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How the Wizards came up with the name Capital City Go-Go for their G-League affiliate

How the Wizards came up with the name Capital City Go-Go for their G-League affiliate

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and those at Monumental Sports and Entertainment had an important goal in mind when they set out to create the name and branding around their G-League franchise, set for the 2018-19 season.

They wanted something that would connect with the city of Washington and those who don't just live here, but are from here.

In their deliberations and research, one name continued to emerge with a nice ring to it: the Go-Go, a reference to a genre of music that was born and bred in Washington, D.C. decades ago.

It combines funk with R&B, is heavy on off-beat percussion and is often played late on weekend nights by local radio stations. 

The Wizards first went out and talked to Wizards fans, many of which suggested Go-Go as the name. Roger Mody, a co-owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, received the same suggestion from a good friend in a text. He showed the message to Leonsis who took it as another sign that Go-Go was a good idea.

Before settling on the name, the Wizards wanted to make sure those who live in and around Ward 8, where the Wizards are building a brand new practice facility that will be home to the G-League team, were down with the Go-Go name. 


"It just was a name that we wanted to be respectful [with]. We went into the community and asked fans, asked people who would be our neighbors, did they think this was an appropriate homage to music that we kind of grew up with, music that we felt good about," Leonsis said.

The reaction was positive and that helped bolster a feeling Leonsis already had about the music itself. The Wizards have held go-go nights over the years and Leonsis has been impressed with the reaction from fans.

"The bongo sound, the percussion sound is very, very natural to our city," Leonsis said.

On Friday, Dec. 1, Capital City Go-Go became the official name of the Wizards' NBA G-League team, as Leonsis and D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Go-Go Night at Capital One Arena.

Any fan of go-go music can tell you that Chuck Brown is the 'Godfather of Go-Go.' He rose to fame in the 1960s and 70s and remained a local legend until his death in 2012.

Leonsis saw Brown's impact over the years in his music and his personality. The Wizards have been in contact with Brown's family throughout the team-naming process.

"I remember the first year I bought the Wizards and moved into the office here, looking out my window and just seeing Chuck walk the streets," Leonsis said. 

"He was just the coolest, just the coolest looking guy. I remember he had this great black hat on and the way he strode up the street, everyone running around him and giving him a handshake. It just feels right for us and I feel like the city will bond with it."


Leonsis can speak to go-go's place in Washington, however, most of the Wizards players cannot, as none of them are from the city. Several shared their reaction to the name and their thoughts on go-go on Friday night after the announcement was made.

"I'm not a fan of go-go," guard Bradley Beal said. "I'm not from D.C. Some is all right. I listen to a few [songs]. My boy Quinn Cook used to put me in go-go all the time. It's some stuff I can listen to and some I just can't get down with. For the most part, I'm in D.C. now so I guess I have to adapt to it."

"I don't even know any of [the songs]," forward Markieff Morris said. "It's funny, but I'm rolling with it. D.C. is all about go-go, so it is what it is."

For those who aren't familiar with go-go, it may take some getting used to, like any new team name. For those who are familiar with go-go, the team will be a nice tribute to a pillar of D.C. culture.


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Wizards hope meeting between superstar backcourt can jumpstart Bradley Beal's playoff production

Wizards hope meeting between superstar backcourt can jumpstart Bradley Beal's playoff production

With an 0-2 deficit in their first-round playoff series against the Raptors, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks called for a meeting with his two All-Star guards once his team returned to Washington. Brooks met with John Wall and Bradley Beal, hoping to solve an issue that plagued them particularly in Game 2, a blowout loss.

Brooks is intent on getting more out of Beal offensively and since Wall is the quarterback of their offense, it made sense to have him present. After Beal scored nine points and shot just 3-for-11 from the field and 1-for-5 from three, it is clear to Brooks that the Wizards need more to climb back in this series.

"We need to have Brad play well. It's no secret that you need your best players to step up and play well," Brooks said.

Both Brooks and Wall, who each spoke after Thursday's practice, said Beal needs to be more assertive in the offense. Beal averaged 28.8 points against the Raptors through four regular season games and Wall did not play in any of them. In theory, things should be easier for him now with another star player drawing attention.

