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Carrick Felix earns Wizards' final roster spot after long journey back to NBA

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Carrick Felix earns Wizards' final roster spot after long journey back to NBA

Shooting guard Carrick Felix has plans to be a motivational speaker once he retires from the game of basketball and now he has quite the testimonial to tell.

After three long years, two rehabbing a devastating knee injury, Felix is officially back in the NBA. He was told on Sunday that he earned the final roster spot on the Washington Wizards.

Felix's story is as interesting as they get. He was a second round pick in 2013 and played seven games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013-14 season. A broken left knee cap then took his career off track. 

Last season, Felix caught on with the Long Island Nets of the D-League. He played 34 games and did enough to earn a training camp invitation from the Wizards. Now at Age 27, he's back in the NBA and ready for his second season.

"It's just a blessing looking at the overall picture, where I've been to where I'm at today. I'm just glad to be here with a good organization," he said. 

"He earned his spot. He wasn't given it," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I'm happy for him. He's a player that you want him to have success because he's had a tough time with injuries throughout his career. He's fought back and stayed positive and he kept working."


Felix knew it was possible he had made the team when the Wizards waived guard Donald Sloan on Saturday. He knew his chances had improved once Sheldon Mac went down with an Achilles tear last Sunday against the Cavs.

But Felix didn't know it was official until he entered the Wizards' locker room on Sunday at Capital One Arena and center Ian Mahinmi congratulated him. The comeback, as long as it took, was complete.

Felix hadn't been able to tell his friends or family by the time he met with the media after practice.

"I'll definitely call my mom first and tell her the news. She'll be very happy," he said.


Felix, in fact, has some D.C. roots. He lived on Bolling Air Force Base (now known as Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling) for several years as a kid before moving to the West Coast. Felix's father was in the Air Force and he still has family in the Washington area: an uncle, several cousins and his godmother.

It was a long journey to this point and now that Felix has returned to the NBA, new goals will be set. It's not a dream anymore. He's here and ready to contribute to the Wizards.

Brooks said the Wizards were intrigued by Felix's ability to guard point guards, shooting guards and small forwards. He's a hard-nosed defender and, with an improving three-point shot, can play the two and the three on offense.

Brooks and the Wizards believe Felix can make an impact with his high-energy style of play. Ask anyone with the Wizards about Felix and the word 'hustle' is likely to come up.

"It's always been the case for me," Felix said of his relentless effort. "I don't really notice it much. I've just always been programmed like that, since I was little, to just run around crazy until somebody blows the whistle. I just see it as playing basketball."

Felix has only seven NBA games under his belt. Technically he's been here before, it's just been a while.


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John Wall and J.J. Barea continue Wizards-Mavs beef with postgame war of words

John Wall and J.J. Barea continue Wizards-Mavs beef with postgame war of words

Add the Dallas Mavericks to the list of teams the Wizards just plain do not like.

The Wizards have had beef with a host of their opponents over the past several seasons between the Celtics, Warriors, Suns, Magic and many others. Now the Mavericks can be included and one could argue they were the instigators.

On Monday night in Dallas, the Wizards and Mavs got into it several times. First, Bradley Beal and rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. got tied up at midcourt and Beal gave Smith an earful afterwards. Smith grabbed Beal's arm and the Wizards shooting guard did not like it.

Beal's displeasure was understandable, as this could have caused a shoulder injury:


Soon after that, Mavericks center Salah Mejri was ejected and as he left the court, Kelly Oubre, Jr. waved him off. Mejri didn't like that too much:

Those incidents were all precursors to this, a dustup between John Wall and J.J. Barea. First, they had words for each other on the court and it resulted in a technical for Barea, one of five total handed out during the game:


After the game, they kept talking. Wall poked fun at Barea's height by saying this:

"It was cool. It was funny. It was just a little midget trying to get mad. So, I paid him no mind."

Barea then fired back with this to Dallas reporters:

"Now I have somebody in the NBA that I don't like. But I don't think his teammates like him either."

That's some decent trash-talking. But because they won in a blowout, the Mavs had the last laugh. 


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Wizards suffer another ugly loss to the Mavericks in game Otto Porter left with an injury

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Wizards suffer another ugly loss to the Mavericks in game Otto Porter left with an injury

The Washington Wizards lost to the Dallas Mavericks 98-75 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

It happened again: No one who has been following the Wizards throughout the 2017-18 season will be surprised by this. Once again, the Wizards faced a team with a far worse record, yet they not only lost, they got thorougly dominated.

And for the second time this season, it was the Mavs who pulled off the upset. Dallas beat them in Washington all the way back on Nov. 7, before we know these troubles against bad teams would define the Wizards' season to this point.

Offense was a major problem for the Wizards. They scored just 15 points in the second quarter and shot 35.6 percent in the first half. They only scored 17 in the third quarter and finished with just 75 for the game on 30.6 percent from the field. 

The Wizards also continue to have trouble in revenge games. Despite having a chance to punch back, they have now lost twice to the Mavs, Nets, Hornets and Jazz.

This one was just plain ugly and the result was the Wizards' 11th loss to a sub-.500 team. That's tied for the most in the NBA. They know it's a big problem, but they just can't seem to figure out why.

The Wizards have now lost five of their last eight games. With just over two weeks left until the trade deadline, one has to wonder what the Wizards' front office will do to shake things up. At some point they have to do something. It's not early anymore.


Porter injured: The Wizards didn't just lose, they saw one of their best players go down with an injury. Otto Porter was the player and once again it was his right hip, a recurring injury that has sidelined him periodically throughout his NBA career, including at various times this season.

Porter left for the locker room in the third quarter and never returned. The Wizards have two off-days coming up which should work in his favor, but clearly this is a concern as Porter can't shake the injury.

Wall played: Wall had another bout with migraine headaches and missed the team's shootaround. He was considered a gametime decision, but was able to give it a go. Early on, he didn't look affected by the headaches at all.

Wall came out hot by hitting his first shot and have five points and two assists in his first five minutes. By halftime, he had 11 points, four assists, two blocks but also four turnovers. But Wall didn't score in the second half and only added one assist.


Bit of chippiness: The Wizards and Mavs got into it a few times in this one, providing some entertainment in what was otherwise a dumpster fire of a game. In the third quarter we saw Bradley Beal and Dennis Smith, Jr. have words for each other:

Then we saw Salah Mejri get ejected and Kelly Oubre, Jr. wave goodbye to him:

And in the fourth Wall and Mavs point guard J.J. Barea did some jawing. The Wizards and Mavs do not appear to like each other, but Dallas continues to have the last laugh. They have swept the Wizards in seven of the last eight years.

Up next: The Wizards are off both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is not necessarily a good thing. They will have to stew on this loss for longer than usual. Their next game is Thursday night at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on TNT, but you can catch pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington. It all starts with Wizards HangTime at 7 p.m.