The 2019 NBA Finals begin later tonight at 9 p.m. ET which you can watch on WJLA-TV if you’re in the Washington area. We’ll have a GameThread for that. But in the meantime, what are the Wizards’ and the Washington, D.C. areas’ ties with the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors?
What are the Wizards’ and the D.C. area’s ties with the Raptors?
The Raptors have one player who used to wear a Wizards uniform. Jodie Meeks played for Washington in the 2017-18 season and was traded to the Bucks before the start of the 2018-19 season when he was fighting a suspension due to an anti-drug policy violation. The Bucks released him on arrival and he later signed with the Raptors where he plays in a reserve role.
Assistant coach Patrick Mutombo has a very indirect Mystics connection because he is a Belgian national like Emma Meesseman and Kim Mestdagh. Mutombo was given an offer to be an assistant coach for the Belgium men’s national team in 2016, but he had to turn down that offer because he joined the Raptors that same year and had to miss international training periods with the Lions. Unfortunately, he’s not related to Dikembe Mutombo, an NBA and Georgetown legend.
And no, I didn’t forget. Ramatu Ujiri, the wife of Masai Ujiri, the President of Basketball Operations, is from Greenbelt, Md. Last time I checked, the Wizards have a vacancy with their President of Basketball Operations.
What are the Wizards’ and the D.C. area’s ties with the Warriors?
The Warriors also have their fair share of players who are either from Washington or played for the Wizards.
Shaun Livingston is the only former Wizard on the Warriors’ 2018-19 roster. He’s been part of each of the Warriors’ three championship teams this decade but also had a couple stints in Washington late in the 2009-10 season and again for part of the 2012-13 season.
The remaining Warriors players with Washington ties are from the region. Kevin Durant is from the area as we probably know all too well. But so is Quinn Cook. He was born in Washington and played at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. for three years before transferring to Oak Hill Academy in Southwest Va.
Finally, both of Golden States’ two-way players are from the region. Damion Lee is from Baltimore and went to Calvert Hall for most of his high school career before playing his college basketball at Drexel and Louisville. Marcus Derrickson went to Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Va. before transferring to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire for his senior year. He went on to play at Georgetown for college.