Quick Links

Gilbert Arenas congratulates Bradley Beal on breaking his franchise record for threes

Gilbert Arenas congratulates Bradley Beal on breaking his franchise record for threes

Bradley Beal sank his 869th three pointer as a Wizard Saturday night, breaking the franchise record previously held by Gilbert Arenas

Arenas congratulated Beal on the accomplishment in a text to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

“What’s the playbook for when someone breaks your record? You just say 'congratulations,' right? OR do u challenge them to a shooting contest for rights? Haha," the former Washington great told Miller.

"Congrats to Bradley on the record — you’re a great shooter and a great player. Enjoy your night, brother.”

Beal was also effusive in his praise of Arenas, saying what Agent Zero did on the court was "untouchable," and how part of him wishes he could have played with Arenas.

It was classy move from Arenas, who could have just as easily not have acknowledged Beal broke his record. 


Quick Links

Ian Mahinmi's first ever in his 11th season three, a fun, proud moment for Wizards

Ian Mahinmi's first ever in his 11th season three, a fun, proud moment for Wizards

Ian Mahinmi is in the middle of his 11th NBA season. He has appeared in 623 total games, including the playoffs. Yet, until Wednesday night, he had never made a single three-point shot in an NBA game that counted.

With just over a minute left in the first half of the Wizards' win over the Cavs, Mahinmi stepped back behind the line in the weakside corner. John Wall drove to the elbow to collapse the defense and fired him a pass. Wide open, Mahinmi rose and released like he had done it many times before.

Technically, he had. Mahinmi has been working on his three-point shot persistently. At the end of every Wizards practice, he can be seen going around the horn popping threes.

In practice, Mahinmi makes long range shots consistently. Head coach Scott Brooks has put the number at around 70 out of 100 on his best days. Mahinmi even made a few this preseason, suggesting it might actually happen in a regular season game this year.

Sure enough, it did.

"It's something I work on. I work on threes and especially from the corners. It's good to see one finally go in," Mahinmi said.

Mahinmi had attempted two threes already this season. One clanged off the side off the backboard. The second rolled in and out of the rim.

Mahimni said the second attempt was actually a designed play to get him a three-point look. On this one, Wall called his number again.

Mahinmi said Wall told him to go to the corner. The team was up 20 points and it was late in the first half. 

The stars had aligned. It just seemed like the right time.

"Obviously, I was looking for it," Mahinmi said. "If the ball comes my way, I'm shooting it."

Brooks has expressed confidence in Mahinmi's outside shooting ability for months now. And he reiterated after Wednesday's game that Mahinmi has the green light.

"I want Ian to shoot threes if he's open," Brooks said. "He practices that every day. We see it go in every day. The league is changing. It's not just a small-ball league for the smalls."

That last point was not lost on others around the Wizards locker room. When Mahinmi entered the league in 2007, centers were expected to camp around the rim. He was asked to block shots and play with his back to the basket. 

In the decade-plus since, new species of big men have flowed into the NBA. Many of them hit threes, leap high above the rim and break down defenders off the dribble.

Mahinmi, though fully-developed at 32 years old, isn't letting that stop him. He has added a three-point shot that opponents have to at least know is possible to go in.

"He's adapted to the game and that's not easy at his position because they try to kick fives out of the league," guard Bradley Beal said.

No one expects Mahinmi to all of a sudden become Dirk Nowitzki and hit threes all the time. It was a small moment that probably won't mean much in the big picture.

Still, it was a reason for him and his teammates to celebrate.

"I'm glad to see him do that," center Dwight Howard said. "I'm so happy for him."



Quick Links

Up-and-down day all part of the process for Wizards rookie Troy Brown Jr.

USA Today Sports

Up-and-down day all part of the process for Wizards rookie Troy Brown Jr.

WARD 8 -- The vibrating mobile phone interrupted Capital City coach Jarell Christian’s conversation with other Go-Go staff Tuesday afternoon. The incoming call started a process, one that defines why the G-League franchise exists and precisely at the Washington Wizards practice facility. 

