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John Wall explains circumstances that led to second straight ejection

John Wall explains circumstances that led to second straight ejection

For the second day in a row, there will be a John Wall suspension watch. The league office will review the Flagrant 2 he was charged with in Wednesday's blowout of the Boston Celtics when he thumped Marcus Smart for what was deemed by the letter of the rule intentional and excessive contact. 

"Just getting frustrated. My finger was bleeding the whole game. Got stepped on on purpose. Drove to the basket a couple times, didn't get calls," Wall said of being tossed with 5:24 left and the Wizards ahead 106-86. "The play before I (drove) and got smacked right across the face. On my ear. So I just let my frustation get the best of me."

He took it out on Smart, but pointed out that Avery Bradley was the primary culprit. On Monday, Wall was ejected after two techincal fouls in a loss to the Houston Rockets with less than a minute left of a 114-106 loss. 

After having a career-high 12 technicals last season, Wall appears to be at wits' end for what he believes is lack of respect from game officials who don't award him or backcourt mate Bradley Beal the free throws they deserve compared to other players. 

"I'll know more tomorrow," coach Scott Brooks said. "But we have to keep our composure. You're up 20 points at the time (and) guys are going to continue to compete. You can't fault them for continuing to compete. ... That's what good players and good teams do. You don't play the score, you play the possession. I think they did that and unfortunately that happened. I'll know more when I look at the film."

When Beal had his nose broken and received a concussion last season, Smart delivered the elbow to the face. Wall said the history of his rivalry with Boston, which swept the Wizards 4-0 in the season series a year ago, didn't factor into what took place.


"Whenever we play this team they're being the most physical team against us. I think for the first time we were the more physical team," Wall said. "Nothing in the past led up to anything that happened. It was just me going through the game, not saying anything to the refs, not getting a couple calls, trying to play through it. Just got frustrated at the end."

Beal only lasted 11 minutes after injuring his right hamstring. He was back in the locker room early with Wall. 

"He's a grown man at the end of the day. He's going to make his decisions. I guess you could say he could've afforded (an ejection) tonight," Beal said with a laugh. "We can't be mad at him. He knows how valuable he is to the team. We all know how valuable he is. I guess he felt Marcus was out there just being a hack so he wanted to give him a taste I guess."

Beal has made a concerted effort to attack the basket in hopes of increasing his free-throw attempts which are just a shade under three per game for his career. He has a career-high of 14 that happened this season. 

"It is frustating at times. We're all busting our butts and trying to draw fouls and get hit a lot but we dont get calls," said Beal. "It's 30 other players out there saying the same thing (to officials). It's coaches, players, everrybody. Players on the floor. Players off the floor. Everybody wants to pull the refs and say something to them. Some listen, some don't. ..It's tough on them too."

Flagrant 2 fouls are reviewed by the league and Kiki Vandeweghe, vice president of basketball operations, will make the call. He can downgrade it, levy a fine against Wall who was hit with $25,000 for his previous ejection and/or suspension.

Wall already has a Flagrant 1 (one point) for a hard foul on Vince Carter in the second game of the season in Memphis when he struck him across the head on a fast break to stop a dunk. 

The league takes into account the result of the flagrant, such as leading to an altercation or an injury. Neither happened. If the Flagrant 2 (two points) stands, Wall will have a total of three points for his infractions. Six total points will be an automatic one-game suspension and he's just seven games into an 82-game season.

Wall wasn't contrite at all about what took place and is willing to accept whatever additional punishment is handed down this week.

"They'll find time to respect me," Wall said.

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Wizards' biggest storylines coming out of the preseason

Wizards' biggest storylines coming out of the preseason

The Wizards closed their 2019-20 preseason schedule with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, which means up next is the regular season opener on Wednesday night in Dallas. Now that the exhibition schedule is (finally) over, here are five takeaways from what we saw...

Injuries have added up

The Wizards entered this preseason with a lot of things to sort out in their rotation due to the significant roster overhaul they went through in the summer. But injuries complicated things further for head coach Scott Brooks, who wasn't offered anything close to a full cupboard to work with.

The most notable injuries were to Isaiah Thomas (thumb) and Troy Brown Jr. (calf). Both players will be key members of the rotation when they recover, but are each on track to miss the start of the regular season. The same goes for C.J. Miles, who has a foot injury. There is also Ian Mahinmi, who has an Achilles issue, though he is not likely to play a big role on the team this season.

