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Top Stories of the Week: The Wizards’ inconsistency and the legacy of Manute Bol

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Black Friday everyone! While you’re shopping and looking for every cheap deal out there, here are some of the links from the past week:

The Wizards just can’t get on a hot streak

The Wizards are currently 10-8, good for 7th in the Eastern Conference. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter are on a roll individually, but otherwise, the results have been quite mixed. Here’s what went down since last weekend:

  • Last Friday, the Wizards lost to the Heat at home, 91-88. John Wall played that game with a sore knee. The knee was sore from IV fluids.
  • Then last Sunday, the Wizards played in Toronto without Wall. They pulled out a 100-91 loss.
  • On the next day, Washington traveled to Milwaukee to meet Eric Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Europe’s KD. The Wizards pulled out a 99-88 win, their first win without some discounted Papa John’s the next day. Oh well, a win’s a win. But hey! We’re getting a streak going, right?
  • On Wednesday, Washington stayed on the road to face off against the Charlotte Hornets, who have yet to lose a game in divisional play. The Wizards got the DMV area some large fries at McDonald’s on Thanksgiving Day, but they lost in overtime, 129-124 when Kemba Walker channeled his inner beast.

The Wizards are gradually becoming a bit more scrappy on the defensive end, even if they haven’t won every game, as our own Kelly Cohen notes. But at the same time, losses add up and can take away from a bigger narrative that this team has wanted for quite some time. Even Wall himself noted to Gene Wang of The Washington Post that their road trip was “terrible.”

Finally, when Wall initially said that his knee was sore during the Heat game, some folks were quick to question why he would play altogether. Wall has the tenacity to play through injuries, possibly to a fault. And as Mike Sykes noted last weekend, it’s also important to manage Wall’s health for the long term given that he’s on this team on a “super max” deal.

Manute Bol’s Legacy Lives On!

Manute Bol Becomes Tallest Licensed Jockey Photo by Brent Smith/Getty Images

The late former Bullet had two big stories on him this past week. One of his sons, Bol Bol, committed to the University of Oregon next year via a column on The Players’ Tribune. Bol Bol is currently a senior at Findlay Prep school in Nevada. He’s 7’1 and admits that he probably won’t be a muscular guy. Still, I’d imagine he’d be a great shot blocker.

That’s not all though.

Manute Bol himself lived from 1962 to 2010, so he passed away before his 48th birthday. However, according to Kevin Mackey, an NBA scout and former Cleveland State head coach in the mid-1980’s acknowledged making up his birthday. Mackey believes that Bol was in his 40’s during the time he was recruited. Here’s an excerpt from Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.

So at that point, Mackey worked with the local immigration office to come up with a birthday for Bol, Oct. 16, 1962“It was in October, I wanted to make it after Sept. 1,” Mackey said. “I wanted to make sure he was young enough because he didn’t have an age. I think he was [in his 40s], I really do. But there’s no way of ever really knowing.”

If that’s the case, Bol may have played in the NBA as a 50 year old! Ben Rohrbach of Ball Don’t Lie has more on that, where more people were wondering just how old he was.

I’m not sure how much you can exaggerate people’s ages in one direction or another. But if Bol truly did play in the NBA as a 50 year old or more, then that is nothing short of amazing. He had a successful 11 year career in the Association and even made the All-Defense second team along the way. So, seeing a middle aged man play relatively well over a decade is just ... wow.

He also had the fountain of youth in his looks as well. At the end of the day, we’ll never really know.

And more links

  • LeBron James has no problem seeing folks distract others like he did to Gilbert Arenas back in the day. On this Thanksgiving week, I’m not so thankful to be reminded of that.
  • Speaking about things to be thankful for, here are 16 things they can be thankful for this season.
  • Emma Meesseman was nominated as one of three Flemish athletes for De Vlaamse Reus, or The Flemish Giant. It’s essentially an award for the best Flemish athlete. She’ll be competing against Nina Derwael, a 17-year old gymnast, and 2016 Olympic cycling gold medalist Greg Van Avermaet. Sporza has more on that in Nederlands. I do have a bone to pick in this. Why aren’t any Flemish soccer stars like Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne (who are beasting in the Premier League) in it?

Alright, that’s all I have for the week. Enjoy your long Thanksgiving weekends!