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This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wizards, or any team for that matter, are currently unable to make their mark on the NBA history books. 

So on this day, March 28th, we roll the clocks back 17 years to a major moment in not only Wizards history, but in NBA history as well. The final meeting between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. 

2003 was Jordan's second season in Washington and his last in a legendary 15-year career where he won six championships, five MVPs, 10 scoring titles and nine All-Defensive selections.

If anyone came close to being the next MJ, it was Bryant. By their final meeting, the 24-year-old prodigy already had three titles and more than enough reason to put on a show against his idol. 

Bryant went for 55 points against the Wizards, scoring 42 in the first half. He went 15-for-29 from the field and made 9-of-13 from three. Safe to say, Bryant was on a mission following a one-point loss to the Wizards earlier that season. 

He scored an inefficient 27 points on 8-21 shooting and was outplayed by a 40-year-old Jordan. According to Gilbert Arenas, Jordan told Bryant he would never fill his shoes following the loss. In true Bryant fashion, he held onto that moment, apparently didn't talk to his teammates for two weeks leading up to the rematch and took it all out on the Wizards. 

Jordan didn't have a bad game by any stretch. He still scored 23 points on 10-20 shooting to go along with four assists, but he was simply no match for Bryant. 

The Wizards would go on to finish 37-45 miss out on the playoffs and take Jarvis Hayes with the 10th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The Lakers went for the first run of four-straight titles since Bill Russell's Celtics but fell short in the Western Conference Semifinals to Tim Duncan and the Spurs. They'd return to the Finals the following year only to lose to the Pistons. After that, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami and the Lakers didn't win a championship for another five years. 

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You may see John Wall riding his bike through D.C. on a nice day

You may see John Wall riding his bike through D.C. on a nice day

If you go (somehow) outside in the D.C. area these days, there is a chance you might see Wizards point guard John Wall riding his bike.

As he aims to stay in shape during the NBA's hiatus, he has incorporated long bike rides throughout the region as part of his routine. Wall has even highlighted some of his routes on Instagram.

He discussed the bike rides on Tuesday while addressing the media about his coronavirus charity program called '202 Assist,' which provides rental assistance to low-income D.C. residents.

"I love when I go out there and people be surprised it's me. They don't think it's me riding a bike," he said.

Wall recently shared an Instagram post from one Wizards fan who filmed him out and about. He says he has enjoyed hearing from fans when he's out in the city.

"It's something that I love to do. I like to interact and see other people out there riding when it's a nice day outside in D.C.," he said.

One route Wall put on Instagram showed he biked nearly 40 miles. He started in north Arlington, VA and traveled all the way down into southern Alexandria. That's not your run-of-the-mill bike ride, so good luck trying to match it.

Wall also indicated he has biked through D.C. around the Wizards' practice facility in Ward 8. And it helped inspire him to launch '202 Assist.'

"Me riding around, I get to see everything," he said. "Going through the Ward 8 area, I see a lot of people that are sometime waiting in lines to get meals or people that can't afford anything."

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How John Wall is helping D.C. residents in need during COVID-19

How John Wall is helping D.C. residents in need during COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone, some much more than others, and John Wall is ready to help.

The Wizards point guard has set up a charity initiative called '202 Assist' which will provide rent money to people living in the Ward 8 section of Washington, D.C. Ward 8 is where the Wizards' practice facility is located.

Wall understands how the staggering economy has affected those who were already less fortunate and is hoping to raise $300,000 by June 22 to provide help.

"I know Ward 8 is the most devastated place in D.C. They are going through tough times as a less fortunate area," Wall said. "I want to make sure they can pay their rent for the next month or two, or for however long we can make it can happen."

Wall believes Ward 8 is a good place to hone in on because many of the residents live in poverty and may not have the money to make rent, especially if their jobs have been affected directly by the city's stay-at-home order.

"I'm always over there every day constantly seeing what's going on in the community. I think it's a great idea to help them out," he said.

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Wall is partnering with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on this initiative. He has also donated protective masks and meals to hospital workers recently through his charity foundation. The hospitals he focused on were the ones that treated his mother during her battle with cancer.

Wall has a tendency to give back to those in areas that have hit close to home. In the case of '202 Assist,' he is helping out those who are in situations he lived through as a kid in Raleigh, NC.

"I just know at times you might not have a roof over your head or nothing to eat at times. That was a big factor for me," he said.

Wall also recently donated to the 'Pros for Heroes' charity program helmed by Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Wall said he would love if Zimmerman helped out with '202 Assist' to return the favor.

For more information, and to donate to the cause, visit the '202 Assist' website.

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