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Wizards and Hawks pay tribute to Kobe Bryant with 8- and 24-second violations to begin game

Wizards and Hawks pay tribute to Kobe Bryant with 8- and 24-second violations to begin game

Emotions were very raw on Sunday as the Wizards and Hawks played a game in Atlanta, just hours after the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Players and coaches wiped back tears during a pregame tribute, as shown on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast. And as the game began, the two teams honored his jersey numbers with an eight-second and 24-second violation.

The Hawks held the ball after tip-off for eight seconds without crossing halfcourt and then the Wizards held the ball for 24 seconds to run out the shot clock. After each team did their part, they resumed play.

Bryant's impact was felt across sports and all over the world. His legacy is particularly strong among the current generation of NBA players due to the fact he was in his prime when many of them were kids.

Hawks point guard Trae Young also began the game wearing a No. 8 Hawks jersey. Soon after the game started, he switched to his normal No. 11 uniform.

Many players tweeted their condolences before taking the floor. And the Wizards released a statement on his passing.

Bryant, 41, passed away in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Other passengers also perished, though their identities have not been confirmed.

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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