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Top Stories of the Week: Wizards stay hot at the All-Star break

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It’s hard not to smile when writing these weekly summaries.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Star Break is upon us. Though the Wizards aren’t playing for another week, there are more stories than usual. Here’s a quick summary of what happened.

Wizards enter All-Star Break on a high note

When your team is firing on all cylinders at the All-Star break
Washington Wizards Instagram

The Wizards played two games since last Saturday. First, they defeated the Thunder, 120-98 on national TV last Monday. Then on Thursday, they played the Indiana Pacers and beat them 111-98 on the road.

Ernie Grunfeld found himself as the focus of an article earlier today. Not because of his front office moves, but because of his OG pose in a plane that was apparently bound for New Orleans.

Finally, Wall was on ESPN’s First Take this morning from Nawlins where he proclaimed himself the NBA’s best point guard.

Bradley Beal is snubbed from the NBA All-Star Game because of NBA politics

Oklahoma City Thunder v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Kevin Love of the Cavaliers had left knee surgery earlier this week. The procedure sidelines him until April. There was some hope that Bradley Beal would be his replacement. Many NBA analysts were in favor of it.

Unfortunately, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave the nod to Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. Part of the reason why is because he’s a frontcourt player, like Love. But also, Anthony has a bigger brand and a bigger following among casual NBA fans. Finally, Anthony’s the best Team USA player of all time, where he’s been on four consecutive Olympic teams, winning bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008, 2012, 2016.

For a moment, I thought Silver was “The People’s Commissioner.” For casual fans, he is. But this one kinda hurt Adam.

Beal voiced his frustration about the decision on Thursday, in an interview with Candace Bucker of The Washington Post:

I don’t know what the rules are or how everything goes, but I definitely feel I had a great opportunity. Being on a winning team and being able to have success and I’m playing pretty well this year, I felt like I deserved to be there, but at the end of the day it is what it is. It’s not going to determine me as a player. It’s not going to put me down for the rest of the year. … I can enjoy my break and come back full steam ahead and rolling into the playoffs.

Other folks around the web agree. Dylan Hughes of 16 Wins a Ring has one of many columns here.

At this point, Beal should take this as a chip on the shoulder and finish the regular season and playoffs on a high note when we get into April and May.

Randy Wittman is still a Wizards fan

NBA: Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Former Wizards head coach Randy Wittman is taking a sabbatical from basketball after working non-stop in the NBA for the last 30+ years, whether as a player or as a coach. Wittman gave an interview to Kevin Sheehan of ESPN 980 earlier Friday morning where he calls the Wizards one of three teams to beat in the East. And he thinks Wall’s the best point guard in the NBA too. Scott Allen of The Washington Post has more.

Mystics happenings

hartley 2016
All three of these guys now play for the same team. :(
Stewart W. Small
  • Free agency is settling, so we’ll give some goodbyes to long time players. Our first is to Bria Hartley. For those of you who accuse me of Bria-Bias, don’t worry. Stef Dolson’s and Kia Vaughn’s are coming soon.
  • Leilani Mitchell, the Mystics’ lone unrestricted free agent, signed with the Phoenix Mercury.
  • Now, let’s get to the Mystics who are on the team. Elle wrote about the prospects of what an Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman frontcourt could do.
  • Elena Delle Donne and her fiancé Amanda Clifton will be the featured “dream wedding couple” on The Knot.
  • UMMC beat Nadezhda 88-81 last Wednesday in a EuroLeague match between two Russian superpower. Brittney Griner led all scorers, but for the Styx fans out there, Kristi Toliver scored 17 points in 22 minutes of action (including five made threes). Emma Meesseman added 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting, the definition of a Meessemanesque performance. UMMC is 12-1 in EuroLeague play, and 17-0 in the PBL, the Russian Premier Division. They’re the runaway favorites to win the whole thing after winning it all last year.

Wizards are the 18th most valuable team in the NBA

2014 Audi Best Buddies Challenge - Washington, DC - VIP Reception Photo by Larry French/Getty Images

Forbes released their NBA team valuations on Wednesday. The Wizards were valued at $1 billion which is 18th in the NBA. Part of the reason why the Wizards may not be valued highly is due to a combination of low attendance and the Verizon Center’s mortgage, which Ted Leonsis pointed out last fall. That bill is over $20 million a year, shared with the other teams in the Monumental house of brands.

Please get a D-League team

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Weingarten wrote a case on Ridiculous Upside noting why the Wizards need to get their affiliate sooner rather than later. Do we really have to wait for the Mystics’ arena and the practice facility to be finished first?

Wizards Trade Ideas and more pieces

Sorry Andrew.
Jake Whitacre

So that’s the round up for the week. As always, they hit the big themes, but this certainly doesn’t hit every story there is on the web.

Have any more links you’d like to share? Feel free to do so in the comments or as a FanPost.

Enjoy NBA All-Star Weekend everyone.