May 14, 2013 2:39 PM EDT
Damian Lillard headlines the 2013 NBA All-Rookie Team as a unanimous selection.
Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Dion Waiters and Harrison Barnes joined Lillard on the All-Rookie First Team.
On the All-Rookie Second Team is Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Singler and Tyler Zeller.
May 13, 2013 5:02 PM EDT
Jan Vesely's lack of confidence in his sophomore season in the NBA this year was evident to teammates and coaches on the Washington Wizards, stemming from his regression in production.
In Randy Wittman's mind, it is clear what Vesely must fix in the offseason.
“He needs to work on his head first,” Wittman said.
“I was thinking, ‘You’re not going to get away with it,’" A.J. Price said of Vesely's lack of confidence.
Vesely regressed in every statistical category and barely finished with more points (126) and rebounds (122) than personal fouls (107).
“It’s hard. Especially after my first season in the NBA, I was playing a lot. It’s hard not to find my position on the team and stay ready every game when you’re not playing,” Vesely said. “I just try to fight it. I didn’t know what time, when I’m going on the court so it’s hard to stay ready. I did my best, and I tried to work hard every day.”
Apr 30, 2013 10:27 AM EDT
Jason Collins received largely positive support in the aftermath of his announcement that he is gay.
Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Kenneth Faried and Rudy Gay were amongst the dozens of players to publicly offer their support to Collins.
Collins also received encouragement on Twitter from Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Martina Navratilova and Spike Lee.
ESPN reporter Chris Broussard drew criticism for comments he made calling homosexuality “a sin” on the network’s “Outside the Lines” program.
Broussard took issue with Collins’s description of himself as a Christian because he was “openly living in unrepentant sin.”
He added: “I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian.”
Broussard's comments became a large topic of conversation on social media.
“We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news,” said ESPN. “ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’s announcement.”
An NBA star that spoke with Yahoo's Marc J. Spears also echoed religious-based reservations about Collins, who himself is a professed Christian.
"I'm staying quiet on this one," said the player. "Commend his courage to step out, but my faith teaches otherwise."
Apr 30, 2013 12:02 AM EDT
Emeka Okafor was one of a select group of people that was informed of Jason Collins' announcement of his sexuality on Monday.
Okafor said Collins was "calm, collected and cool" during their conversation.
"I'm happy for him and I congratulated him," Okafor told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. "While it's a great thing, it's tough not knowing how it will be perceived. Whenever you're the first there is always that uncertainty.
"He called me right before the article came out and told me. But before that I didn't know. I told him that I thought it was a very brave thing that he's doing."
Okafor believes there would be no issue with Collins returning to the Wizards next season.
"We all get along so great," Okafor said. "Jason was part of the group. I thought the only difference is him coming out saying he's gay. He's still the same person. He still has the same rapport with us. Everything is going to be the same."
Okafor expects Collins to continue his NBA career.
"For a gay athlete to come out and announce that he's gay is a huge deal," Okafor said. "The majority of us don't have that pressure or are harboring a secret that others might look down upon. We don't have to put on an act and pretend like we are the same as the next person when we're different. You may be punished because of that difference. The effort of him coming out and being the first one, I think it is [noteworthy]. Should it be a big deal? That's a bigger question that goes into the times we are in.
"We would like to say no, but that's just the way things are right now. With Jason's help, I think he's going to make it so later on it won't be a big deal and when the next person comes out we don't really care. People will say, ‘I'm gay,' and we'll say, ‘OK. So what. Put on a jersey, let's go.' That's a point that he's trying to get it to."
Apr 29, 2013 11:28 AM EDT
Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards came out in a Sports Illustrated story on Monday and opened up as the first active gay athlete in a major North American professional team sport.
"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins wrote.
"I'm glad I'm coming out in 2013 rather than 2003. The climate has shifted; public opinion has shifted. And yet we still have so much farther to go. Everyone is terrified of the unknown, but most of us don't want to return to a time when minorities were openly discriminated against."
Collins has had a 12-year NBA career and most notably appeared in back-to-back Finals with the New Jersey Nets.
Collins' twin brother, Jarron, also played 10 seasons in the NBA. Collins and his brother played collegiately at Stanford.
Apr 18, 2013 9:48 PM EDT
Ted Leonsis wants to extend John Wall, re-sign Martell Webster and be active in free agency.
“A key thing for us is try and keep Martell,” Leonsis said about the small forward who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, “and see what we’re going to do with John to keep him with the team for a long, long time. I think the fans would expect that to try to keep the nucleus of the team together and add around it.”
Wall would like the Wizards to keep Webster and find other avenues to upgrade the team’s roster.