That has not been the case, however. Beal is averaging 14.0 points through two games while shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three. 

Even if his shot isn't falling, the Wizards want Beal to force the issue.

"I feel like I tell him at times that he needs to be more aggressive. Be more aggressive and look for your shot," Wall said. "He even says it that he has to be more aggressive himself. Even if he's missing or making shots. That's how he's been all season. We need that same type of player, to be aggressive and get at least 20 shots or more per game. That's when our team is probably at our best."

Beal has been limited to 14 shots per game by the Raptors when he averaged 18.1 during the regular season. Wall said he and Beal often talk within games about how Beal would like to be set up and the meeting with Brooks involved some of that dialogue.

While Beal's struggles stand out, the same could be said for Otto Porter, the Wizards' third-leading scorer. Porter was held to 12 points in Game 2 and did not attempt a single three-pointer. For a guy who finished third in the NBA in three-point percentage (44.1), that is difficult to justify.

Like Beal, the Wizards need Porter to impose his will a bit more and according to Brooks, the right lower leg strain he suffered late in the regular season is not to blame.

"He's 100 percent healthy," Brooks said. "It's always been a little bit of a problem. We want Otto to be more aggressive. We gotta run some more plays for him and the defense has done a good job on him. We need him to play well."

Like Beal, Porter had success against Toronto in the regular season. He averaged 18.5 points on 59.2 percent shooting, including a 24-point game on March 2. 

The Wizards need Beal and Porter to step up, knowing the series could hinge on if they do.





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Ty Lawson is playing a bigger role than anyone could have predicted for Wizards vs. Raptors

Ty Lawson is playing a bigger role than anyone could have predicted for Wizards vs. Raptors

The biggest surprise of the Wizards-Raptors series through two games, at least from Washington's perspective, has to be the fact Ty Lawson has very quickly earned a prominent role in Scott Brooks' playoff rotation.

Lawson, 30, was signed the day after the regular season and after he played much of 2017-18 in China with the Shandong Golden Stars. He did not appear in one game with the Wizards or any other NBA team during the regular season, yet he was the first point guard off the bench in Game 2.

When John Wall picked up two quick fouls, it was Lawson who got the nod, not Tomas Satoransky. Lawson ended up playing 31 minutes, more than Satoransky and fellow backup point guard Tim Frazier have earned combined through two games.

Though the Wizards had three point guards on their bench behind Wall before Lawson even signed, he has apparently surpassed them all on the depth chart. Satoransky is the most surprising, given he played quite well during the regular season.

Satoransky averaged 7.2 points, 3.9 assists and shot a team-best 46.5 percent from three. He had the highest offensive rating (124) on the team.

Lawson, though, played quite well in Game 2. He put up 14 points, eight assists and three rebounds while shooting 4-for-5 from three.

Lawson outscored four of the Wizards' five starters. Not bad for his first game.

"He did everything I knew he was capable of doing," Brooks said. "I’ve seen him do it for many, many years. He’s tough, he’s a competitor. He competes and pushes the pace. He plays defense. I liked the spirit."

Lawson provided a noticeable spark. He is still quick and aggressive with the ball, not afraid to look for his own shot, and played physical defense against the Raptors. Lawson ended the night plus-8 in the box score in a game the Wizards lost by 11.

"It’s good to see him get into a game and be able to produce for us," guard Bradley Beal said.

Given the Wizards lost Game 2 and face an 0-2 deficit in their series, it is likely that Brooks continues to alter his rotation in the coming games. He could go back to Satoransky more often, knowing he had some solid games against Toronto in the regular season, including on March 2 when he had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Satoransky could see more time at shooting guard or small forward and could play alongside Lawson. That might be Satoransky's best bet because Lawson did nothing in Game 2 to squander the opportunity.

For a team whose effort has been questioned by their head coach, Lawson's energy and urgency was noteworthy. He brought the edge of a guy playing for his NBA career, knowing a good playoff series could earn him a contract next season. 

Clearly, the way Lawson played was refreshing for Brooks given how long he kept him out on the floor. He may have come out of nowhere, but it looks like Lawson is here to stay.




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