WASHINGTON If Gilbert Arenas has his way, the baseball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th career homer will never be branded with an asterisk.
Arenas' solution? He wants to buy the ball.
Fashion designer Marc Ecko bought the ball in an online auction, then set up a Web site so people could vote to determine its fate. Ecko announced the winning choice this week: branding the ball with an asterisk before it's sent to the Hall of Fame.
"I don't think he should mess up history like that," Arenas said Friday.
"It's history. It's still history. I mean, the guy's a man before he's some big slugger," he added. "I mean, how you just going to take what this man's done for his career and ... say, 'Hey, you were accused of this. You allegedly did this. I want to take this away from you.'? I mean, what if we took away your Ecko company? I mean, why graffiti the ball?"
Later Friday, Arenas posted an entry on his blog making the same point."I'll buy the ball from you Ecko for $800,000. If Barry Bonds is found guilty, I'll give it back to you. I'm not going to let you go around like some little superhero," the blog says. "I'll put it in my hall of fame. The Gilbert Hall of Fame for Athletes no matter what you did."
BRYANT EXPECTED AT CAMP: The time has come for Kobe Bryant to end months of silence regarding the Los Angeles Lakers. That's assuming he joins his teammates Monday at media day in suburban El Segundo and then on the flight to Hawaii for the start of training camp Tuesday. Although Bryant is expected, his spokesperson Catherine Sebring declined comment when asked about his plans, lending a bit of intrigue. Still, the Lakers are counting on him. A posting Friday on Bryant's Web site indicated the 29-year-old will be at camp.
WILLIAMS MISSES HEARING: Indiana Pacers forward Shawne Williams missed a court hearing Friday and could face an arrest warrant if he misses one set for Monday. Williams faces a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license stemming from a Sept. 11 traffic stop. Defense attorney John Tompkins said Friday he told Williams he needed to attend the hearing. Marion Superior Court Judge Linda Brown ordered Williams to return to court on Monday and said she would issue a warrant for his arrest if he did not show up.
MAVS HIRE ELIE: Mario Elie, who played on championship teams for the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, was hired as an assistant coach by the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Elie was an assistant coach with Golden State for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. He also was an assistant with the Spurs for the 2003-04 season. He worked for FOX Sports Net last season as the host of the Houston Rockets' pre- and postgame shows.