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Kelly Oubre, Jr. hopes to learn from guarding Dwyane Wade, but Wade flopped in OT

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NBC Sports Washington

Kelly Oubre, Jr. hopes to learn from guarding Dwyane Wade, but Wade flopped in OT

Kelly Oubre, Jr. was just eight years old when Dwyane Wade first broke into the NBA with the Miami Heat back in 2003. Oubre had yet to start middle school when Wade won NBA Finals MVP and his first ring in 2006.

So it was no surprise to see Wade have a distinct advantage over Oubre on most of the plays they matched up on Tuesday with Oubre guarding him. Wade is 35 years old and has a lot of wear and tear, but he still has all the tricks of the trade.

Wade scored 22 points against the Wizards. Washington won, but the Heat forced overtime in large part due to Wade's contribution. 

With Oubre guarding him, Wade made a series of midrange jumpers. One was from just about seven feet out. He had his back to the basket, faked one way and got the ball just over Oubre's defense to score.

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Wade kept Oubre off balance with hesitation moves and shimmies and he left Oubre impressed.

"He’s been playing this game for a really long time," Oubre said on our Wizards Tipoff podcast. "The thing that I’ve noticed with all the great players like him and LeBron [James] specifically is that when they’re on that low post and they’re in their spots that they’ve been in for over 20 years, they don’t even have to look at the rim to make the shot. Even DeMar [DeRozan], my hands were in his face a lot of the times. They don’t even really need to see the rim. They just need like a split second to get the ball up and out of their hands and it’s going to go in."

Oubre realized he has still has plenty to learn about the game of basketball. There is a mental aspect that can be picked up through experience, scouting and preparation.

Wade is a master at it. He has a black-belt in basketball sorcery.

"He doesn’t have the athleticism that he used to have, but he definitely uses his brain," Oubre said. "It’s a great thing to see and it’s a great thing to learn from. It challenged me as a defender to be able to have to guard somebody still quick and smart with their moves. I feel like it was a great test for me to pretty much test my discipline and my IQ."

When head coach Scott Brooks was asked about Oubre's matchup with Wade, he smiled before delivering his answer. As a coach overseeing Oubre's development, he saw some teaching opportunities.

"Some work to be done. That’s a lot of experience," Brooks said. "Kelly is 22 years old and he has to continue to improve on the defensive end. You only do that by playing against really good players. That was another lesson to be learned on a lot of things that Dwyane does."

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Oubre can't disagree. He does, however, have one thing he would like to point out. He thinks Wade flopped on a play with 12.9 seconds left in overtime.

Oubre was called for a foul on a Wade three-point attempt in a crucial moment. He held his hand out and it touched Wade on the face. Wade dropped to the ground and got the call.

The Wizards ended up winning and Oubre was able to joke about it afterwards.

"I don’t think I fouled him on that three-pointer. A lot of people were saying that my IQ is low for fouling him. But I don’t think I fouled him. He sold it. I think he saw Kobe win an Oscar and I think he wants one, too. Everybody wants one," he said.

Oubre talked about defending Wade and going up against some of the best players in the NBA on our Wizards Tipoff podcast. You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Bradley Beal's childhood idol Dwyane Wade thinks he's the next great shooting guard

Bradley Beal's childhood idol Dwyane Wade thinks he's the next great shooting guard

CHARLOTTE -- The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will be the final one for Dwyane Wade, who is months away from riding off into the prismatic Miami sunset as one of the greatest players in the league’s history. He will go down as one of the best shooting guards of all-time, ranked somewhere behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

With Wade gearing up for his exit, the logical question is who is next? Who will carry on the legacy of great shooting guards?

When Wade entered the league in 2003, Bryant was the top two in the game. When Bryant debuted in 1996, Jordan was just a few years from calling it a career.

The answer to who’s next after Wade may have shared the stage at Bojangles Coliseum on Saturday at All-Star media day, but deciding who is complicated. The best choices either aren’t seen solely as shooting guards, or they haven’t accomplished enough to be considered the heir apparent.

James Harden certainly comes to mind first. The 2017-18 NBA MVP is clearly on his way to all-time greatness. But he plays more point guard than Wade, Jordan or Bryant ever did.

