The NBA is finally back and the preseason is less than a week away. Let’s get to this week’s top stories:
On Monday, the Wizards hosted media day. Our own Mike Sykes was at Capital One Arena (which was the Verizon Center) and had a chance to interview the players and head coach Scott Brooks. The highlight of the Wizards offseason as compared with other teams is stability.
During Media Day, Wizards players were also asked about President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL owners, suggesting that they fire players who kneel during the national anthem. Bradley Beal called the President a clown while Wall said he didn’t respect Trump’s stances.
Candace Buckner of The Washington Post had some more insights on the Wizards’ big men, namely Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi. Gortat has grown back the mohawk he had from a few seasons ago and doesn’t intend to cut it off this time. He also mentioned that he had no intentions of changing his game given the evolution of the NBA toward more shooters. To be fair to Gortat, he remained very effective and averaged a double double last season.
Mahinmi took a different stance toward his game. He lost a considerable amount of weight and looks noticeably leaner than last year. Part of the reason why was to adjust to the quicker pace of the NBA, and to improve his longevity.
Training camp highlights
The Wizards took the trip down I-95 to VCU in Richmond to start training camp on Tuesday. Here are some videos from Chris Grenham:
During training camp, we’ve learned two things.
First, the bad news. Tim Frazier got a groin injury on Thursday and will miss the rest of training camp. It doesn’t appear to be serious enough for him to miss regular season time, but the Wizards can use all the help they can get from the bench.
But here’s the better news. Wall took a shot at ... NBA superteams on Instagram with this pic:
He modified the line a little later because it was a hot take. Still, #WizOrNothin!
Wall also gave some of his thoughts to Buckner on the FBI investigation of NCAA basketball coaches and shoe companies. Here’s the quote:
“I have no comment about the situation but yeah, if you’re the No. 1 guy, top guy, you’re going to have guys come at you but you have to be smart about it,” Wall, who was the top point guard in the ESPN 100 class back in 2009, said. “You’re only going to school for one year, there’s no point in doing all that extra stuff. If you’ve never had money and been poor your whole life, another eight months won’t hurt.”
It remains to be seen how many more schools, coaches, and companies are implicated in the investigation.
Kara Lawson is the Wizards’ new color analyst
The ESPN NBA/college basketball analyst and former long time WNBA player will take her talents back to her hometown as she will call most of the local TV games with Steve Buckhantz. In addition, former Wizards player Drew Gooden III and former full-time analyst Phil Chenier will be there from time to time. Lawson will continue to do some ESPN broadcasts. She will probably miss most of that time for women’s college basketball during March for the NCAA Tournament.
Cindy Boren of The Washington Post wrote about female NBA analysts from a national scale. There are more women at the TV booths as analysts for men’s basketball games, most notably Doris Burke of ESPN, who will be in that role full-time this season, after spending years doing some color work and sideline work during the NBA Finals.
The Sports Junkies of WJFK-FM and CSN also had a chance to interview her earlier this week.
Links from around the web
With the Wizards season coming up real quick, it’s time to get some previews as well. Here are ours:
- SB Nation’s Mike Prada and Ben Epstein previewed the Wizards on the Limited Upside podcast earlier this week.
- Otto Porter says he’s bigger and stronger. That’s kinda hard for me to determine at least.
- Porter also works with Danielle Cantor, the only female NBA agent. Cantor is part of David Falk’s team, though she isn’t Porter’s primary agent. She is Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon’s agent, however.
- John Wall may not be on a “super team,” but that also could help him in the MVP race.
And that’s it
Those are the links, but they certainly aren’t every link from this past week. If there’s one that you would like to share, feel free to do so in the comments or as a FanPost.
Have a great weekend and a happy start to October everyone!