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Otto Porter sees Wizards teammates John Wall and Bradley Beal as examples to follow

Otto Porter sees Wizards teammates John Wall and Bradley Beal as examples to follow

Wednesday's press conference to officially announce Otto Porter's new four-year contract worth $106.5 million offered those within the Wizards organization like majority owner Ted Leonsis and team president Ernie Grunfeld to tout the plan they set forth years ago: to draft, develop and then retain their own franchise cornerstones. Years ago they set that blueprint and Porter represents evidence it is working just how they intended.

That all makes for good talking points on a podium, but the true effect of that message is clear in the words of Porter himself. He can offer a testimonial of the examples set by Bradley Beal and then John Wall before him.

"They set the bar high and I'm gonna continue to set my bar high, too," Porter said.

Porter, 24, earned his contract by putting up career numbers this past season. He averaged 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and shot 43.4 percent from three-point range.

[RELATED: Re-signing Otto Porter was never a doubt for Wizards]

By the time he entered restricted free agency, Porter was a hot commodity among teams with salary cap room. But in order to set himself up for all of that, he needed to make a significant leap from the season before when he shot just 36.7 percent from three on a team that didn't make the playoffs.

Porter faced that pressure and overcame it convincingly.

"I felt it was easy to do, believe it or not," Porter said of compartmentalizing this past season. "Most guys find it hard because all they're worrying about is contract, contract, contract. But for me, just going out there and playing and trusting my coaching staff and my teammates, I didn't really have to worry about it too much. I thank them for that."

Like Wall and Beal, Porter earned a max contract through his improvement on the court. Now comes the criticism and questions of whether he is worth the money. They certainly had to face that in the first years of their new contracts. Now it's Porter's turn.

"I will just use it as motivation, just like Brad and John did," Porter said.

[RELATED: Leonsis: Wizards have one of the best starting 5's in NBA]

Porter's role in the locker room may now change naturally as he returns to training camp in September with another year under his belt. But surely being the highest-paid player on the Wizards could have an effect on how his teammates and his peers around the league see him.

Beal emerged as a more vocal leader this past season for the Wizards in the first year of his new contract. Perhaps the same happens to Porter.

Regardless, Porter's teammates have already been quick to mention the money.

"I got so many of [texts about buying dinners]. I'm actually about to go to Poland with [Marcin] Gortat. He's already saying it's dinner on me. I don't even know anything over there," Porter joked.

Porter may have to pick up some tabs this year, but he has some bigger financial plans in mind. 

"I want to give money back to my high school, then some to my church. Then my mom gets whatever else is left," he said.

[RELATED: How can Otto Porter improve in Ted Leonsis' eyes?]

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John Wall's sneaker closet is next-level – here are his favorite Adidas

John Wall's sneaker closet is next-level – here are his favorite Adidas

When John Wall re-signed with Adidas this past January, it was time to stock his shoe closet with all the newest, most exclusive Three Stripes designs. 

The brand is known for its designer collaborations and limited releases that can push the pricetags up into the hundreds. 

Cost is no object for Wall, who invited Chris Miller into the shoe closet of his Miami mansion. You can watch the full closet tour in the video player above.

Wall keeps thousands of dollars of footwear organized inside specially lit display cases. But what are his favorites? He pulled out six Adidas designs he's been loving this the summer. 

1. Raf Simons Replicant Ozweego Independence Day – These sneakers are the product of Adidas's collaboration with Belgian designer Raf Simons, who has worked as creative director of fashion houses Christian Dior and Calvin Klein. Wall got his hands on the Independence Day colorway of these sneakers before they were released in July. They're available retail for $450 at Saks Fifth Avenue

2. Yeezy Boost 700 "Wave Runner" – Designed as part of Kanye West's Yeezy collection, the "Wave Runner" has been a popular model since its first release in February 2017. A third release is scheduled sometime later this year, but to purchase them now, Flight Club sells pairs ranging from $575 to $1,320

3. Twinstrike ADV – Wall has the Twinstrike in multiple bold colorways. The shoe debuted late in 2017 and is more attainable than the first two pairs he showed off. They're available at Barneys New York for $180

4. EQT Support Ultra King Push “Bodega Babies” – These EQT Support sneakers got an update in collaboration with rapper Pusha T. The sock-style primeknit has been a popular design feature for Adidas. The sneakers are limited release, but retail at $220 at Barneys New York.

