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Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (7) Gus Johnson vs. (10) Gilbert Arenas

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (7) Gus Johnson vs. (10) Gilbert Arenas

CSN is running a bracket to determine the best player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. There are 16 players in a four-round tournament. The first round will be voted on by fans, while the rest will be determined by our analysts. The winner will be revealed during an hour-long special called 'Best of the Best' on Friday, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. on CSN.

Here is today's matchup...


Gus Johnson

Years with franchise: 9
Stats: 17.5 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 44.1 FG%
Accolades: Hall of Famer, 5-time All-Star, 4-time All-NBA, 2-time All-Defense, All-Rookie

Summary: The Bullets had quite a run in the NBA Draft back in the 1960s, selecting several Hall of Famers including Wes Unseld, Earl Monroe and Walt Bellamy. That's not to mention the Hall of Fame coaches they picked that decade: Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown and Don Nelson. One of those Hall of Fame players was forward Gus Johnson, who joined them as a second round pick in 1963. Johnson found success immediately, averaging 17.3 points and 13.6 rebounds as a rookie.

A dominant rebounder for nearly a decade in the NBA, Johnson teamed with Monroe and Unseld to reach the playoffs six times, including the NBA Finals in 1970-71. Johnson was known for his leaping ability as one of the NBA's best dunkers in his time. Injuries ultimately led to his demise in Washington. He was traded to the Suns in 1972 and soon after was out of the league entirely.


[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast: NBPA VP Garrett Temple joins the show]

Gilbert Arenas

Years with franchise: 8
Stats: 25.0 ppg, 5.7 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 spg, 0.3 bpg, 42.2 FG%, 35.7 3PT%
Accolades: 3-time All-Star, 3-time All-NBA

Summary: The Wizards swooped in to sign Arenas in free agency at the absolute perfect time. He was a second round pick and had played just two seasons for the Golden State Warriors, his last earning him the NBA's Most Improved Player award after he averaged 18.3 points per game in his Age 21 season. Then, at 22 he joined the Wizards and soon turned into one of the very best scorers in the NBA. By the time he was 24, Arenas was averaging close to 30 points per game and lighting up the league as a true superstar known specifically for his ability to hit buzzer-beating shots from long distance before Stephen Curry made it commonplace.

Arenas made the All-NBA team three times during his prime and helped lead the Wizards to four straight playoff appearances. The peak was the first playoff run when Arenas beat the Bulls with a buzzer-beater and they reached the second round for the first time as a franchise in 23 years. Arenas was a well-rounded offensive force with the ability to hit shots from long range and make defenders respect him with a lightning-quick first step. He had the strength to finish around the rim and was a master at getting to the free throw line. Unfortunately, his best days were short-lived. After suffering a knee injury against Charlotte in April of 2007, he was never the same again. Off-the-court problems then led to his demise in Washington. Arenas' run was fun while it lasted and will make a great ESPN 30-for-30 someday due to the extreme highs and lows during his time in D.C.



Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (1) Unseld vs. (16) Howard

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (2) Hayes vs. (15) Butler

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (3) Wall vs. (14) Strickland

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (4) Bellamy vs. (13) Webber

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (5) Chenier vs. (12) Jamison

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (6) Monroe vs. (11) King

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Report suggests Barack Obama is trying to recruit Masai Ujiri to Wizards

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Report suggests Barack Obama is trying to recruit Masai Ujiri to Wizards

The Wizards are reportedly preparing to make Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri a massive offer to run Washington's NBA franchise. And they may have some big-time help recruiting him to D.C. 

Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is trying to persuade Ujiri to leave the NBA champions to join the Wizards, according to The Athletic's Ethan Strauss. 

"I hear Barack Obama's a part of that whole Masai recruitment to D.C.," Strauss said on a recent episode of the "Back To Back" podcast. "I've heard Obama wants Masai in D.C. Obama wants to do something with basketball."

Obama and Ujiri are close friends. Obama was in attendance at Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, while Ujiri attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2015 when Obama was in office. 

The Wizards' potential offer for Ujiri is reportedly for six years, $60 million, and could possibly include an ownership stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment and other responsibilities within the company, sources have told NBC Sports Washington. 

And hey, it doesn't hurt to have the former Commander in Chief making your sales pitch.


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Sekou Doumbouya visits Wizards hoping to sell them on his defense

Sekou Doumbouya visits Wizards hoping to sell them on his defense

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hosted one of their final prospect workouts in anticipation of the June 20 NBA Draft on Friday, as six players battled in three-on-three drills with every member of Washington's front office and coaching staff in sight. But behind the glass wall of the dining lounge at the Wizards' practice facility at St. Elizabeth's was the player everyone wanted to see.

Sekou Doumbouya, who is projected to land in the lottery on draft night, made a visit to Washington to speak with Wizards personnel. He did not participate in the workout, but through face-to-face interviews gave the Wizards an up-close look at a player who may or may not be on the board when they are on the clock with the ninth overall pick.

Doumbouya is the youngest player in the draft at just 18 years old, with his birthday not until late December. He is originally from Guinea but played professional basketball in France. Given his age and the fact he played in a second-tier league before making the leap to the NBA, Doumbouya holds some mystery as a prospect.

In his meetings with teams, Doumbouya has tried to hammer home one point in particular.

"My defense," he said. "I can play everywhere [because] if you play defense, you can play everywhere in the league."

Defense certainly stands out when it comes to Doumbouya's potential. He is 6-foot-9 with a reported 7-foot-2 wingspan. At his age, he could keep growing. And at that size, he has the mobility to guard multiple positions, force turnovers and maybe even block some shots.

The Wizards need help with just about every area of their defense. They were 27th in defensive rating last season and 29th in points allowed. They couldn't defend the perimeter or the lane, allowing the fourth-highest three-point percentage (37%) and the fifth-most three-point makes (12.1/g), while also allowing more field goals within five feet of the rim than any team (22.1/g) and the third-highest percentage (64.2%) in that range. 

Doumbouya projects as the type of defensive anchor who could help in a variety of ways. He could step out to guard three-point shooters while also clogging lanes to the basket with his length.

The questions for Doumbouya center around how NBA-ready he is at his age and experience, and what his ceiling will ultimately be on the offensive end. Doumbouya, though, believes he can be especially effective in transition.

"Fastbreak," he said when listing his strengths. "I love running [the floor]."

Whether Doumbouya will be available at the ninth pick depends on who you ask. Most mock drafts have him at nine or lower, but his athleticism and versatility could entice a team that picks before the Wizards.

The Hawks, whom Doumbouya met with the day after seeing the Wizards, are a team to watch. They have the eighth, 10th and 17th picks in the first round, so they can afford to take a risk. They could snag Doumbouya at No. 8, then go with a safer pick or two with their other selections.

But there is a very good chance Doumbouya is the best player available when the Wizards get set to make their pick. If he does, defense will be his biggest selling point.