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What Gregg Popovich told Scott Brooks after the Wizards traded for Davis Bertans

What Gregg Popovich told Scott Brooks after the Wizards traded for Davis Bertans

When the Spurs traded Davis Bertans to the Wizards for basically nothing this summer, Gregg Popovich could not have been happy about it. 

The Wizards play the Spurs on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

The Spurs did it to free up cap space to sign Marcus Morris to a two-year, $20 million contract, but then Morris backed out of the agreement to sign a one-year, $15 million deal with the Knicks. 

So the Spurs were without one of Popovich's favorite players and had an empty spot to fill with Morris in New York. They ended up bringing on Trey Lyles, but Bertans has to feel like the one who got away for San Antonio.

In his first season with the Wizards, Bertans has been solid off the bench, averaging 11.7 points on 41.8 percent from three. The Wizards knew they were getting a shooter in Bertans, but Popovich told Scott Brooks that the big man was capable of much more. 

"[Popovich] is a good scout," Brooks said Wednesday. "He nailed it on [Bertans] when I talked to him over the summer. He said, '[Davis] is more than a shooter.'"

Just 11 games into the season, we've already seen Bertans' ability to handle the ball and create his own shot off the dribble. Last Friday in Minnesota, we even saw Bertans play as the ball handler in a pick and roll with fellow big man Moe Wagner. 

Not many teams can put two bigs in pick and roll situations, and for an already elite offense for the Wizards (3rd in Off. RTG), it adds a wrinkle that could give almost any defense nightmares. 

As Brooks continues to configure his rotations, Bertans' should continue to increase on the offensive end. Whether he can help the team's atrocious defense is yet to be seen, but the Wizards clearly got another steal in a trade with a team trying to offload salary.


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    How George Floyd changed Ian Mahinmi's perspective on advocacy and fatherhood

    How George Floyd changed Ian Mahinmi's perspective on advocacy and fatherhood

    Over the last month, America has been having a long-overdue conversation about race, justice and equality in our society. At NBC Sports Washington, we wanted to further the dialogue by providing a forum for DMV-area sports figures who are thought leaders on these important issues.

    NBC Sports Washington is launching the first part of an ongoing video series entitled Race in America this week. Ian Mahinmi, Natasha Cloud, and Mike Locksley joined Chis Miller for the first of these roundtable discussions to share their experiences, thoughts and how they’re using their platforms in this fight. To watch the full interview, click here.

    Wizards center Ian Mahinmi has been familiar with the history and horrors of racism from a very early age. With a father from Benin, Africa, he was taught about slavery as a child and in graphic detail, to the point where it numbed his views on other subjects of race relations.

    He explained in honest and introspective detail on 'Race in America,' a panel hosted by NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller that also featured Mystics guard Natasha Cloud and University of Maryland football coach Mike Locksley.

    Here's what Mahinmi said:

    "Me, I have such a different view, first because I'm African. You wouldn't believe the stuff that I've seen and that I was exposed to. My dad always showed me what was slavery at home. I have pictures. My dad always showed me everything. So, it wasn't the first time I saw something crazy like that happen," Mahinmi said, referring to the video of George Floyd being suffocated by a police officer in Minneapolis.


    "It's almost like you look back and I felt a little embarrassed of myself that it took [George Floyd's] story for me to be shocked again. It's almost like I became numb to it. It's like 'I've seen this before, it's crazy but I've seen it before.' It's like okay, alright, that's it, no more. Now, I'm a grown man and I have kids. I'm going to do anything I can now, anything in my power to do my part."

    That feeling of frustrated indifference is one Mahinmi wants to prevent his daughters from ever experiencing in their own lives as African-Americans in the United States.

    "Is it normal that I'm numb to this? No, it's not. And I don't want it to be normal for my kids anymore, for it to be just another scene that they have seen before. The fight started a long time ago. As an African, as a Black male from Benin where slavery was at its peak, I've gotta do my part. Even though I started this fight a long time ago, I've gotta do more and I'm going to do more," he said.

    "At some point, what are you going to do about it? You get to a point where now I'm 33 years old and I have three girls and I'm looking at myself in the mirror and I'm like, man, if this doesn't start with me, my kids are going to say the same [thing]. Enough is enough."

    Mahinmi's thoughts were one of many powerful moments during the 'Race in America' conversation. You can watch the full panel right here:

    To watch the full roundtable discussion, featuring Ian Mahinmi, Washington Mystics star Natasha Cloud, and Maryland football head coach Mike Locksley, click here.



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    Report: NBA closing in on second bubble in Chicago for eight teams not invited to Orlando

    Report: NBA closing in on second bubble in Chicago for eight teams not invited to Orlando

    When the NBA formally announced its plan to resume the 2019-20 season with a 22-team bubble-like format in Orlando, the eight teams that weren't invited to Florida likely believed their season was over.

    Or, so they thought.

    The league is reportedly closing in on a second "bubble" in Chicago for the eight teams not headed to Orlando, according to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. The second bubble would allow teams to hold a mini-camp and have the eight clubs scrimmage one another in an NBA Summer League-like format, MacMullan wrote.

    The bubble would allow the non-playoff teams a chance for young players -- such as Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young and Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton -- to play in real games for the first time in months. Veteran stars, such as Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, likely wouldn't play, according to MacMullan. The reported target date for the bubble is in September.

    On Thursday, seven of the eight teams not included in the Orlando restart held a conference call to discuss the idea, with the New York Knicks being the exception. On the call, teams assured the NBA they would be willing to proceed with the bubble in Chicago, according to MacMullan.


    Not everyone is fully on board with the idea, however. According to ESPN, Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey took an informal poll of coaches from teams not headed to Orlando, and the majority of them would prefer to hold mini-camps at their own team facilities rather than travel to a bubble in Chicago.

    "The reason we want these mini-camps is to get our team together, to have that camaraderie, to improve and enjoy some competition," Casey told ESPN. "We feel we can do that safely in our own environment. We can't let these guys sit around from March 11 to December without something. It's going to hurt their careers. It's too long of a layoff."

    With a target date of September, the league has the luxury to assess how the Orlando bubble works out before making a decision about the Chicago bubble. According to ESPN, several teams have requested a two-week delay period to sign off on the second bubble to assess how the initial bubble in Florida works.


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