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The time Michael Jordan went 'MJ' on his Wizards' teammates

The time Michael Jordan went 'MJ' on his Wizards' teammates

It started with a simple switch on defense between Wizards Center Brendan Haywood and teammate Bryon Russell, that ultimately ended with Michael Jordan having a flashback moment against Russell in practice during the 2002-03 season.

“He was 40-year-old MJ, but he looked like 25-year-old MJ that day,” Haywood recalled during a recent interview on the Wizards Talk Podcast.

As the story goes, Jordan started barking at Haywood to come guard him behind the three-point line off a pick and roll switch, which prompted Haywood to counter by saying, “Go ahead man shoot that, you’re not even a three-point shooter.”

What happened next, was vintage Jordan.

For the rest of practice, Bryon Russell was tasked with guarding the same guy, who in 1998, hit arguably the biggest game-winning shot of Jordan’s NBA career.

Yes, that iconic shot in Utah that secured the Bulls 6th NBA title in 8 years.

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Now back to D.C. and the practice that promoted M.J. to go M.J. on his Wizards teammates.

After Jordan missed the three, he started to get upset. What would happen next was the stuff of legend.

According to Haywood, Michael started cooking from all over the floor against Russell.

“At that point Mike might not have missed a shot. I mean he hit fade-away, jab steps, coming off picks, one-dribble pull-ups, everything, and then to top it all off, he hits a three to end the scrimmage and stares dead at me.” 

But that’s not the end of it, Jordan saves his best trash talk for who else but Bryon Russell, who attempted to say something to MJ after the scrimmage. Haywood remembers MJ saying, “Hey man, I’m cooking you why don’t you shut up. Matter of fact, you known as the human highlight reel, not because you have any highlights of your own, but because you in all of mine.”

Haywood nearly 20 years later has finally come clean, admitting he was the reason why Michael Jordan took his frustration out on Bryon Russell.

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Ish Smith on death of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, gun violence in United States

Ish Smith on death of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, gun violence in United States

During a video conference call with reporters on Monday, Wizards point guard Ish Smith was asked about gun violence in the United States, specifically in light of the recent murder of 11-year-old Davon McNeal in Southeast Washington. Smith had heard of his passing and it hit quite close to home.

"His life is cut short at 11 years. I got a nephew right now who is 11 years old. He's 11 and I know the dreams and aspirations he wants and where he wants to get to," Smith said. 

McNeal was killed by a stray bullet on Saturday while attending a non-violence cookout organized by his mother. He was in the sixth grade at Kramer Middle School in Southeast.

McNeal's death is all too familiar for Smith, who has seen far to many cases just like this one.

"What could little man have done to avoid that? Like, we gotta do better," Smith said. "To see a child taken so young; I mean, my man won't even be able to see his 18th birthday, prom, graduation. There's just so much stuff... It shouldn't be at the hand of somebody else where they can't get to where they wanna get to because of a stray bullet or a shooting; whatever the case is. My heart hurts."

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Smith, who is deeply religious, said he is "constantly praying" for the violence to stop. He tries to do his part by speaking with troubled youth in North Carolina in the offseason.

He hopes more awareness can be raised for tragedies like McNeal's.

"[Kids] have to see a better example so they know what to do and what not to do so they can see a brighter future," Smith said.

There are no suspects in McNeal's murder at this time. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking for the public's help with any leads.

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Ish Smith is a huge fan of Disney World, is looking forward to living there in NBA's restart

Ish Smith is a huge fan of Disney World, is looking forward to living there in NBA's restart

Ish Smith has more to look forward to when it comes to the NBA's restart in Orlando, FL besides just getting back to work. He gets to live at Disney World, one of his favorite places in the world.

Smith says he absolutely loves going there and has lost count of how many times he has been. 

"I'm a huge fan of Disney World," he said. "I've been probably double figures. Probably like 10 or 11 times."

Smith, 32, played for the Orlando Magic in 2012 and 2013, so he was close to the Disney World resort where the NBA will convene for their restart bubble very soon. That gave him easy access to Disney World as well as Universal Studios, which he would also frequent.

"I wasn't playing much, so [Magic fans] didn't know who I was. But I went so many times, they started knowing me on a first-name basis," Smith said.

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Smith went as recently as last year with a big group of family members including his siblings and their kids. He can attest to how exhausting it can be to walk the entire campus and see all the attractions you want to see.

"It is tiring, though, I will tell you that. Going as a fan is tiring because you wake up early in the morning; eight o'clock. And you don't come home until about six or seven o'clock [at night]. You're on your feet all day long," he said.

Smith noted this time will be different, now that it's technically a business trip. He and the Wizards will be staying in the Yacht Club hotel along with other teams like the Kings, Pelicans and Blazers. But they won't be able to roam as freely around Disney World as they would otherwise be able to in normal times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: BRADLEY BEAL UNDECIDED ON NBA RESTART IN ORLANDO

Smith understands all that, but he is still looking forward to getting down there. He doesn't have a wife or kids, so he didn't have to factor in exposing his family to the virus in quite the same way as many of his peers.

He can mostly just look forward to playing basketball at a place he happens to really enjoy. Now he just has to make sure he's ready to get on the plane on Tuesday.

"I'm gonna be honest with you, man. I'm in the first stages of trying to pack. I just left CVS and just got two of everything. I feel like Noah's Ark," he said.

"I actually gotta go to Target, y'all. I'm no pretty boy, but I want to make sure I look presentable so my mom and dad don't disown me."

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