Hachimura looks the part

The early returns on rookie Rui Hachimura have been good. The 2019 ninth overall pick has not looked timid or out of place on an NBA floor. He has shown he can attack the rim assertively and has even made a few threes. Those two areas will be key to watch for him this season; how he can adapt to NBA interior defenders and shooting threes from a longer distance.

Hachimura is a likely starter for the Wizards this season and should get ample shot opportunities. He is going to have a chance to be a focal point of the Wizards' offense and probably a long enough leash to play through his mistakes. As a young player, you can't ask for much more than that.

Also impressive this preseason were Moe Wagner, who was much better than he showed in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Thomas Bryant, who looks like he is going to take another step from his breakout season last year. Bryant is more confident knocking down threes and has been a force on the glass. Don't be surprised if he averages a double-double this season.

Small forward is a question

The Wizards had Brown penciled in to be their full-time starting small forward, according to a person familiar with their plans, but his injury is expected to keep him out to start the season. He did a post-practice workout the other day and wasn't moving very quickly, either due to discomfort in his calf or to be extra cautious in fear of a setback.

Either way, he is still rehabbing and so is Miles. The Wizards also released Justin Anderson, leaving them with no obvious choice to start at the three. At this point, it looks likely they will have to either put someone there that is probably best suited for another position like Hachimura, Davis Bertans or Jordan McRae, or roll with someone who is very inexperienced like Bonga or Admiral Schofield. The odds seem better they choose the former.

Final roster spot?

The Wizards now have to decide who gets their final roster spot. The safe money at this point is probably for point guard Justin Robinson and wing Jordan McRae to be the 14th and 15th players on the roster and for Chris Chiozza to have his contract converted to a two-way deal.

The Chiozza part has been speculated for weeks and it is the direction the team is leaning, NBC Sports Washington was told. If Chiozza did get the two-way contract, he could remain with the team to start the season and help fill the void at point guard while Thomas recovers from his left thumb surgery. Chiozza would have 45 days allotted at the NBA level, but that clock would not begin until Oct. 28 when G-League training camps open.

Beal's commitment

This season took on an entirely different tone with Thursday's news Bradley Beal would sign a contract extension with the Wizards. This year had the potential to be overshadowed by Beal's uncertain future, but now that has been put to rest. The trade rumors can be set aside as Beal has made it official his commitment to the Wizards' plan.

Now, that could get interesting late in the year if losses are piling up. He ultimately wants to win and it will bear watching how he shows his frustration if the team isn't playing up to his standards.


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Wizards and Mystics join Game Growers to help boost girls participation in sports

Wizards and Mystics join Game Growers to help boost girls participation in sports

The Washington Wizards and Mystics join in on Nike’s NBA and WNBA Game Growers program. The Game Growers program is meant to provide eighth grade girls with the skills and assets they need in order to grow their participation in sports in their communities. 

With this new program, the Wizards and Mystics can contribute to expanding the game of basketball for young DMV girls. Along with that, the Washington Mystics just won the WNBA Championships, this is perfect timing for them to introduce the sport to the next generation.

Today, the Game Growers Program officially was put into action, on a YouTube video stream. The video stream had Las Vegas Aces forward A’Ja Wilson, actress Sky Katz, the Director of Operations for the Women’s National Basketball Players Association Terri Jackson featuring in it. They discussed the advantages of being an athlete beyond going professional and encourage girls to apply.

In order for the future basketball stars to get in on the action, they must apply to GameGrowers.com by submitting their ideas on how to grow the game of basketball in their communities. The application opened today and will close on November 15, 2019. The winners will be made public in December 2019. 

By January 2020 two girls will join alongside the Wizards and Mystics in going to Training Camp at Nike’s World Headquarters in Washington County, Oregon. This event won’t only be run by Nike and professional basketball players, but will also have GENYOUth (a youth empowerment organization) tag along as well. At the Training Camp, the girls will have an opportunity to polish up their ideas with Nike and NBA and WNBA teams. 

If lucky, some Game Growers teams will be chosen to exhibit their ideas at the 2020 WNBA Draft, which will be in New York City this April.