Redskins

We made our own birthday invite list full of D.C. athletes for Kanye

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We made our own birthday invite list full of D.C. athletes for Kanye

BY PETER HAILEY

Monday night, John Wall was just one of many famous faces to make an appearance at Kanye West's surprise 38th birthday party at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which was put together by West's wife, Kim Kardashian.

It was obviously incredibly nice of Kardashian to invite Wall to the extravagant bonanza, but it seems that in only having one notable DC athlete come to the celebration, she left off many other area sports figures that would've been fitting guests. Here are a few other logical people that Kardashian should've had on the list of names to invite to Kanye West's birthday party.

Paul Pierce, Wizards forward

These guys are machines when it comes to producing one-liners: Pierce's memorable "I called game!" proclamation was just one of many classic things he said during his first year as a Wizard, while West has so many popular quotes and lyrics it would take until his 39th birthday to list them all.

Kardashian's idea of having the party's guest play basketball against each other was pretty brilliant, but she erred in not including The Truth on one of the two squad's rosters. Who knows how many historically awesome declarations we missed out on while Kanye and Paul traded baskets because of her mistake? Pierce definitely should've been at the Staples Center.

Bryce Harper, Nationals outfielder

Kanye West may just be the most confident person in the world. Bryce Harper, while not quite on 'Ye's level, is also very, very confident. 

These two would go together like West's wife and a device that does nothing except take selfies, but because Harper wasn't invited to the shindig, a friendship that would've lasted forever never even got a chance to blossom.

Marcin Gortat, Wizards center and Alex Ovechkin, Capitals forward

Ovi and the Polish Hammer have no relation to West, Kardashian or rap music in general, but they just seem like two guys who should absolutely be invited to every party in the history of the world, without exception. Even if this was a list of people who should've been invited to Clint Eastwood's 86th birthday, Randy Wittman's 56th or Riley Curry's third birthday, they'd be on it. Kim needs to bring them in next year.

DeSean Jackson, Redskins wide receiver

There's almost an unlimited amount of reasons why inviting Jackson was a logical move: He's from California, he's about to join Kim in the world of reality shows, and his Instagram is littered with photos of him alongside other well known rappers like Snoop Dogg and Tyga. There's no doubt that he would've been very comfortable at West's birthday blast.

Also worth considering is the fact that Yeezy's birthday is slotted perfectly during the NFL's offseason, meaning Jackson would certainly have had the time to attend had Kardashian made the call to invite him. Sure, he may have had to skip an OTA session, but that wouldn't be a big deal, right?

Max Scherzer, Nationals pitcher

Max Scherzer celebrates exciting occasions by pouring copious amounts of chocolate syrup on people's faces. Why did Kardashian go with a Larry O'Brien NBA trophy themed cake for her husband instead of allowing the Nats pitcher make West the next target of his unique tradition? That's a question without a clear answer.

Kris Humphries, Wizards forward

Just kidding. Kim inviting her ex-husband of 72 days would be as awkward as Justin Bieber winning MVP of the basketball game that took place on the Staples Center floor on Monday night. Oh wait, that apparently happened? Well still, while all the other athletes on the list deserve to be mad about not getting an invitation, Humphries probably didn't double-check his mailbox. 

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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

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

GAME 4: TORONTO RAPTORS AT WASHINGTON WIZARDS

Series: Raptors lead 2-1
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 5 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Time to get even

After a momentous Game 3 win, the Wizards have breathed some life back into their season. On Sunday, they can make this a brand new series.

With a win in Game 4 for the Wizards, they would tie the series and send it back to Toronto ensuring another home game in Washington. A loss would put them down 3-1, a deficit that has historically been hard to overcome.

Only 11 teams have accomplished the feat, most notably the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors did the same that year in the conference finals. It has only been done three times since 2006. 

How will Raptors respond?

Game 3 took on a much different tone and style than the previous two and it played into the Wizards' hands. It was much more physical and Washington did a good job of instigating contact and using it to their advanage. After the game, several players highlighted Markieff Morris shoving OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka as a turning point.

Just because it worked in Game 3 doesn't mean it will carry over successfully in Game 4. Not only could the Raptors respond with their own dose of brutality, but the referees may try to nip anything of the sort in the bud early on.

It would not be surprising if Game 4 was officiated very tightly and if a message was sent in the first quarter to the players. After seeing how well it worked in Game 3, the Wizards will likely try to test the limits.

Playoff Beal

The Raptors will also try to adjust their defense following Bradley Beal's 28-point outburst in Game 3. He wasn't much of a factor in the first two games of the series, but broke out in Game 3 to lead the Wizards to a win.

The Wizards did a good job of getting Beal involved early. He was found for open looks from three in the first half and had two three-pointers in each of the first two quarters. Beal also took it upon himself to attack the rim and force the issue.

The Raptors held Beal back in the first two games by being rough with him and in Game 2 they got him in foul trouble. Surely he will be a big emphasis of their gameplan on Sunday.

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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast: