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Wizards players voice disagreement with President Donald Trump, will discuss national anthem response

Wizards players voice disagreement with President Donald Trump, will discuss national anthem response

The Washington Wizards' 2017-18 media day came at an interesting time on Monday, fresh off a weekend where President Donald Trump crossed over into sports to create controversy in both the NBA and NFL. Several Wizards players had voiced their displeasure with what Trump said about Colin Kaepernick and Steph Curry on social media. On Monday, they were offered the opportunity to speak in-depth and without constrictive 140-character limits.

Shooting guard Bradley Beal, for one, had some strong words for Trump, who resides just blocks from where the Wizards play their games.

"If we can't exercise our freedom of speech, then what are the amendments for? I know he's president, but at the same time I don't support anything that he represents or what he's doing," Beal said.

"Honestly, that's not a leader. For you to come out and for one disrespect a whole sport the whole world loves and call people by the names SOBs, that's out of pocket to me. You have guys who won a championship and they have the freedom of deciding whether or not they want to go. One man decides he doesn't want to go, how in the world can you just take it away? That doesn't make any sense to me. To me, you're a clown. That's unacceptable. That's not what a leader does. Your job is to bring everybody together. Since you've gotten in office, that hasn't been the case. There are so many things going on in the world. Puerto Rico doesn't have water or power and they're part of the U.S. You're focused on guys kneeling for the national anthem."

Point guard John Wall was brief in his comments, but he made it clear he is not a fan of how the president has handled the last few days.

"I don't like anything that he's been saying. I don't respect it," Wall said. "We have bigger issues in this world that you need to focus on than somebody taking a knee."


Kaepernick and protests of the national anthem were a big deal last season as well. The Wizards decided to show solidarity by locking arms during the national anthem before games. But after Trump's recent comments calling Kaepernick a "son of a b****," those protests have taken on new forms in the NFL and other sports.

Head coach Scott Brooks says there will be a conversation between him and the WIzards players on how they will respond.

"I haven't had any discussions with the team as of yet, but there definitely will be discussions. It's a hot topic right now and rightfully so," Brooks said. "We've always done things together. I think it's stronger when you do it in a group setting. Whatever we decide on, we're going to do it together."

Those who are from other countries were also asked about Trump on Monday at Capital One Arena. Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi each have unique perspectives being from Europe, but as residents of Washington, D.C. who make their living in the United States.

Mahinmi said it has been an interesting time in his family, as his wife and daughters were all born in the U.S. Gortat didn't say much, other than he's happy with the president he has back home in Poland.

"I'm truly grateful for a great president in my country," Gortat said with a chuckle. "It's tough. I will say that I'm truly proud of the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and what he stands for and what he represents."



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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 



John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.