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After uncertainty early in summer, Marcin Gortat is all-in on 2017-18 with Wizards

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USA Today Sports

After uncertainty early in summer, Marcin Gortat is all-in on 2017-18 with Wizards

This week, as he prepares for his fifth season with the Washington Wizards, Marcin Gortat is participating in the team's informal summer mini-camp. In previous summers he has been busy back home in Poland with family and other obligations.

This year, Gortat has joined the team in Los Angeles and as a surprise. Despite knowing he had missed the camp for years, Gortat's teammates included him on a group text, one that has sent the Wizards big man messages at odd hours of the night due to the time zone difference in Poland.

"Please, take me out of that group text. You guys are literally waking me up," Gortat said he texted back, knowing he would ultimately show up unnannounced. 

Gortat attending the camp for a change is partly a matter of his schedule being open, unlike in years past. But it is an interesting display of commitment given the uncertainty about his future just months ago. Gortat expressed doubt about whether he would be with the Wizards at the end of the summer, or if a trade would be the best course of action, during his exit interview with the media after the Wizards' playoff loss in May.

[RELATED: GRUNFELD SEES GORTAT AS BIG PART OF FUTURE]

Gortat joined the Wizards Tipoff podcast this week for a lengthy interview with CSN's Chris Miller.

Here is how Gortat explained his situation on the podcast:

"First of all, I knew it right away that I would be coming back. I still have a contract and at the end of the day, I’m a Wizards player. I still have two fully guaranteed years. When I went for the exit interview, I was just preparing myself for the worst. You’ve gotta be ready in this business. You’ve gotta be ready that one day you might get a phone call saying that ‘hey, I appreciate everything that you did, but we’re going to go in a different direction and trade you.’ I’ve been traded twice in my life. I know how it is. So, at the exit interview I just said I was going to talk to my agent and whatever is going to happen. That doesn’t mean I wanted to be traded. It doesn’t mean that I’m leaving or that I don’t want to play for the Washington Wizards. It’s just that my situation with the team had completely changed. It’s not a secret that the first 40 to 50 games I was playing heavy minutes and then it completely dropped. I didn’t have the same amount of touches that I had the previous two or three years.

"But listen, at the end of the day, if the team is winning then I’m fine with that. It’s all about winning and taking a step forward, going to the playoffs and hopefully reaching the conference finals and hopefully one day the NBA Finals. But it was just a tough situation for me certain weeks and certain months. In the playoffs, I had games where I was able to perform at the highest level and then the next game I was completely out of the game. So, it was tough. But like I said before, just because I said that in the exit interview stuff like that, doesn’t mean I don’t want to be on the team. I was just preparing myself that I might be traded. At the end of the day, I know I’m not the youngest one."

You can listen to Gortat's full podcast interview right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

[RELATED: KEEF AND DOLPH, A WIZARDS ODD COUPLE]

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Plenty of all-time statistical milestones in sight for Wall, Beal and company

Plenty of all-time statistical milestones in sight for Wall, Beal and company

Last season alone saw John Wall set the Wizards/Bullets franchise records for career assists and steals, as well as the mark for assists in a single season. Bradley Beal moved all the way up to second in franchise history for career threes.

This year should produce plenty of milestones for the Wizards, if their players continue their recent career pace. Here is a look at some milestones to expect from Wall, Beal, Dwight Howard and others…

John Wall

— is likely to move into the top 40 all-time for career assists this season (he’s currently 64th). He averaged 783.3 per season from 2014-17, that pace would push him past Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Walt Frazier and others this year

— is currently 10th on franchise list for games played, only five games behind Phil Chenier. A full 82-game season would put Wall at fourth in franchise history and push him past guys like Jeff Malone, Gus Johnson and Brendan Haywood

— is 559 minutes away from 20,000. Only two players in franchise history have reached that mark with the team: Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes

—  is 409 points from passing Unseld (10,624) for third on franchise scoring list

— is 73 steals away from 1,000

Bradley Beal

—  is seven three-pointers away from passing Gilbert Arenas (868) for the most threes made in franchise history; based on his current pace, Beal could hit his 1,000thcareer three this season

— Beal could become one of only eight players to reach 1,000 threes by the end of their seventh NBA season. That list includes James Harden, Stephen Curry, Ray Allen, Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard

-is 241 three-point attempts away from passing Arenas (2,430) for most in franchise history

Dwight Howard

— is only one point away from 18,000, he should get to 19,000 this season; Howard is 383 points from passing Tracy McGrady (18,381), 824 from passing Isiah Thomas (18,822), 942 from passing Scottie Pippen (18,940)

— if he plays a full 82-game season, Howard will pass these players in career games played: Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Manu Ginobli, George Gervin and Charles Barkley

— is 79 minutes away from passing Unseld on the all-time list, with a full season he could move into the top 50 all-time for minutes played

— is 648 rebounds from passing Hakeem Olajuwon (13,748) for 14th all-time, is 669 from surpassing Unseld (13,769) for 13th; Howard has already passed Shaquille O’Neal, Barkley, Dennis Rodman, Patrick Ewing and others

— is 40 blocks away from passing Manute Bol (2,086) for 17th all-time, is 73 from passing Shawn Bradley (2,119) for 16th, is 91 from eclipsing Ben Wallace (2,137) for 15th

Otto Porter

—  is 77 threes away from 500

Austin Rivers

— is 88 threes away from 500, 13 assists away from 1,000, 174 rebounds away from 1,000 and 105 minutes away from 10,000

Pro Basketball Reference was used for this research

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Wizards' John Wall hilariously reacts to NFL kicking struggles: 'Put me in coach'

Wizards' John Wall hilariously reacts to NFL kicking struggles: 'Put me in coach'

The NFL’s kickers had a rough weekend with both the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings missing last-second field goals, which could have saved their teams.

If you weren’t rooting for either of these teams to win, this weekend’s struggles were quite comical, and John Wall got a kick out of it. Literally.

The Washington Wizards point guard had a good laugh at the expense of the Browns’ and Vikings’ kickers -- -- and in his Instagram story Sunday, he posted a video of himself showing off his kicking skills with the caption, “Put me in coach”.

“You see the [expletive] that’s going on today? I could get a job!” Wall says while kicking and laughing. “Far right, it’s no good!”

Looking for their first win since 2016, the Browns had the ball and trailed the New Orleans Saints, 21-18, with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter. Kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a 52-yard field goal that went wide right, and the Saints won. It was Gonzalez’s second missed field goal of the day – along with two extra points – which cost his team a total of eight points. The Browns waived him Monday.

Also Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings road game against the Green Bay Packers, Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson missed all three of his field goal attempts, including two in overtime, both of which were wide right.

Packers kicker Mason Crosby also missed an overtime field goal – though this one was wide left – and the game ended in a 29-29 tie.

Maybe John Wall should give football a shot.

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