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August 21, 2014 Updates

Drew Gooden will not be able to represent Finland in the upcoming FIBA World Cup because his application for dual citizenship will not be cleared in time for the tournament, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Wizards big man, whose mother is Finnish, was not on the 12-man roster Finland submitted Wednesday for the competition, according to reports out of Finland. The tournament will begin Aug. 30 in Spain. Finland’s first game will be against the United States. Washington Post

In a recent phone interview, Gooden explained that he grew up with his father, Andrew, in Oakland, Calif., but made summer-long trips to Finland every two years to spend time with his mother’s family. He roamed his grandparents’ farm — situated about four hours north of the Finnish capital of Helsinki — milking cows, hunting, fishing, and tending to chicken coops. The biennial visits left an impression on Gooden, who identifies as Finnish. “Half of my family is still over there and I communicate with them all the time,” said Gooden, whose father met Lear while playing professional basketball in Finland. “So it’s like I have time spent there. It’s not like I’m doing this because I just happen to be half-Finnish. No, I really actually have ties to Finland and the culture.” Washington Post

But the situation was complicated because Gooden played for Team USA in a tournament in Brazil in 2000 while attending Kansas and he had never applied for dual citizenship before. He waited until this spring to begin the paperwork process — he recalled starting on it during the Wizards’ first-round playoff series victory over the Bulls — because he held out hope of representing the United States again. Washington Post

August 20, 2014 Updates
August 18, 2014 Updates

Here's what we know: Paul Pierce has put out a photo on Instagram showing the veteran NBA star on a private jet, seated next to Al Pacino. The Oscar-winning actor recently performed a one-man show in Las Vegas. The caption says only, "Bosses chillin." So we don't know how the two ended up on the plane together or where it was headed or whether they were just about to dig into the fruit plate sitting in front of them. FoxSports.com

August 13, 2014 Updates
August 12, 2014 Updates

The Washington Wizards announced today the team’s eight-game 2014 preseason schedule, which includes three home games at Verizon Center. The team’s exhibition slate is highlighted by the second annual Baltimore Classic against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Baltimore Arena on Oct. 20. The game in Baltimore marks the team’s second consecutive preseason game played in Charm City following last season’s sellout game against the New York Knicks. Prior to last season’s Baltimore Classic, the Wizards had not played in Baltimore since 1999. Washington will begin its preseason action with a rematch against their 2014 first round playoff opponent the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 6 at United Center. The Wizards defeated the Bulls 4-1 in the first round of the 2014 Eastern Conference Playoffs. The team will then head to Jacksonville, FL, where they will face the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 8 and then travel to Greenville, SC, where they will take on the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 10. The Wizards return to Verizon Center for three straight home games when they host Detroit on Oct. 12, Maccabi Haifa on Oct. 15 and Charlotte on Oct. 17. Maccabi Haifa plays in the Winner Sal League, the top basketball league in Israel, where they won a league championship in 2012-13 and were runners up in 2013-14. Washington will head north on Oct. 20 for the Baltimore Classic and wrap up their preseason schedule in New York with a game against the Knicks on Oct. 22. NBA.com

"Last week I finally started feeling comfortable about it rather than just sitting here, waiting to see if I would sign with the Wizards. Would it before training camp or after training camp? I had to make a decision. There were other (NBA) offers out there but it wasn't with teams that were going to win. At this point in my career I can't be playing just to play. I've got to be playing for something. Playing for the Wizards I think we -- I mean, they -- had a chance to come out of the East. Maybe when I come back from China I can join them for the rest of the season. That's where I got my fingers crossed, hoping it'll happen." CSNWashington.com

August 11, 2014 Updates

The Chicago Bulls announced today their 2014-15 preseason schedule. This preseason, Chicago will play eight games, including four home games at the United Center. Chicago will tip off its preseason on Monday, Oct. 6, when they take on the Washington Wizards at the United Center at 7:00 p.m. (CT). The Bulls will then travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. (CT). NBA.com

August 10, 2014 Updates

Point guards Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry are considered Team USA roster locks. That left Wall, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving, who played at Duke under Krzyzewski, competing for 1-2 spots. As the odd man out, Wall now has a new source of motivation heading into the upcoming season. "Yeah, definitely, always. You want to make every team you try out for. When you don’t, it’s more motivation for me. "Not even (against) just those (Team USA point guards), but the NBA, period. I guess I’m overlooked again. I guess have to prove myself one more time." CSNWashington.com

 

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