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Mystics make huge trade to acquire former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne

Mystics make huge trade to acquire former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne, perhaps the WNBA's biggest star, now plays for the Washington Mystics. The team traded center Stefanie Dolson, guard Kahleah Copper and the second overall pick in this year's draft to aquire the 2015 MVP from the Chicago Sky. 

Donne is a 6-5 forward and guard who was drafted by Chicago in 2014. A Delaware native, the move to the Mystics would bring her considerably closer to home and her older sister, who is disabled. 

“I’m really excited about this next chapter in my career with the Mystics,” Delle Donne said in a press release by the team. “Coach Thibault, Mr. Leonsis and Ms. Johnson have built a strong team that is ready to make a significant impact in the league and I’m thrilled to be a part of it."

She averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game to ago alone with 8.4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 2015. Her numbers dipped only slightly (21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks) in 2016, but Delle Donne indicated as her restricted free agency approached that she'd prefer a new team. 

Trades like this almost never happen in the WNBA, but Delle Donne told VICE Sports in December that she'd be willing to sit out to force the issue. 

Mystics coach Mike Thubault was thrilled at the move:

Clearly, this is one of the biggest moves in the history of this organization. In only four years, Elena has established herself as one of the premier players in the world, as evidenced by her MVP season two years ago. Her impact on and off the court will be invaluable. Her pure basketball talents as a scorer, passer, rebounder, and shot-blocker will raise the level of effectiveness of all her teammates, and those talented teammates will take a lot of the day- to-day pressure off of her as well. She joins a core group that is just entering the best years of their careers and is making a commitment to helping the Mystics become one of the elite organizations in the WNBA.

In addition to her contributions to the WNBA, Delle Donne has also been a staple of USA Basketball, which won a gold medal during the Rio Olympics in 2016. 

She comes to Washington in the prime of her career at only 27 years old. 

RELATED: Mystics lock up All-Star Meesseman through 2019

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Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday, emotions were high. 

Many current and former players paid tribute to Bryant, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who dominated in the Hawks 152-133 win over the Wizards. 

He ended the night with a spectacular performance of 45 points, with 14 assists, making 13-of-24 FGs and 13-of-16 free throws as well as six 3-pointers, six rebounds and one assist. 

Young is the first player to have a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards, since Kobe Bryant on December 17, 2006.

In honor of his mentor and favorite NBA player, Young wore a No. 8 jersey and took an 8-second-violation after the opening tip. 

He even wore his shoes with a tribute to Bryant as well. 

Young was able to channel his emotions into the game, leaving everything on the floor.

In an emotional night, Young was able to keep himself composed leading the Hawks past the Wizards. 

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Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

The news of Kobe Bryant's death shook the sports world to its core, and while there were NBA games scheduled throughout Sunday, some felt the league should have canceled the games in light of the tragic news. 

Isaiah Thomas was one of them. 

"It's hard to even talk about it," Thomas said. "The NBA should have just canceled all the games because that put a dent in everybody's life that he's touched."

Thomas looked up to Bryant, admired him from afar and found his love for the game of basketball because of Bryant's greatness. Spending 20 years as a Laker, Bryant won five championships, an MVP and two Finals MVP awards to go along with 15 All-NBA selections and 18 trips to the All-Star game. 

For Thomas, his relationship with Bryant started to grow when he broke out as an All-Star in Boston. When Thomas suffered the tragic loss of his sister, they grew closer. After his hip injury that cost Thomas over a year of his career, Bryant supported him throughout. 

"I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant," he said. "2017, I lose my sister, 2019 I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and then to lose a mentor of mine, like, that's bigger than basketball, that [expletive] hurts.

"He was one of the people that was there for me and in my corner," he said. "And then I got injured, he was one of those guys that was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally."

The NBA had a difficult decision to make on whether or not to cancel games since there were two games already in progress.

But before, during and after the game, everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family and not on a basketball game. Because as Thomas said, it's bigger than basketball. 

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