Wizards

Brandon Roy says he wants to keep playing

Brandon Roy says he wants to keep playing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Brandon Roy isn't ready to give up on his NBA career quite yet.

Roy issued a statement on Saturday saying he will seek further treatment on the chronic pain in his knees in hopes of continuing his comeback attempt with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

``The past two days I have been weighing all my options as I try to continue my basketball career,'' Roy said. ``I have decided to explore additional treatment options and an extensive rehabilitation plan. My goal has been, and continues to be, to return to the basketball court as healthy as possible in order to help our team.''

The three-time All-Star initially retired as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers before last season. Pain created by a lack of cartilage in his knees robbed Roy of the smooth, shot-making game that made him one of the league's best shooting guards and a building block of the Blazers franchise. But he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy over the summer after sitting out the season, then felt good enough to attempt a comeback this year. The Timberwolves lured him away from other suitors including Dallas, Chicago and Golden State with a two-year, partially guaranteed deal, and things were looking up for Roy and the Wolves during a promising training camp.

During a preseason game against Milwaukee, Roy knocked knees during a collision with Ersan Ilyasova, and it has been all downhill since. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in November, then returned to practice Thursday and expressed optimism about possibly playing against the Suns on Saturday. But Roy was unable to practice Friday and was not present at the shootaround prior to the game against Phoenix.

He's gone back and forth the last two days, weighing retirement against more medical treatment, and more rehab. Timberwolves president David Kahn was vague on the specific treatment that Roy would be receiving, but said the team hopes to start seeing some results in three to four weeks.

The Timberwolves had set up for a possible press conference in the Target Center media room earlier on Saturday, with many speculating it was for a retirement announcement. But it was taken down by late afternoon and the team didn't comment on the reason for it.

``We're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, meaning I think the team has to prepare as if it may not work, and do what's necessary,'' Kahn said. ``Having said that ... I'm rooting for him, and am hopeful it will work, but we have to proceed as it may not and thus have to be very open in what we do.''

That would appear to leave every option on the table, including making a trade to address the team's lack of depth at shooting guard.

Roy has played in only five games this season, averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. He hasn't played since Nov. 9. The two-year deal, $10 million contract he signed with the Wolves pays him $5 million this season, but is not guaranteed next season. According to the collective bargaining agreement, the Wolves could get the $5 million in cap room back this season by early January if he does retire. The option on his contract, which would allow another team to wipe that money off the books next year, also could be have some interest in the trade market.

``I thought we had a very healthy and open exchange about, we know that we need to protect ourselves in every way,'' Kahn said. ``He does as well. He understands that we have to do what's best for the team. He acknowledges that, and he actually was encouraging of that.''

It's a tough break for the Wolves as well, who were hoping Roy could give them 25-30 minutes a game this season as the veteran perimeter player who could break down a defense and get his own shot late in games that they were sorely lacking. Rookie Alexey Shved is off to a promising start in that regard, but is still gaining experience and has been inconsistent. The Wolves lost Josh Howard and Malcolm Lee to injuries as well and were missing Ricky Rubio because of back spasms against the Suns, leaving them with three healthy guards.

``The league doesn't wait for you,'' coach Rick Adelman said. ``They don't stop the games and give you reprieve. You've just got to keep playing.''

Adelman said he does feel for Roy, a 28-year-old who is facing quite possibly the end of his playing career if things don't take a dramatic, and at this point unexpected, turn for the better.

``He worked really hard to try and comeback and he had that setback,'' Adelman said. ``Now he's struggling again. It's really up to him as to how much he can do and if he can come back.''

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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Marcin Gortat's emotional return ends with a loss and personal vindication

Marcin Gortat's emotional return ends with a loss and personal vindication

CAPITAL ONE ARENA -- The “Polish Machine” who now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t quite land the Hollywood movie script ending in his return to Washington.

Don’t fret for Marcin Gortat. Sure, the Wizards, his former team, fought back from a 24-point deficit for a 125-118 win. He’s good with his new scene. Gortat also has thoughts on his former situation and the turmoil brewing.

Gortat made his first appearance in the arena he called home for five seasons Tuesday night since a June 26 trade sent him to Los Angeles for Austin Rivers. He wasn’t sure of how the local fans would react. His journey in Washington ended bumpily, but the overall ride coincided with a positive turn for the franchise. The Wizards reached the playoffs in four of his five seasons.

“Well, obviously a very emotional moment,” Gortat said of his return. “Bottom line is that we came here to get a win. Unfortunately, we lost today. …It was great to be here.”

