Sportswire Jan 2 2010
WASHINGTON STAND-OFF
Two NBA players go Tarantino on each other.
It must have looked like a scene from Reservoir Dogs. Two angry men pull guns on each other while arguing over money. The difference here is, both men were rich NBA basketball players, and the incident happened in the team’s locker room. That’s the report coming from sources such as the New York Post concerning why federal authorities and Washington, D.C. police are investigating Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. Details remain sketchy, but both the NBA and the Wizards did confirm the probes were taking place. Professional athletes from Allen Iverson to Tom Brady have had gun-related incidents. But if the Washington story as described is accurate, it represents an explosive new example of America's pervasive athlete/gun culture.
 
The incident is especially disturbing for the NBA for two reasons—one, Arenas is no insignificant journeyman. He’s a two-time all-star, who, when healthy, is one of the most devastating scorers in the league. The second reason is the alleged subject of the argument—a gambling debt. The NBA is still trying to shake suspicions of fixed games that were raised when ex-referee Tim Donaghy claimed that he influenced scores for the benefit of gamblers. The NBA says Donaghy was just one bad apple, but several players have hinted that, based on their personal observations, Donaghy was probably not the only ref under the thumb of organized crime. A confrontation of the sort described between Arenas and Crittenton, even if it involved no weapons, would have worried NBA bigwigs because of the rumor it was over a gambling debt.
 
For now, those involved are keeping mum. Although Arenas did joke to journalists earlier this week, “You guys, I wanted to go rob banks, I wanted to be a bank robber on the weekends”—the suggestion perhaps being that highly paid athletes don't need to squabble over small change, thus the rumors swirling around he and Crittenton are ludicrous. But based on the previous behavior of figures in every sport from NASCAR to professional swimming, being rich and famous seems to have little effect on one’s propensity for finding trouble. NBA Player’s Association Executive Director Billy Hunter, asked for a comment on the Arenas situation, stated the obvious: “This is unprecedented in the history of sports. I’ve never heard of players pulling guns on each other in a locker room.”

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 12
1961—Soviets Launch Venus Probe
The U.S.S.R. launches the spacecraft Venera 1, equipped with scientific instruments to measure solar wind, micrometeorites, and cosmic radiation, towards planet Venus. The craft is the first modern planetary probe. Among its many achievements, it confirms the presence of solar wind in deep space, but overheats due to the failure of a sensor before its Venus mission is completed.
1994—Thieves Steal Munch Masterpiece
In Oslo, Norway, a pair of art thieves steal one of the world's best-known paintings, Edvard Munch's "The Scream," from a gallery in the Norwegian capital. The two men take less than a minute to climb a ladder, smash through a window of the National Art Museum, and remove the painting from the wall with wire cutters. After a ransom demand the museum refuses to pay, police manage to locate the panting in May, and the two thieves, as well as two accomplices, are arrested.
February 11
1938—BBC Airs First Sci-Fi Program
BBC Television produces the first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of Czech writer Karel Capek's dark play R.U.R., aka, Rossum's Universal Robots. The robots in the play are not robots in the modern sense of machines, but rather are biological entities that can be mistaken for humans. Nevertheless, R.U.R. featured the first known usage of the term "robot".
February 10
1962—Powers Is Traded for Abel
Captured American spy pilot Gary Powers, who had been shot down over the Soviet Union in May 1960 while flying a U-2 high-altitude jet, is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, who had been arrested in New York City in 1957.

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