Wizards’ senior vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard, the type of person one pauses a conversation for, was on the other end of the line.  “It’s a phone call I’m going to answer every time,” a smiling Christian made clear. This conversation provided a heads up. Guard Troy Brown Jr., Washington’s 2018 first-round pick, and backup center Thomas Bryant needed additional work. They would join the Go-Go’s practice Wednesday.

This sounds like a demotion. It’s not even though technically both players were assigned to the G-League squad. If you blinked __ or took a three-hour nap midday __ then you missed the entire shuffle. Brown and Bryant were on the sideline for Washington’s 119-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night.

Players with three or fewer years of NBA experience are eligible for unlimited G-League assignments – and same day return. The Wizards and Go-Go inhabiting the Entertainment and Sports Arena put the latter point into play. 

Brown, 19, and Bryant were at Capital One Arena for Washington’s morning shootaround ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards were not performing a covert operation, but Brown spilled the beans when explaining to reporters why he couldn’t stay for a chat shortly after 12 p.m. 

They soon drove city streets to I-295, hopped off the desired exit, and then jumped into a two-hour practice with their second team of the day. 

Brown and Bryant, who played for the Lakers’ G-League team last season, needed up-and-down court work. Neither is part of Washington’s rotation. 

Brown’s 30 minutes, including four Wednesday with the game out of reach, are the fewest of any player selected 1-22 in the 2018 NBA Draft. Bryant, a big man with energy, took the court less than Brown. 

Consistent in-season full-court practices are rare for NBA teams considering travel and a desire to keep key players fresh. Those factors mean finding work wherever and whenever.

“This is why the Go-Go are here,” Christian said to NBC Sports Washington. “This is why our staff is put in place for these guys to develop and get better.”

Following Go-Go practice Brown raced to his apartment and caught a needed shower. He then returned to the Wizards around the point when the NBA club recalled him from the Go-Go.

Brown took the situation in stride. 

“[The Wizards] know I work hard, but they just want to make sure I’m getting my proper reps,” Brown told NBC Sports Washington during Wednesday’s second stint at Capital One Arena. 

The up-and-down activity happened this week for a reason. Brooks gained insight into the G-League process during his time as the coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He wanted to keep Brown and Bryant with the NBA squad “the first three to four weeks" of the season before considering a reassignment. 

The possibility of a Go-Go stint longer than a standard movie could come later, Brooks said, including game action. Christian and his staff will be ready.

While his title is Capital City head coach, Christian's primary tasks go far beyond winning and losing games. He must implement the Wizards’ offensive and defensive schemes, so the players going from one team to the other experience a smooth transition. Then there is aiding with playing development. That’s important for any of the players, but specifically those on the Wizards roster like the team’s first No. 1 selection since 2015.

“Troy has never played a real NBA game. This is the next best thing for him,” Christian said. 

Brown didn’t discount the extra work despite not going against players with multi-million dollar contracts.

“He’s young. He’s so young. He’s talented,” Christian said. “The thing that impresses me most about him is how he goes in those workouts. …. He’s an intense workout guy. He’s got an ability to put the ball on the floor and make plays for himself. I can see him doing the same thing for us if we ever get him for a game.”

Capital City opened its inaugural season losing three of four games. Christian’s coaching thoughts naturally gravitated toward the next game, Friday at Wisconsin. Then Christian received a call. 

“I’m a big ‘Be where your feet are’ guy,” Christian said, referencing a saying about mindfulness and remaining present. “Obviously, we have to prepare for Friday night’s game, but I want to make sure that we can be the best today in practice. Having two NBA players in your practice only enhances that practice. I embrace that. Them being here will only help our team.”

Brooks eventually played Brown and Brooks deep into the blowout win. They entered with four minutes left and made all three of their field goal attempts. 

“I’ve been enjoying the process. Just trying to get better every day,” Brown said. “Work hard; trying to do anything I can to help the team.”

In one day, he helped two.