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Kevin Durant says Kelly Oubre Jr. has confidence and 'some dog in him'

Kevin Durant says Kelly Oubre Jr. has confidence and 'some dog in him'

Kelly Oubre Jr. is not a household NBA name yet, but the way he's played for prolonged stretches of his second year in the league suggest he's certainly on the way to becoming one.

However, while general fans outside of the D.C. area may still not know much about the 21-year-old, those who follow the sport closely as well as those who play it are starting to appreciate his game. And in a recent podcast published on The Ringer, a major figure of the media as well as one of basketball's top stars took a couple of minutes to discuss Oubre's development.

Ever heard of Bill Simmons and Kevin Durant? Because it sounds like they have secured some early bird seats on the Oubre bandwagon.

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"I really like Oubre," Simmons said to Durant while the two chatted on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I think he's my favorite bench guy in the league right now. He was playing so hard [against the Clippers Wednesday, a game that Simmons attended], he's crashing the offensive boards on every play, he's guarding Chris Paul full court, like he really thought he could shut down Chris Paul."

"I know Oubre because he came to my camps a couple years ago when he was in high school and when he was in college," added Durant. "His confidence level is high. Some of these young cats that come into the league, they got super confidence, uber-confidence, and they just go through the motions. They just too cool." 

"But he had a little — he had some dog in him," Durant continued, remembering those camp days. "He might foul you hard. That's how I know, actually, if young guys really want it. They foul you hard and play physical. I was playing with him and he'd foul me hard and I'm like, 'I like that. I like that you care.' Because a lot of these cats don't care about the game."

While Oubre still needs to grow on offense, his production on defense has been a pleasant development for the Wizards. Almost nightly, the lanky swingman will pick an opponent clean and finish on the other end with a strong lefty slam.

That's just one example of the "dog" in Oubre that Durant saw before he reached the Association. Maybe, if things break just right, Durant will get to personally experience it again sometime in June.

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Rui Hachimura was a star in Vegas, earning All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors

Rui Hachimura was a star in Vegas, earning All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors

Welcome to the Wizards Rui Hachimura.

In his first action as a Washington Wizard, the first-round draft pick brought home some hardware after being named to the All-NBA Summer League Second Team.

Hachimura showed out in a Summer League that was headlined by which stars were not playing on the court. In his final contest against the Atlanta Hawks, Hachimura dominated the court.

Playing a total of three games in Las Vegas, he averaged 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Those stats paired with a 2-1 record in the games he played garnered the Second Team honor. 

He was joined by Chris Boucher (Toronto), Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans), Anfernee Simons (Portland) and Lonie Walker IV (San Antonio) on the Second Team. 

The Gonzaga product is looking to become the best Japanese player to step onto an NBA basketball court and, although it is a small sample size, he showed some major potential in his limited action. 

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Mystics' Kristi Toliver named WNBA All-Star reserve for a second straight year

Mystics' Kristi Toliver named WNBA All-Star reserve for a second straight year

Washington Mystics guard Kristi Toliver is a WNBA All-Star once again. 

Toliver was named an All-Star reserve on Monday as selected by the league's coaches. She joins Elena Delle Donne, who was named a captain of one of the two teams, and head coach Mike Thibault as representatives from the Mystics. 

This selection gives Toliver, 5-7, the third honor of her career and the second with Washington. Last year en route to the franchise's first WNBA Finals appearance Toliver was named an All-Star. She also got the nod in 2013 when she played with the Los Angeles Sparks. 

Through 15 games, Toliver is averaging 12.1 points and is second in the league with 5.7 assists per game, which is also on pace for a career-high.

She is shooting at a career-best .497 clip and is looking as explosive as ever at 32-years-old. With her and Delle Donne, the Mystics are 9-6 and second in the Eastern Conference.

In the offseason, Toliver is also an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. Often she worked on the player development side of the staff and closely with Bradley Beal. 

Delle Donne will have the first choice of selection in the All-Star game draft. As a reserve, Toliver cannot be selected until after the starters are chosen. 

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