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Seattle's Browner returns from suspension

Seattle's Browner returns from suspension

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Brandon Browner didn't mind being forced to sit out the final four games of the regular season due to suspension because it was fun watching his Seattle Seahawks continue to roll toward the postseason.

``It was fun because we were kicking everyone's butt. I was missing not playing with the guys but it was awesome to watch from that perspective,'' Browner said Thursday, speaking for the first time since returning from his four-game suspension for using a banned substance. ``The progression of our quarterback is awesome. He's playing like one of the elite quarterbacks and the defense is playing lights out. They're playing like when I left. They didn't skip a beat.''

Browner, Seattle's starting cornerback the last two seasons, is expected to play Sunday in Seattle's playoff opener at Washington for the first time since early December when he dropped the appeal of his suspension and went to the sideline for the rest of the regular season. Coach Pete Carroll has not said whether Browner would start, concerned that he might be a bit rusty after four weeks away from the Seahawks facility.

Browner originally began the process of appealing his suspension, but dropped it the week after Seattle's 23-17 overtime win at Chicago in Week 13.

``It was about that time,'' Browner said when asked why he dropped his appeal. ``Sometimes you make mistakes. I was fortunate enough that the guys continued to win.''

Both Browner and fellow starting cornerback Richard Sherman had their positive tests for banned substances leaked following the Seahawks' Week 12 loss at Miami. Sherman said all along that he believed his suspension would be overturned on appeal and was proven right last week. Because of that, the Seahawks will have both available for the postseason.

Browner said he tried to stay in shape by mimicking the Seahawks' practice schedule. He returned to California for most of his suspension and worked out on days that the team did. Then he sat back and watched his teammates win the four games he missed by a combined score of 170-43 and get back to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

``I knew I had the suspension but it wasn't hard at all,'' Browner said of watching on TV. ``It was fun to watch the guys win the way they did.''

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Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday, emotions were high. 

Many current and former players paid tribute to Bryant, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who dominated in the Hawks 152-133 win over the Wizards. 

He ended the night with a spectacular performance of 45 points, with 14 assists, making 13-of-24 FGs and 13-of-16 free throws as well as six 3-pointers, six rebounds and one assist. 

Young is the first player to have a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards, since Kobe Bryant on December 17, 2006.

In honor of his mentor and favorite NBA player, Young wore a No. 8 jersey and took an 8-second-violation after the opening tip. 

He even wore his shoes with a tribute to Bryant as well. 

Young was able to channel his emotions into the game, leaving everything on the floor.

In an emotional night, Young was able to keep himself composed leading the Hawks past the Wizards. 

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Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

The news of Kobe Bryant's death shook the sports world to its core, and while there were NBA games scheduled throughout Sunday, some felt the league should have canceled the games in light of the tragic news. 

Isaiah Thomas was one of them. 

"It's hard to even talk about it," Thomas said. "The NBA should have just canceled all the games because that put a dent in everybody's life that he's touched."

Thomas looked up to Bryant, admired him from afar and found his love for the game of basketball because of Bryant's greatness. Spending 20 years as a Laker, Bryant won five championships, an MVP and two Finals MVP awards to go along with 15 All-NBA selections and 18 trips to the All-Star game. 

For Thomas, his relationship with Bryant started to grow when he broke out as an All-Star in Boston. When Thomas suffered the tragic loss of his sister, they grew closer. After his hip injury that cost Thomas over a year of his career, Bryant supported him throughout. 

"I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant," he said. "2017, I lose my sister, 2019 I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and then to lose a mentor of mine, like, that's bigger than basketball, that [expletive] hurts.

"He was one of the people that was there for me and in my corner," he said. "And then I got injured, he was one of those guys that was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally."

The NBA had a difficult decision to make on whether or not to cancel games since there were two games already in progress.

But before, during and after the game, everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family and not on a basketball game. Because as Thomas said, it's bigger than basketball. 

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