Webster earned a reported $1.6 million this season.
Apr 15, 2013 9:08 AM EDT
Washington Wizards veteran Nene has played in 61 games this season, a minor miracle given all the injuries he has dealt with.
"How tough? Tough enough to think about the end of my career? Yeah, that's how tough it was," he said. "It was so hard to play the way I did it. I thought to end my career because it's so painful, my body can't support. I'm glad I finished the season, but the way I suffer, I hope, never again."
He has dealt with foot, knee and shoulder issues. Nene will sit out Washington's final two games.
Nene is owed $39 million for the next three seasons. He said conversations with his wife, Lauren, and business manager, Alex Santos, persuaded him to keep going.
"Get healthy. That's my priority right now. It's been affected since I got traded. That thing got started when I was with the Nuggets," Nene said. "It was an honor to represent my country and play for my country in the Olympics. I made sacrifice, you know. It was my decision on that one, but now I'm going to have a summer to recover to have my body straight, my strength straight."
Apr 13, 2013 9:29 PM EDT
Nene has missed significant time this season because of soreness in his left foot and right knee.
“The priority is to take care of my foot,” said Nene, who had issues with ligaments and tendons underneath the foot before being traded to the Wizards last year. “In three months, four months, we’ll see. I suffered to play this season. I’m still suffering. I need to heal myself. My foot is still hurting. My knee is sore and still weak.”
Nene plans to use the offseason to rest his body.
“There’s a lot of things to do. … I don’t want to suffer,” Nene said. “I don’t want to go through this experience again. The priority is recover, improve my body, my foot, my knee come back strong and do the things I need to do to help this team. My last couple years I don’t have (enough) time to work on myself.”
Apr 08, 2013 4:24 PM EDT
Jason Collins understood the situation, but he didn't want to leave the Boston Celtics when they traded him to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford in February.
The injury-plagued Celtics were in need of backcourt help.
"I understand; they understand," Collins said. "With the injuries they had, they definitely needed another scorer. Jordan Crawford, he's definitely capable of doing that. I was last on the list, so it's part of the business."
Collins declined to comment when asked if he sought a buyout in order to finish his career with a contender, but said he would "definitely" consider signing with Boston next season.
"Might put a no-trade clause in there," Collins joked. "What an honor it was to play for a great organization that has so much history. Great group of guys in that locker room. The leadership with Doc, [Kevin Garnett] and [Paul] Pierce. Nothing but good memories."
Apr 05, 2013 11:08 AM EDT
Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor confirmed their intentions to opt-in for the 2013-14 season.
“I don’t know many people who are going to leave money on the table and I’m not one of the people to do that, so most likely,” said Ariza, who is slated to earn $7.7 million next season.
Okafor said he was “fully confident” that he would be back with the Wizards next season.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here immensely,” said Okafor, who is on the Wizards books for $14.5 million next season. “I think this team, we have good chemistry. Everybody gets along, we’re always joking and laughing. It’s a good unit.”
Washington Wizards Archives
Bradley Beal will miss the remainder of the season with a stress injury in his right fibula.
John Wall, who missed more than two months with a knee injury, believes Derrick Rose would be better off sitting out the rest of the season as he recovers from May 12 ACL surgery.
Emeka Okafor is due to make $14.48 million and has a player-option with the ability to terminate the deal and hit the free agent market.
John Wall and Russell Westbrook are regarded as two of the most athletics players in the NBA.
John Wall and LaMarcus Aldridge have been named the NBA's Players of the Week.
Shaun Livingston said the lack of structure within the Wizards' organization made it a bad fit for him.
John Wall will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.
John Wall is averaging 16.9 points, 8.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds on 41.5 percent shooting per 36 minutes this season.
After having early struggles this season, Bradley Beal has been a significant contributor and his confidence has followed upward.
John Wall has turned in several poor performances since the All-Star break.
The Clippers and Wizards had an agreement in principle on the eve of the deadline involving a trade of Caron Butler for Trevor Ariza.
The Wizards have agreed to trade Jordan Crawford to the Celtics.
Jordan Crawford's value to the Wizards has decreased with the addition of Bradley Beal.
The Wizards are interested in trading for Josh Smith.
The Hawks are continuing to look for a trade of Josh Smith.
The Wizards have the league’s best defensive efficiency rating with John Wall in their starting lineup.
Both Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal also won the award in December.
Bradley Beal's right wrist is "bothering" him and he is now sporting a protective brace.
John Wall continues to aspire to be one of the best point guards in the NBA.
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The NBA has announced the reserves for the 2013 All-Star Game in Houston.
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