After Harden, there is a group of twos that should be in the mix. Klay Thompson of the Warriors is establishing a Hall of Fame career. Victor Oladipo was All-NBA and All-Defense last season. And Devin Booker of the Suns is just scratching the surface of his potential.

Then, there’s Bradley Beal of the Wizards. Beal wears No. 3 in part because he idolized Wade growing up. He is now a two-time All-Star and has some similarities to Wade in his game and his athletic build.

Wade was asked about the next generation of great shooting guards at media day and made an interesting point. He believes we will all know in due time who will take the mantle because that’s how the game has played out for generations.

“You don’t pass the torch, guys take the torch. Like, Kobe didn’t pass the torch to me. Ray Allen didn’t pass the torch to me,” Wade said.

“I’m not passing no torch to James or to Brad, they’re taking the torch. Them guys are unbelievable players.”

Beal, 25, is having a season that compares statistically to some of Wade’s NBA prime. Beal is averaging 25.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists.

From age 23 through 30, Wade put up 26.2 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. Wade, though, had some years mixed in that are on a level Beal has yet to reach. He averaged 27 points or more three times, six assists or more six times and regularly averaged more than a steal and a block per game.

That’s not to mention Wade’s playoff numbers and the fact he won three NBA titles. Beal said it himself at media day, that he has “a long way to go.”

But Beal is on the short-list of best shooting guards in today’s game. And maybe he can be the one, or one of the players to someday inspire a new generation.

Wade, 37, has been around long enough to see the cycle of NBA history play out and knows guys like Beal, Harden, Oladipo, Thompson and Booker have a responsibility to follow the same lead others set for him.

“There is a bar that is set when you come in [to the league] and you try to reach that bar and hopefully get over it and set another standard and set another bar,” Wade said.

“Those guys do the same thing, they jump over it. That’s how our game continues to get great and continues to get better, so no passing no torch. They’re taking it.”

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Bradley Beal looks ahead to second All-Star game still in disbelief of his rise to stardom

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Bradley Beal looks ahead to second All-Star game still in disbelief of his rise to stardom

CHARLOTTE -- Bradley Beal operated through the first two days of NBA All-Star weekend like he had been there before. With one year of the experience already under his belt, he didn’t miss a beat as he made a series of back-to-back event appearances on Friday and then did the fishbowl experience of All-Star media day on Saturday.

Beal kept it going for fans and for the cameras, smiling at kids and joking with their parents as autograph lines cycled through. He played along with quickfire media segments and countless one-on-one interviews.

This time, he knew what to expect, and that made it all much easier.

“I'm embracing it,” he said. “I feel more here, like I feel more like I belong in a way.”

Though it was nothing new for Beal, behind closed doors the moment hit him again, just like it did last year when he was a first-time All-Star. It happened while he was surrounded by his family.

“I was actually thinking about it with my brothers yesterday. I had a conversation with them. And I was just saying, it's so surreal just being here, being in the NBA, let alone being an All-Star. None of us would have dreamed that, of this happening, and it happening this fast in a way,” Beal said.

Only 25, Beal is still on the rise as a player as he represents the Wizards for the second time as an All-Star. Now in his seventh NBA season, he has followed a consistent trajectory to stardom.

Beal was a McDonald’s All-American, a standout at the University of Florida, the third overall pick in the draft and then a promising young NBA player before he became an All-Star. The steps along the way have always seemed expected to most outside observers because his talent has long been obvious.

But Beal feels like it wasn’t that long ago when even playing in the NBA seemed like a pipe dream.

“I grew up in St. Louis, went to high school, just hoping to get to college. My parents just wanted us all to get D-I scholarships. Sure enough, I made it to the NBA as a third pick, and here I am a two-time All Star. I never would have imagined that,” he said.

Beal has taken his game to another level after making the All-Star team last season. He is averaging career-highs of 25.1 points, 5.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds this season, having played in all of the Wizards’ 58 games.

He has emerged as one of the best shooting guards in the game. Ironically, one of the best shooting guards of all-time, Dwyane Wade, is playing in his final All-Star game.

"D-Wade, man. That's somebody I looked up to playing,” Beal said. “Man, it's going to be my honor for sure, to be able to step out there with him and play and just have some fun. I think it will be awesome."

With Wade exiting the game, Beal has a chance to be one of the best shooting guards of the next generation. Now a two-time All-Star, he is well on his way.

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