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Animosity between Wall, Crowder requires police to keep peace

Animosity between Wall, Crowder requires police to keep peace

BOSTON -- The security on the court didn't appear to be in hurry to calm tensions that bubbled over after everyone left. And before Wizards coach Scott Brooks said a word, he took excpetion to three Boston police officers stationed in front of his locker room rather than that of the Celtics.

They quickly moved.

It all started because of a spat between Jae Crowder and John Wall. Isaiah Thomas had just lit up the Wizards for 38 points, with 20 coming in the fourth of a 117-108 win for Boston. 

"I was just standing there," said Wall, who was smiling until Crowder confronted him, poked him in the face with his index finger and was slapped in return. "I just said what's up to I.T. and then I was walking back towards my locker room."

Marcus Smart, Kelly Oubre, Markieff Morris, Wall's personal bodyguard, a Wizards team security official and Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe among others got in the middle while no one from the arena security intervened. Moments later, in the narrow corridor in which the home and visting teams are in close proximity, all hell almost broke loose again.

Thomas was oblivious to what was going on as he walked down the opposite end of the hallway in a jubilant mood as the Celtics drew even in the season series 1-1. 

"They can't (expletive) with a real killer," he shouted, figuratively speaking in the sporting sense. 

No other blows appeared to be thrown. 

Celtics players wouldn't talk about it after being instructed by coach Brad Stevens to stay tight-lipped. The Wizards, however, had no problem addressing what took place. They had an issue with Crowder a season ago when he clashed on the sideline with then-coach Randy Wittman.

Otto Porter was one of the first players to rush back to the locker room and didn't see the spat between Wall and Crowder, but he gladly dished about his feelings on the Celtics. 

"We've had some past history the last couple of years with those guys," said Porter, who didn't appear to be on the court during the exchange. "They're a physical team. They try to play dirty. They try to take you out your game. Their whole team. That's just how they try to play."

Bradley Beal, who had his nose broken and a concussion after a blow to the head from Smart last season, received a technical foul after becoming entangled with him in this game, too. When the Wizards blew them out by 30 in the first meeting at Verizon Center, a frustrated Wall was ejected for a Flagrant 2 on Smart. 

"It s always chippy with them. It's a phsyical team. Neither one of us likes to be punked," said Beal, who had a team-high 35 points for Washington. "It's just a physical game. That's all it was. It's not my first time behing tangled up with Marcus. He's a tough competitor. I don't think it was a dirty game. There were no crazy fouls or anything like that away from the ball. It was clean. Just a lot of smack talking, trash-talking." 

The usually low-key Morris didn't want any part of it. 

"A lot of woofing going on, for real," he said. "Guys exchanging words. I (don't) about the talk so I don't get around that kind of stuff... As the game went on I felt it was escalating. I didn't know it would be like that towards the end. It just adds fuel to the fire for the next time we play them. We got to keep it between the lines."

[RELATED: Jae Crowder puts finger in John Wall's face, argument ensues]

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Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

As the NBA regular season approaches, the Washington Wizards seek to finalize their roster.

The Wizards announced on Wednesday that they have waived Phil Booth, Justin Anderson and Jemerrio Jones. The team also signed 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks and small forward Jalen Jones, the team announced.

Pasecniks and Jones were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, meaning that if they are waived, they will have the opportunity to play for the Go-Go, the Wizards' G-League affiliate. Booth was on an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will report to the Go-Go after being waived.

Pasecniks, a 7-foot center from Latvia, was the 25th overall selection from the 2017 draft. The Orlando Magic drafted him and moved him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for draft picks. The 76ers renounced his rights in June.

Pasecniks played on the Wizards summer league team, averaging 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. Jalen Jones has averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc in 32 games over two seasons with three teams.

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John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has already made enough money during his basketball career to last a lifetime and his new supermax contract worth $170 million is just kicking in. When he is done playing in the NBA, he doesn't have to do anything at all if he doesn't want to.

But there is at least a small part of Wall that believes coaching could be in his future. He loves the game enough to not rule out the possibility.

This year will give him a taste of what being a coach is all about. While he rehabs his ruptured left Achilles, he will serve as an unofficial assistant to head coach Scott Brooks. Wall will be asked to break down film with players, advise on plays to run and help the team's young point guards in practice.

Wall isn't sure as of today whether he wants to coach when his playing days are over. But he may have an answer in just a few months.

"I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not," Wall told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. 

"I think you have to have a lot of patience and you've gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player's attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn't the guy to coach."

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard envisions Wall as an important part of the locker room, even when he isn't playing. Part of his role may include some tough conversations with players. As Sheppard says, Wall may be able to deliver some messages that resonate more from a peer than if they came from a coach. 

Wall knows he can help in that regard. He has long been a vocal presence for the Wizards and had to assume the role as a team leader at an early age. After coming in as the No. 1 overall pick, he was a franchise player from the time he was 19 years old.

Wall's personality may also lend itself to those duties. He is very honest, whether it be with teammates or the media. 

"I like to speak my mind," he said. "It's like my momma always told me, 'I'd rather you speak your mind and say what you want to say, but say it in a respectful manner and a respectful way.'"

Wall, in fact, has a detailed philosophy on being honest. He doesn't like to lie whether it's in a media setting, to teammates or in everyday life.

It's not quite a Jim Carrey in 'Liar, Liar' deal, but Wall sees no point in beating around the bush. If he has something to say to a teammate or the media, he will say it.

"I don't know how to not give you the truth," he said. "What I've learned is that when you lie, you've gotta remember that lie exactly the way you said it for the next 12 people you tell it to. So, why make it that tough?"

Wall is set to miss at least the first few months of the Wizards' 2019-20 season and he could be sidelined the entire year. He said he hopes to have a similar impact that Kristi Tolliver did with the Mystics this past season where she remained active as a veteran leader in the locker room despite not being able to help the team on the floor for weeks due to a knee injury.

Missing so much time due to injury is not the ideal situation for Wall, but he plans to make the most of it.

"It will make my game a lot smarter and better for when I come back," he said.

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