5. Pharrell NMD Hu Trail “Holi" in Pink Glow – This exclusive collaboration with hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams was inspired by the Holi festival of colors in India. Released in limited quantities in early March of 2018, the shoe's retail price was $250. To buy a pair now, it'll cost anywhere from $325 to $480 at Flight Club

6. Originals Gazelle – Finally, Wall gets to a classic! The Gazelle was originally designed in the mid-1960s and became one of Adidas's most recognizable, popular designs throughout the brand's history. They're popular, easy to find and affordable. The Adidas website has a whole section devoted to the Gazelle, which comes in men's, women's and kids' sizes. A standard pair of men's costs around $80 at retail

For those not keeping track, the six shoes above combine to cost around $2,000 or more. But whether people can afford them or not isn't the point. 

Wall told Miller how he couldn't afford the sneakers he loved as a kid, but still kept track of all the new releases and special styles. As he made money and started to build his shoe collection, he treated it like collecting fine art.

But also like art, you don't have to own designer sneakers to appreciate them. 

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Capital City Go-Go to hold open tryouts in search of local talent in D.C. area


Capital City Go-Go to hold open tryouts in search of local talent in D.C. area

The inaugural season of the Washington Wizards' G-League franchise, the Capital City Go-Go, will bring a lot of new experiences for the D.C. area and that includes the process of open tryouts as they seek the best players in the community to fill out their final roster spots.

There will be an opportunity for the best basketball players in the region to showcase their talent in front of Go-Go executives. They don't know if there will be one or two tryouts, when or where they will be held, but the expectation is sometime in September. 

Go-Go general manager Pops Mensah-Bonsu is hoping for a big turnout.

"I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how many people and what kind of talent we can have coming out to those local tryouts. Once we got those dates, we’ll get them out to the community and hopefully we get a ton of guys coming out here to represent their area," he said.

"Whoever comes out, we’ll love it. The more the merrier. It might make our job harder to choose, but I’m okay with that. It’s an expansion team. We’re looking to put this team together and if we have 200 guys come out, that would be great. It just gives us more of an opportunity and a bigger pool to look through. I’m okay with a lot of guys coming out."

Tryouts are commonplace in the G-League, but the Go-Go expect to have an advantage based on their location. The D.C. area is a hotbed for basketball talent and over the years has produced many NBA players and Division 1 college stars.

Mensah-Bonsu can attest to that, having spent many years in the area. He was a star at George Washington University, was with the Wizards in training camp during his professional playing days and has since stuck around to make the city his home.

"The DMV area has a wealth of basketball talent," he said.

Go-Go head coach Jarell Christian is relatively new to the area, but he expects the tryouts to be productive for a G-League talent search. He has held open tryouts before when he was a member of the G-League staff in Oklahoma City. But this isn't Oklahoma City.

"The talent level in Oklahoma City is different than here in D.C., so I think we’ll be able to find some really good players, locally in those tryouts," Christian said.

Christian said that those who want to sign up will likely need to get in contact with members of the front office, either by themselves or with the help of an agent. He mentioned Mensah-Bonsu and also Scott Schroeder, their assistant GM.

Christian and the coaching staff will run them through drills and scrimmages to evaluate which players to keep. Once they see the basketball skills, they will put them through background checks and get testimonials, just like any other job.

"We just want to get a feel for what the players can do. Also, we’ve gotta get to know them and their character. If we do like a player, we’ve gotta make sure we call their references and they check out as being people that we want in our organization at the end of the day," Christian said.

The G-League allows each team to invite up to five players from their tryouts to participate in preseason training camp.

There are several stipulations when it comes to who can try out. Players have to be at least 18 years old and international prospects are often not allowed. The tryouts also generally require a registration fee. More information on the requirements for the Go-Go tryouts will be released once the dates are set.

Open tryouts for other teams around the G-League have produced some unique success stories. Guys who have gone on to make the NBA include Jonathan Simmons and David Nwaba. Perhaps the Go-Go will find the next diamond in the rough.

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