Redskins

LA Lakers retire Jamaal Wilkes' No. 52 jersey

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LA Lakers retire Jamaal Wilkes' No. 52 jersey

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jamaal Wilkes spent most of his successful basketball career as a remarkable supporting player.

The Los Angeles Lakers felt it was time to put Silk under the spotlight.

Wilkes' jersey was retired by the Lakers on Friday night, putting the smooth scorer in company with the franchise's Hall of Fame stars on the walls high above Staples Center.

Wilkes was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year. The Lakers, who only retire Hall of Famers' jerseys, formally hung his No. 52 next to Magic Johnson's No. 32 during halftime of their game against Portland.

``I think it says a lot about the Laker tradition,'' Wilkes said. ``They've had some awesome basketball players, and now I'm one of them. Being front and center, and now I look in the mirror, and I go, `Wow.' It's cool, and yet it's emotional for me.''

Wilkes was visibly touched by the honor, choking up while thanking his fellow Lakers greats amid several big ovations from the sellout crowd. Jerry West, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Elgin Baylor all showed up to support their fellow Lakers honoree.

``I'm just enjoying it,'' Wilkes said. ``I think months later, it will hit me, the true significance of it all.''

The 59-year-old Wilkes is a California native who starred at UCLA before winning his first NBA championship as a rookie at Golden State. He was a key supporting player on three Lakers title-winning teams of the 1980s, with a jumper that was as unorthodox as it was reliable.

A supporting role never bothered the former Keith Wilkes, who won a title as an NBA rookie alongside Rick Barry and Clifford Ray at Golden State before adding three more rings in Los Angeles.

``I always prided myself on winning,'' Wilkes said. ``I learned at a very young age, you can debate who the best player was or wasn't, but you can't debate who won or lost. So that's where my priorities went, and I played with some pretty good players along the way. I like to think that they made me better, and I made them better because I was able to adapt to different situations, and I was a good influence in the locker room.''

He was also a superb scorer who won two NCAA titles at UCLA alongside Bill Walton before the Warriors drafted him in the first round and promptly won an unlikely NBA title with the slim, 6-foot-6 Wilkes as their power forward.

Wilkes' supporting character was epitomized in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA finals. He had 37 points and 10 rebounds in a spectacular game, but was thoroughly overshadowed by Johnson's 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the title-clinching win.

Wilkes scored 14,664 points before retiring after a few games with the Clippers in 1985.

Wilkes still isn't done being honored. Santa Barbara High School will retire his jersey next month, and his face is a prominent feature at the freshly renovated Pauley Pavilion on UCLA's campus, where he's still a wildly popular figure even though both of his sons played college ball at California.

All of the attention is unusual to the soft-spoken star, but he's handling it just fine.

``I had kind of got used to being a private citizen, and now I'm front and center,'' Wilkes said. ``I think the fact that it is a yearlong merry-go-round makes it more special for me.''

The Lakers hadn't retired a number since Gail Goodrich's No. 25 went on the wall in 1996, but they aren't done for the season: Shaquille O'Neal's No. 34 goes up April 2.

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

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USA Today Sports

The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed. 

 

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    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Mark Sanchez is reportedly set to join the Washington Redskins in advance of the Week 12 Thanksgiving day game against the Cowboys, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    A devastating, season-ending injury to Alex Smith in Week 11 pushed Colt McCoy into the starting quarterback position, and without a third quarterback in-house, the Redskins had to sign a late replacement.

    Sanchez, who last played for the Bears during the 2017 season,  spent four seasons with the Jets after the team selected him out of Southern Cal with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

    Sanchez led the Jets to two AFC Championship games, but will ultimately be remembered for the "butt fumble" in a 2012 Thanksgiving day blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Sanchez's first game with the Redskins will take place exactly six years after the infamous moment.

    Sanchez has appeared in 77 games in seven seasons, starting 72. He's thrown for over 15,000 yards and has tossed 86 touchdown passes, while also throwing 86 interceptions.

    McCoy will start for the Redskins on Thursday in Dallas and is expected to be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season, with Sanchez serving as his backup and safety net.

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