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John Wall looking forward to playing friend DeMarcus Cousins

John Wall looking forward to playing friend DeMarcus Cousins

Seven years have passed since John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins roamed the campus of the University of Kentucky as the two standout stars on John Calipari's 2009-10 Wildcats. And in that time the two have squared off twice a year in the NBA ranks, Wall as a point guard for the Wizards and Cousins a center for the Sacramento Kings. 

Though it has been seven years, and though they have now been counterparts for so long, the friendship between Wall and Cousins remains strong as they head into yet another showdown on Monday night at the Verizon Center (6:30 p.m. on CSN).

"We talk all the time. Me, him and Eric [Bledsoe], we're always on group chats and always talking," Wall said. "We're checking up on each other. Whenever I'm not playing and those guys are playing, I'm always watching their games. Like last night, I watched both of them play. It's just something I like to do."

Wall pays close attention to Cousins, who at 26 is off to a terrific start with 28.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. A two-time All-Star, Cousins continues to get better, Wall has noticed.

Cousins is currently shooting 40.8 percent from three on 4.2 attempts per game. At 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, that makes him an even more difficult matchup than before.

"He's shooting the three better," Wall said. "It stretches you out and makes you do coverages that you don't want to do. But you have to make that adjustment. You've gotta do a better job of guarding your man and getting back in front of the basketball before those guys attack the basket. Just do the best you can. Marcin [Gortat], or whoever is guarding him, they aren't going to guard him one-on-one. We the other guys have to be there to help him out."

Wall and Cousins will go at it once again on Monday night and Wall is looking forward to it.

"It's always fun," Wall said. "He's my brother. But when we compete, when we get in between those lines, everything goes out the window. We're going to try to get the best out of each other. I know he's going to be physical. He's going to talk a little trash, I will talk a little trash. Hopefully we come out with the win."

[RELATED: Beal accepts fine but calls choke of Fournier unintentional]

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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