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Wizards Media Day open thread: Updates from Capital One Arena

2021-22 Washington Wizards Media Day Photo by Rich Kessler/NBAE via Getty Images

Wizards Media Day is today from 2 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena.

Marco Gacina and Gabe Ibrahim are our boots on the ground and will send live tweets from our main account as things happen. If you have a question for them to ask players, feel free to use this thread here.

Go Wizards!

Corey Kispert Kicks Off Media Day

In a bit of a surprise, Corey Kispert took the podium instead of Bradley Beal at 2:00 p.m. It’s officially his team now. Well, maybe not. But Washington’s 2021 first-round pick sounded confident and settled heading into his second season.

“My game feels as good as it ever has,” said Kispert.

He wants to capitalize on his late season run last year and stated very plainly that this team’s goal is the playoffs. Marco asked him about what specifically he worked on this offseason. Kispert pointed to consistency in his shot and extending his range while also becoming more effective on defense.

Gabe followed up by asking how he worked on his defense in the offseason when offensive work is easier to do. He pointed to pick-up games in Phoenix, where he was based for the summer. He played against a lot of Phoenix Suns and some former NBA players like Kenneth Faried and Tim Frazier.

Kispert also mentioned how much better this offseason was than last year. He said that he felt like he was running on empty during his rookie campaign. He also mentioned that the locker room is flourishing right now.

Kristaps Porzingis has a beard

The Wizards’ not-so-new big man took the podium next and showed off his new beard. When he was asked about it, he asked for the media’s opinion on it. We all said to keep it, but we’re sure he’s interested in your opinions in the comments.

Outside of the beard, Kristaps seemed ready to roll for Washington. He told us how much it meant that Wes Unseld Jr. came out to visit him in Lativa for FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. He also spoke about how he wants the team to exceed outside expectations. He feels like the NBA community has misread this team and that they can surprise some people.

Porzingis said his job on this team is to make Bradley Beal’s life easier and went through a detailed explanation of what that means in certain situations. He also stated the obvious: his goal is to stay on the floor as much as possible after many injury-riddled seasons. If he can do that, he can help push this team exceed expectations.

Kyle Kuzma is ready to lead

It’s a big year for Kyle Kuzma. He enters his sixth year as one of the team’s leaders and could be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He talked about how he, Beal, and Porzingis fit offensively before Gabe asked him about the defensive fit. He said that “defense is the million dollar question” and that if defense is a priority

The answer was interesting because Kuzma pointed to something completely win their control. We’ll see if the Wizards can turn it up defensively throughout the season. Kuz had couple of funny moments during his press conference. Gabe asked about how it is to be with childhood friend Monte Morris and Kuzma said that the team’s meeting today felt like them being back in the third grade when teachers had to separate them. He also pulled out his phone to give a full explanation for his fashion week outfit. He said that it was an art piece depicting a futuristic outfit for a fashion show in the metaverse or something close to that.

Bradley Beal Is Back

Washington’s superstar has a new massive contract, a new baby, and a new team around him. Despite sounding a bit tired as anybody with a new born would, Beal seemed ready to get back on the court after an eight-month absence from the game. He recommitted to bringing a championship to DC, which is expected but nice.

He spoke glowingly of the new additions, specifically Porzingis, Wright, and Johnny Davis. He called Davis “special” and lauded his attacking mentality. He also loved how much experience the new players bring. Outside of Davis, every player the team brought in has played important playoff minutes.