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Wall on Webster: He’s a different guy -- and we needed him


Wall on Webster: He’s a different guy -- and we needed him

Teammates since 2012, but John Wall hasn't played a live NBA game with Martell Webster since last season. That's not happening any time soon and if it does in the future, it's likely not on the same side.

The Wizards announced Monday they waived the veteran forward and signed center Ryan Hollins. Webster had season-ending hip surgery in November.

"That’s very devastating," Wall said of Webster no longer part of the roster. "[He's] somebody that will always be like my brother. Somebody that came and helped us in a big year for us (in 2013-14). He’s proven what he can do when he’s healthy when he came to us. One of those players you wish he could stay healthy."

Webster provided 3-point shooting during his first two seasons with the Wizards, serving as one of the primary options for Wall, a pass-first point guard. However, back surgery, the third on his medical chart, before the 2014-15 season limited his availability. Despite some initial optimism, Webster never could get his body right heading into the current season.

"It was a tough last two years injury-wise," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Webster, his starting small forward for most of the 2012-13 season. "He did everything he could to try to get back to playing. Had one of the best summers I’ve seen. He came here in the best condition that I’ve seen. And then basically right off the bat gets hurt again."

If only Webster suffered an injury, perhaps he remains with the team. On Saturday against Toronto, five of Washington's 15 players were unavailable, including big men Nene (calf) and Drew Gooden (calf).

"It’s tough but we needed a spot with five guys down," Wittman said. "We needed to get bigger moving forward so it was a decision that needed to be made for the team. We’re still going to support Martell, be there doing what we can to help him in his rehab moving forward. That won’t change.”

Wall added said of Webster, "This year he came in with a great mind-set and better shape than from last year when he wasn’t in the rotation. He tried his best to all type of workouts to try to get to playing. When he went down it was kind of tough because you’re like, we need a position, a body. It’s tough to see him go. He helped us that one big year. He was going to be a big part of what our team needed."

Part of what Webster provided throughout his run in Washington and particularly those first two seasons wasn't about X's and O's unless the "O" stood for oddball. From changing hairstyles to humorous comments to simply viewing the world from a different lense than most -- and not being shy about letting you know that -- Webster, who turns 29 in December, helped keep the locker room mood light.

“He’s a different guy," Wall said. "We all accepted him. It was great for our team. He was who he was. He wasn’t trying to be anybody different.”

[RELATED: Antawn Jamison excited to join Wizards broadcasts]

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)



Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets


Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves


Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.


Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.


Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.


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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.


Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest. He edged Larry Nance, Jr. of the Cavaliers in the finals.