. The scandal proved that, regardless of how successful he was, people did not accept a certain kind of behavior. Today, if you mention him to basketball fans, they will probably associate him with gambling and one of his transgressions. Frankly, they would be right. So just like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, Crittenton developed a passionate love for wagering. It took control over his life, and ultimately, put a stop to his career.

What’s more, one would think that after this incident he would work on improving his image in the public eye. However, it seemed that this was not his intention. We would be over the moon if we could say that the fight over a card game was his biggest wrongdoing. But it was not — it was just a beginning. Before we delve deeper into the argument between Javaris Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas, let’s mention his early stages first.

Early Life

Javaris Crittenton Gaming in BasketballJavaris grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. His love of basketball was recognized in the Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Namely, as a sophomore, he played for the high school’s team with Dwight Howard, who also went on to become an NBA player. Because of the two of them, the school won the state championship. During his third year there, he averaged 8.2 rebounds, 28.4 points, and 7.5 assists. This was enough to get his team to the finals again. But they lost to Randolph-Clay this time around.

Furthermore, he was in the spotlight the following year as well. During the course of it, Javaris averaged 9 assists, 29 points, and 7 rebounds. This time around, they defeated Randolph-Clay in the semi-finals, and they emerged as winners in the finals. We could say that this was crucial, as he was named a McDonald’s All American. Crittenton excelled in his courses too, with a GPA that amounted to 3.5.

His good grades and natural talent led him to Georgia Tech. Here, many deemed him to be a natural-born team leader. In fact, when coach Paul Hewitt put him in charge of the team, no one was against it, even though Crittenton was a freshman. During this period, he achieved a career high. To be specific, he scored 29 points against the team from Florida State. Much to the disappointment of Georgia Tech, he left to become a pro.

Professional Career

Javaris’ professional career started during the 2007 NBA Draft. In this year, he was drafted 19th and joined the Los Angeles Lakers. He took the position of a point guard. And many would soon realize why they had made a wise choice. To be specific, he achieved 18 points in the NBA Summer League game. None more deserving of our mention than his jump-shot when there were only 1.6 seconds remaining. His accomplishments did not stop there, though, and this was a positive thing, as Javaris Crittenton’s net worth started increasing.

In order to defend the LA Lakers’ decision, he scored another 18 points. This was in a match against the Golden State Warriors. Although his team went on to lose the game, he was praised for his dedication. The very next year, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Also, as part of this team, he accomplished another career high by getting 23 points. He showed his prowess against the New York Knicks. That same year, he became a member of another team.

Moreover, Crittenton started playing for the Washington Wizards in 2008. This move was part of an exchange. In order to get him, the Wizards gave one of their first-round draft picks to the Grizzlies. It was there that the fight between Crittenton and Arenas occurred over gambling and card games. But we’ll go into more details below. For now, let’s just mention that because of a bad move, Arenas received a year of probation. Aside from this, both teammates did not participate in any game for the remainder of the season.

The Rest of His Career

Javaris never returned to the Wizards, as they released him the following season. Unlike him, the Wizards welcomed Arenas back, and he continued playing. Without a team, Crittenton had to look elsewhere. And the Charlotte Bobcats offered a non-guaranteed contract which he accepted. Unfortunately, he never debuted for them, and they terminated the contract after less than a month.

As evidenced, things did not go well for Javaris. Gambling exerted a negative influence on his life, and his only hope was that a new team would ask him to join. In came the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions from China. This team allowed him to play, albeit in only five games. Nevertheless, he showcased his skills on the court and averaged about 25.8 points per game. Sadly, he left the team after only a few weeks and returned to the USA.

At the end of his professional career, he joined the Dakota Wizards. This club was in the NBA D-League. While there, he participated in 21 games. But due to troubles with the authorities, he did not stick around much in this minor league team.

The Scandal

It is no secret that NBA players are drawn to games of chance and skills. In fact, most of us have heard about some intriguing stories in which these athletes take center stage while wagering most of their earnings away. So it’s only natural that Javaris Crittenton’s net worth took a hit as well. In his case, he would end a successful game and rush to unwind with some of his teammates. But unlike some of them, Javaris was not able to separate business from pleasure.

Let’s see how this scandal exploded because of gambling and card games.

What Truly Went On

Player Javaris Crittenton in CourtThe scandal in which Javaris Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas were embroiled in resembled something out of a Hollywood movie. There were weapons (four of them!) and wounded egos. A dangerous mixture, to say the least. There was no animosity between the two beforehand. In fact, they would spend the time off the court together while playing some casino games. However, Boo-Ray (or Bourré) was enough to change this. And the former friendly teammates became nemeses.

The beef occurred on a team flight. To be specific, Arenas woke up and saw that his friends were playing Boo-Ray. And he noticed that Javaris was about to lose. There was nothing more upsetting to the then-rookie. According to Gilbert, the pot had $1,100 in it, and he wanted to play, which did not sit well with Crittenton. He only had to match the pot to participate, which he did, and he became the dealer. This was when he started to taunt Javaris, which only riled him up even more.

And when Crittenton exposed his bad hand, this was sufficient for Gilbert to continue with his provocations. Javaris believed that Arenas had set him up. After the end of the game, Arenas left the table. However, the tauntings only continued, and both of them started threatening each other. When Arenas said that he would burn Javaris’ car while he was in it, he responded that he would shoot him. Many would think that this fight would have ended when the plane landed, but it didn’t. It continued in the locker room of the Washington Wizards.

The Incident

Two days later, Gilbert arrived at the locker room with four unloaded guns. By his own admission, he wanted to call Javaris’ bluff. To him, this was only a joke — a continuation of his teasing. However, not everyone perceived it like this. At one point, Crittenton turned with a loaded gun which he aimed at his teammate. Every commission drew to a halt — all eyes were on the two of them. Some players ran out of the room out of fear. But Javaris did not pull the trigger.

Following this incident, both players were suspended. After a unanimous decision, they did not return to court for the rest of the season. Prosecutors even said that Crittenton became a member of the Crips two years earlier. Needless to say, he never showed his skills in the NBA again. As for Arenas, he was charged with gun possession. All of this happened because of gambling and one game.

More Troubles with the Law

The problems did not stop there for the former NBA player. Atlanta Police Department charged him with voluntary manslaughter. They believed he accidentally killed Julian Jones, and they stated that she was not his intended target. He was probably after the person who robbed him. He shot Julian in the leg, and she passed away during surgery. After some time, Crittenton pleaded guilty. Taking everything into account, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. This truly put a stop to his NBA career.

His Earnings

Before his life took a turn for the worse, he earned a decent amount of money while playing. But this was not enough to exert a positive impact on him and his choices. We will mention some of the salaries he received in his respective teams:

  • 2007: earned $1,290,000 while playing for the Memphis Grizzlies
  • 2008 and 2009: grossed $1,381,560 and $1,477,920, respectively, in the Washington Wizards
  • 2010: received $1,380,000 in the Charlotte Bobcats

According to the 2018 reports, Javaris Crittenton’s net worth now amounts to $10,000. A small amount when compared to what he was earning throughout his short career.

It Could Have Ended Differently

Crittenton’s story proves how a series of wrong choices can ruin someone’s life. Therefore, the only thing we can do is learn from his mistakes and hope that no one else will go down this road. In the end, many believe that he received what he deserved.

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