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John Wall not expected to play this year, Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard says

John Wall not expected to play this year, Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard says

WASHINGTON -- Though the news does not come as much of a surprise for a variety of reasons, Wizards point guard John Wall is expected to miss the rest of the 2019-20 regular season, according to general manager Tommy Sheppard.

While addressing Bradley Beal, Sheppard pointed out how Beal's life would be easier "when he gets John back next year." That prompted a follow-up and Sheppard explained why no one should expect Wall to play until the start of next season.

"I think we have maintained that all along. We didn't plan on seeing him this year. I think that's fair to John, to manage the expectations for him," Sheppard said. "He's on his way, but he's not there and he's not close yet. He's a lot closer than he was a year ago when the injury happened."

Wall, 29, had surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon on Feb. 12 of last year. The one-year anniversary of that procedure is next Wednesday.

Though the surgery generally includes an 11-to-15 month recovery, the Wizards have an incentive to be extra patient with him given he is due to make about $131 million over the next three seasons by way of a supermax contract.

They need to make sure Wall comes back healthy and that he is well-suited for the long-term. It is a similar plan the Mavericks followed with Kristaps Porzingis following his ACL tear in 2018.

The Wizards feel giving Wall extra time than usual is the best course to take.

"To play him before he's 100% and to have a setback that would affect next season is absolutely senseless," Sheppard said. "Why would we do that? Why would we do that for John?"

Roughly 20 months will have passed between NBA games for Wall when he takes the floor to begin the 2020-21 season. But as long as he makes a full recovery and reclaims his All-Star form, it will be well worth it in the Wizards' eyes.

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Justin Bieber's new No. 1 album features production from ex-Wizard JaVale McGee

Justin Bieber's new No. 1 album features production from ex-Wizard JaVale McGee

Former Wizard Javale McGee has a well-known reputation in the NBA for his emphatic dunks, and his name is cemented in NBA history with two championships. Now McGee can add a No. 1 album to his list of accomplishments.

McGee, who currently is helping the Los Angeles Lakers maintain the best record in the Western Conference, was listed as a contributor on the song "Available" on Justin Bieber's new hit album “Changes.” 

McGee took advantage of constantly being on the road during his career and began networking with major players in the music industry, before meeting Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, one of Bieber's producers in 2013.

"I was in the studio with Poo Bear around November of last year," McGee told the New York Times in an article published Friday. "I didn’t know who I was making music for. I was playing some songs and samples and he stopped on this one sample that I had made. He looped it, put it in the computer and we just started writing to it. We ended up writing the whole song, but there were no drums or anything." 

McGee said a few months later when he was speaking with Boyd, he was notified that he was on the album. 

"It was amazing," McGee said. "Justin Bieber is one of the, if not the, top artists out there. So to be able to keep working and produce something for an artist like that is amazing."

Another slam-dunk.

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Report: Los Angeles deputies shared Kobe Bryant crash photos

Report: Los Angeles deputies shared Kobe Bryant crash photos

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Authorities are investigating whether deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash scene where Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed, according to a newspaper report.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a public safety source with knowledge of the events had seen one of the photos on the phone of another official in a setting that was not related to the investigation of the crash. He said the photos showed the scene and victims' remains.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the allegations.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Maria Lucero told The Associated Press on Friday that "the matter is being looked into."

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union that represents rank-and-file deputies, did not immediately return requests for comment.

The Times reported that it's unclear how widely the photos might have been disseminated and who was involved. It's additionally unclear whether the deputies had taken the photos themselves or received them from someone else.

Capt. Jorge Valdez, a spokesman for the sheriff's department, said the department had contacted the victims' families because of the newspaper's inquiries.

Bryant and the others were killed in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles were traveling to a youth basketball tournament at Bryant's sports facility in Thousand Oaks. The cause of the crash is undetermined.

Bryant and his daughter Gianna, whose team was coached by her father, were honored at a public memorial Monday at Staples Center, where Bryant starred for most of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated there weren't any signs of engine failure from the wreckage recovered from the crash site. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, had nearly navigated the helicopter out of blinding clouds when it turned and plunged into the mountainside.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday, alleging that Zobayan was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions and should have aborted the flight. The lawsuit names Island Express Helicopters Inc., operator of the service, and Island Express Holding Corp., owner of the craft. It also targets pilot Ara Zobayan's representative or successor, listed only as "Doe 1" until a name can be determined.

Also killed in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach the girls' basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Keri and Payton were Gianna's teammates.