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What's holding up Jared Dudley's debut with Wizards? He explains

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What's holding up Jared Dudley's debut with Wizards? He explains

ORLANDO -- A key component for the Wizards if they're going to advance past the conference semifinals this season, Jared Dudley was noticeably absent from the opener and doesn't expect to play much -- if at all -- in Friday's game at the Milwaukee Bucks (CSN+ and NBC Sports Live Extra, 8 p.m. ET).

Dudley, who had lower back surgery to repair a bulging disk in July, played in the final two preseason games. He played a total of 27 minutes and shot just 2 of 8. He was active in Wednesday's 88-87 win at the Magic but didn't play. Instead, coach Randy Wittman played Otto Porter 37 minutes and went with multiple three-guard lineups. 

"I was not surprised because the biggest thing for me is getting my legs so there’s no rust or stuff like that," said Dudley, who was acquired by the Wizards in a deal with Milwaukee. "I wouldn’t be surprised if this went on for another week, then after that that gets three, four or five more practices, we can get a couple days or rest and I can see me slowly working in."

In Dudley's only season with the Bucks in 2014-15, he averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 rebounds. He made 22 starts on a playoff team, going from 15 wins to 41 in coach Jason Kidd's first year.

"It was the worst team in the NBA the year before and went to the playoffs. Most of the guys are still on that team. Only me and Zaza (Pachulia) were guys that had left. I want them to do well," said Dudley, who spent one season with the L.A. Clippers before that when he started 43 games. "I had a great one year compared to my one year in L.A., me being hurt, playing like some (expletive) that last year was my, ‘Hey, Jared’s back.’ It’s good for me now. They looked out for me, traded me here. They didn’t have to. They didn’t get anything. I salute them and I will always talk good about them. If there’s ever was an opportunity to go back I would."

The Bucks were trounced in their season-opener by the New York Knicks, 122-97. But they were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (suspended) and still don't have Jabari Parker, who is recovering from a knee ligament tear from last season. 

Both play positions that Dudley is accustomed to and being older and less athletic he knew his time was to leave Milwaukee, who received a traded-player exception in the deal.

"I was on the outside looking in. It was hard to get in. I might’ve gotten spot minutes," Dudley said. "Here’s there’s an opportunity to be able to play more and be on a better team."

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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