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Wizards' Marcin Gortat still cheering for Przemek Karnowski after Gonzaga loses title game

Wizards' Marcin Gortat still cheering for Przemek Karnowski after Gonzaga loses title game

Wizards center Marcin Gortat has made no secret of his rooting interests in the NCAA Tournament. He's been cheering hard for Gonzaga's Polish center Przemek Karnowski, who is his backup on the Polish national basketball team. 

And just because the Zags lost in the National Championship last night didn't mean Gortat was done hyping up his friend. After the game went final, the Polish Machine took to Twitter to try to put Karnowski's accomplishments in perspective.

Karnowski was a big part of Gonzaga's run through the Tournament, both literally (he's 7-1 and 300 pounds) and strategically, using his size and strength in the paint. His bushy beard and mountainous figure made him a kind of playing mascot for the Zags. 

Watching the game last night, Gortat and others taped cut-outs in the shape of Karnowski's beard to their faces. 

Gonzaga and UNC traded shots within a single-basket margin of each other for most of the super-competitve game, but the Tar Heels found a way to hang on to a lead in the final moments to win. Karnowski couldn't get his shot to fall all evening, hitting only one of eight attempts from the floor.

The 23-year-old senior finished with 9 points (hitting 7 of 9 free throws) and 9 rebounds in the loss. 

Whether Karnowski makes it to the NBA now could come down to his build, as Gortat said in an interview with For The Win. But one thing's for sure: He made his countryman proud. 

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A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2. 

Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:

April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis. 

June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.

July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets. 

July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.

July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.

July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. 

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Wizards to remove interim tag from Tommy Sheppard, making him permanent GM

Wizards to remove interim tag from Tommy Sheppard, making him permanent GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes has confirmed. 

Sheppard had been serving as Washington's interim GM since the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. He oversaw the Wizards' 2019 NBA Draft selections of Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, as well as their offseason transactions this summer. 

According to Hughes, the Wizards will announce the decision next week, with more changes to follow. 

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