His arrival in 2013 following a trade with Phoenix led to the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2008. Three more postseason trips followed as did Mohawks and fabulous quotes. Gortat provided the power just before the NBA veered away from hulking frontcourts. His fame and fortune increased in Washington. His affable and oversized personality attracted fans.

Fans that watched the 6-foot-11 screen-setting center consistently provide double-doubles graciously applauded for the ex-Wizard during pre-game introductions. Gortat, who started 400 of 402 games played in Washington, appreciated the gesture.

“It was weird to sit on that side of the court and play against your guys,” Gortat said. “It was tough, very emotional and weird, but it’s business.”

Gortat wasn’t immune to criticism from fans and teammates during his time in Washington. Part of the reason he now plays for the Clippers is that the relationship with former pick-and-roll partner John Wall soured. When disapproval only went so far up the Wizards’ player hierarchy, it often stopped with the man in the middle.

The Wizards entered Tuesday’s game flailing. Many of the same players from prior seasons remained. Not Gortat, meaning any blame must land elsewhere. With drama engulfing the Wizards, Gortat proudly felt vindicated. He waited for the pack of reporters to clear before expressing such thoughts.

“Listen, the way I was traded out of that team, it looked like I was the cancer of the locker room,” Gortat told NBC Sports Washington. “I think that thing was verified and it was complete [expletive]. It is what it is now.”

Pregame Gortat wondered if the Wizards would join the ranks of teams creating tribute videos for returning players. He would be left wanting.

Rivers, the son of the Clippers head coach, received one in October upon his first arrival back with the team he played for over four seasons. Gortat remembered.

As the formal postgame scrum ended, the ex-Wizard made it clear he had thoughts to share and asked to be asked about the lack of a video tribute.

“Well, what do I think about that? A lot of guys around the league are getting tributes. It ’s obviously up to the organization, but I guess Austin Rivers did enough to get his tribute, but I didn’t do enough to get a tribute here,” Gortat said to NBC Sports Washington. “A few guys around the team understand. It was kind of weird.”

Taking the court with his former teammates was more different than weird, but ultimately cordial and competitive.

“Brad (Beal) fouled me a few times. He admitted he fouled me, but I didn’t get a call,” a chuckling Gortat told NBC Sports Washington. “John, yeah, we had our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, there’s no bad blood. We spoke at the end of the game, said good luck, stay healthy.”

Ultimately, Gortat made peace with his time in Washington. The fond memories outweighed the knocks. Members of the Wizards organization stopped by the Clippers locker room for a chat and a laugh. Gortat bear hugged Wizards equipment manager Jerry Walter to the ground.

The loss stung. Los Angeles does the stinging most nights. The Clippers entered with a five-game winning streak. Their 11-6 record puts them among the Western Conference elite. Gortat’s minutes are down (18 per game). Such limits would have bothered him in Washington. 

At 34 and knowing his NBA life could be fleeting with his contract expiring this summer, Gortat is cool with his new world.

“I’m great. I’m great where I am,” the 12-year veteran said. “I get to play and help the team as much as I can either on the court, off the court, in the locker room. I’m going to try to help my team and lead us as much as I can. We have great chemistry and a great team.”

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Former Raven Ed Reed takes step closer to Hall of Fame enshrinement

Former Raven Ed Reed takes step closer to Hall of Fame enshrinement

To the surprise of no one, former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is one step closer to Hall of Fame enshrinement.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that Reed was named one of the 25 semifinalist for the 2019 class. Reed, cornerback Champ Bailey and tight end Tony Gonzalez are the only first-year eligible players that made the cut.

An obvious first-year ballot Hall of Famer, the next step in the selection process for Reed will take place on Thursday, January 3 when the semifinalist are cut down to 15 Modern-Era Finalist.

Finalist then must receive 80% positive vote from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee on "Selection Saturday," one day prior to Super Bowl LIII. No more than five Modern-Era Finalist can be elected in a given year. The finalist will be formally enshrined Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio.

The Ravens selected Reed in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he would go on to play 11 seasons with the organization. During those 11 seasons, he was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, was a five-time First-Team All-Pro and started 159 of 160 games. 

On the field, Reed had 61 interceptions for 1,541 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, the safety raked up 11 forced fumbles and 13 fumbles recovered for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Not to forget a Super Bowl XLVII championship.

Reed's enshrinement would make him the third Raven in the history of the organization to be enshrined in his first-year of eligibility alongside linebacker Ray Lewis and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. 

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