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5 things to know about new Wizards forward Sam Dekker

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5 things to know about new Wizards forward Sam Dekker

Sam Dekker joined Washington as part of a three-team trade with the Bucks and Cavaliers Friday night. Here's what you need to know about the newest Wizard.

He played for a NCAA title with Wisconsin

Dekker was one of the Badgers' star players as a junior in 2014-15, and helped lead Wisconsin all the way to the national title game against Duke.

It would have been the Badgers' first NCAA title in 74 years, but it was not to be, the Blue Devils winning 68-63. 

He was drafted just three spots after Kelly Oubre Jr.

Dekker and Oubre were part of the same draft class in 2015 in a draft full of wing players. But while the Wizards took the Kansas product Oubre with the 15th overall pick, Dekker headed to Houston to join the Rockets after he was taken at no. 18. 

He's married to Kevin Harlan's daughter

Dekker married Olivia Harlan, the daughter of legendary NBA announcer Kevin, in July of this year. Olivia actually went into the family trade of broadcasting, and currently works as a sideline reporter for ESPN.

In fact, her grandfather is Bob Harlan, the Chairman Emeritus of the Green Bay Packers.

He loves his hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Two years ago, Dekker wrote a Players' Tribune piece called "Summer in Sheboygan," explaining why the Midwest town will "always be" home for him. 

"During winter months, you’re shoveling driveways and staying inside to watch sports. But from May to October, I can’t think of a more idyllic place than my hometown," he wrote.

Dekker's certainly put his money where his mouth is: he reportedly bought a 1,568-square-foot condo on the Sheboygan River last year. It set him back $289,000, per MySheboygan.com

He's been banged up this season, but should be ready to go immediately for the Wizards

Dekker's played in just nine games this year, and hasn't seen the court since suffering an ankle injury Nov. 5.

However, he was expected to play Saturday for Cleveland against the Wizards, and now could be available to play for Washington right away.

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    Wizards reopen practice facilities after closing for two-plus months due to coronavirus

    Wizards reopen practice facilities after closing for two-plus months due to coronavirus

    After closing down for nearly three months due to the coronavirus, the Wizards are back up and running at their practice facility in Southeast Washington.

    The team began holding voluntary individual workouts on Friday with a set of strict guidelines to protect everyone's safety. Each player can work with one coach on each halfcourt at the facility. Everyone in the building has to wear masks, save for the players when they are in the middle of workouts.

    All equipment will be sanitized and cleaned after each use. And players and staff will undergo symptom and temperature tests before entering the building.

    No media or general staff will be allowed in the building. Anyone who does enter is advised to wait in their car once they arrive and be brought in one at a time by trainers.

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    This is just the first step for the Wizards as they aim to resume games at some point. The NBA is mulling a variety of scenarios to continue the 2019-20 season, most of which would include the Wizards playing more games, either in the regular season or an expanded playoff tournament.

    The Wizards had to wait longer than most NBA teams to open their practice facility due to their local stay-at-home order. Earlier in the month, it appeared May 15 would be the day they would reopen, but D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the city's social distancing guidelines.

    When the Wizards will next be able to play a game, or even scrimmage, is not yet clear. But on Friday they took one step closer towards returning to action.

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    Richard Hamilton on the time teammate Michael Jordan prevented him from getting 50 points

    Richard Hamilton on the time teammate Michael Jordan prevented him from getting 50 points

    Being Michael Jordan's teammate on the Wizards had to be one of the more unique situations a player has ever found themselves in while playing in the NBA. You were playing alongside the greatest of all-time and a guy who had joined the team from the front office where he had previously served as your boss.

    Basically, Jordan was all-powerful and players had no choice but to defer to him, even when it was difficult. Richard Hamilton recalled an example of that this week on an episode of Showtime's 'All the Smoke.'

    Hamilton remembered a night where he was on fire, but had to essentially stop shooting per Jordan's request.

    "Allan Houston was killing me. He killed me in my first two years. So, when MJ came my third year, now I feel like I've grown up... I've got big bro, I've got the bully in the room. So, I'm a little bit more confident. So, we're playing against New York in Washington and the first half, I go out and I give Allan Houston 30 in the first half," Hamilton said.

    "I'm geeked. I'm like 'for all the times this mother-f-----'s been killing me and getting me in foul trouble, I'm in his ass right now. So, we're in there at halftime and we're talking. Coach talks, does his speech. MJ comes up to me. He's like 'hey man, hey young fella, you had a great half. But big bro is gonna take over the second half, so don't worry about it. I've got you.'"

    Hamilton would soon find out that meant step out of the way, it's Jordan's time to get the ball.

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    "I only had two shots in the second half," Hamilton said. "At the end of the game I was like 'damn, man this was my perfect opportunity to kill this dude. This dude killed me my first two years and now I've got you on my side.' He was like 'don't worry man, you'll get another opportunity' ... That story always sticks with me because that was my opportunity to go out and get 50."

    Hamilton added the Wizards would go on to win the game, so Jordan's move was more at the expense of him than it was for the team. Looking at box scores, this appears to be the game Hamilton was referring to. Hamilton had 34 points, while Jordan had 19 and the Wizards beat the Knicks by double-digits.

    Hamilton ended up being traded to the Pistons after that season. He was traded for Jerry Stackhouse, who recently complained about Jordan dominating the team's shot attempts, so a similar tale.

    The good news for Hamilton is he did end up scoring 50 in a game, just not until 2006. Amazingly, it came against the Knicks.

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