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Motivational speaker with a tech start-up, Carrick Felix not your average NBA player


Motivational speaker with a tech start-up, Carrick Felix not your average NBA player

With less than three minutes remaining in the Wizards' exhibition game against China's Guangzhou Long-Lions on Monday night, guard Carrick Felix hustled to get position in the lane on defense to take a charge.

As soon as he was granted the call, the Wizards' bench all rose in unison to celebrate.

The Wizards were up nearly 30 points in a game most would deem meaningless. But for Felix, just being on the court was an achievement in its own.

Felix, 27, hasn't played in the NBA since the 2013-14 season, when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in between the LeBron James eras.

A second round pick out of Arizona State in 2013, he spent the 2014 offseason with the Utah Jazz but soon after had his career derailed by a horrific knee injury.


While playing with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League, Felix fractured his knee cap. As he describes it, he "broke [his] knee in half."

That was in November of 2014 and from there he sat out two years, unable to play basketball but with plenty of time to think about his future.

"It was a struggle," Felix said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast. "It was a battle between fighting against myself and my mind and my demons and just trying to stay positive. During that time I was hurt, I learned a lot about myself."

Felix never wavered on his dream to return to the NBA, but he had no intention of putting all his eggs in one basket. With a masters degree in Communications from Arizona State University (he graduated early while playing), Felix explored his options. 

With the discipline of an Air Force family upbringing (including several years in the D.C. area), Felix did what he could to stay busy and maintain balance during an arduous rehab process.

"I started doing a lot of keynote speaking, a lot of public speaking," he said. "That's kind of what I want to get into is motivational speaking, when it's all said and done. I have a small start-up, a tech start-up, with a buddy of mine. I was able to take advantage of different things."


An NBA player with a tech start-up? Yes, the company is called Zing It.

"Basically what we are is like an online concierge service. We pretty much allow people to go onto our website and our app platform and pre-book their jetskis, boats, bikes; anything that has to do with outdoor recreational equipment. If you go on vacation, you can kinda chill and instead of going on Google and all that stuff, you can go on your phone and easily book what you want to do," Felix explained.

Felix has big plans for when, as he calls it, "the ball stops bouncing." He studies popular motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Eric Thomas, hoping one day to find success in helping others. 

If Felix someday needs to demonstrate the power of perseverance in overcoming the odds, perhaps he can reference his own life as a testimonial.

After three full years away from the NBA, two of them rehabbing a devastating knee injury, his determination could be used to inspire.

Felix is now fully healthy and is one of the best dunkers on the Wizards. He won their team dunk contest on Friday night at training camp in Richmond and threw down a few crowd-pleasing slams on Monday against the Long-Lions.

Not bad for a guy whose career was once in real jeopardy.

"For me personally, it's been a blessing. Every day when I wake up I just look in the mirror and smile because having the opportunity like this, a lot of people don't get," he said.

Hear Felix's full interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast right here:


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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Pistons, including John Wall's amazing blocks

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Pistons, including John Wall's amazing blocks

Here are the best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 115-111 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

1. Much of the attention going into any Wizards-Pistons game these days will be on John Wall and Reggie Jackson, as the two have had a mini-rivalry over the years. It was a long night for Jackson, as you'll see throughout this post, and it started with this putback jumper by Wall that left Jackson in the dust:

2. Wall finished with 26 points, 10 assists and two blocks. Both of his blocks were amazing. The first was this one, on Tobias Harris who is a power forward:


3. Wall's 28 points were much quieter than in the season-opener when he was dunking all over everyone. In this game, though, he did have this sick layup on the fastbreak:

4. Bradley Beal was also an offensive standout with 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting. One of his best plays was this and-1 late in the game:

Here's a bonus clip. Beal (25 points) had a few nice crossovers that ended in missed shots. This was one of them:

5. Okay, here's the second Wall block. It was on Jackson and it came at the perfect time. This helped seal the win:


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John Wall proclaims himself as the best shot-blocking point guard in NBA history

John Wall proclaims himself as the best shot-blocking point guard in NBA history

If you have thought to yourself over the years that John Wall is very good at blocking shots for a point guard, then don't worry, he's fully aware. Wall, in fact, believes there has never been one better in the history of the game.

Seriously. Wall staked his claim after Friday night's win over the Pistons, one in which he had two jawdropping blocks; one against a power forward and the other with just 14 seconds left to help seal the victory.

"That's just me playing defense. I think I'm the best shot-blocking point guard in NBA history. I'm trying to set records," he said.

First, let's look at the aforementioned blocks before we break down Wall's proclomation. The power forward who felt his wrath was Tobias Harris. Wall is 6-foot-4 and Harris is 6-foot-8:

The second block was as timely as it gets. If Wall doesn't swat this one away, who knows how the game turns out:

Wall understandably got some serious praise for those plays.

"Those are blocks that point guards are not supposed to make, but he has a special ability to make those plays throughout the game," head coach Scott Brooks said.

"It's the will to win, man," Bradley Beal said. "It's a timing thing. A lot of his transition ones, I will cut the guy off just so he can go block it. It's all about timing. He has great timing and great athleticism."

Now, for Wall's claim itself. There certainly aren't many guards who come to mind for shot-blocking. Dwyane Wade is known as being one of the best, but he's a shooting guard.

Wade, in fact, has the most career blocks ever for a guard with 802. Wall, though, has the second-most among active players at the guard position with 326. He's already 10th in NBA history for guards. Here is the top 10:

1. Dwyane Wade - 802*
2. Clyde Drexler - 719
3. Dennis Johnson - 675
4. Jason Kidd - 450
5. Kendall Gill - 432
6. Latrell Sprewell - 399
7. Jason Richardson - 367
8. Baron Davis - 360
9. Doc Rivers - 351
10. John Wall - 326*

(via Basketball Reference)

That's an excellent list of NBA names to be a part of. Only Johnson, Kidd, Davis and Wall are point guards, meaning Wall is already fourth all-time in career blocks at his position and the active leader. To set the all-time record, he will need 350 more to pass Johnson. That won't be easy, but it's feasible based on his career numbers.

Wall averaged 46 blocks per year in his first seven seasons. He would have to keep going at that rate for more than 7 1/2 seasons to pass Johnson. Given Wall is 27, he would have to still be blocking shots in his mid-30s.

It is certainly possible. Wall has averaged 0.6 blocks per game in his career and Wade is still at that pace now at Age 35. Wade, however, was averaging over a block per game in his prime, when he was Wall's age.

Wall may need to pick up his pace a bit to back up the claim he made on Friday night, but there's no denying that he's on track to at least make it interesting.