After the Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pisto…

After the Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, John Wall revealed just how a recent players-only meeting went awry. The session was intended for open and honest dialogue but while some players spoke freely, others shut down. “We had our team meeting,” Wall said Friday. “A couple guys took it the negative way and it hurt our team. Instead of taking it in a positive way like we did in the past and using it to build our team up, it kind of set us back a little bit.”

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Coach Scott Brooks said he never knew about the meeting. Even if he had known, Brooks said he would not have meddled in the players’ discussion or asked how it played out. Without knowing the topics, Brooks has been in the NBA long enough not to be surprised it had gone poorly. “I’ve been in the league 30 years now. There’s been a lot of good meetings, a lot of not-so-good meetings. You just take them for what they are,” Brooks said. “But I’ve never been in a meeting where the issue is not two things: playing together and playing hard. That’s what always the meetings are about. ‘Guys, we’re not playing together. We don’t trust each other. We’re not playing hard.’ ”
"It was tough. I try to keep all our stuff as personal as possible but I think in a way not everybody got a chance to speak whenever they wanted to," Bradley Beal said. "They didn't want to bring up an issue or something they had with a problem with on the team. Regardless of what may be going on, as men we've got to be able to accept what the next man says, be respectful about it and move on from it. I think it was one of those situations where we didn't necessarily get everything that we wanted to get accomplished. "Honestly, it was probably - I won't say pointless," Beal continued, "but we didn't accomplish what we needed to accomplish in that meeting."
The Vertical: The Hornets have broken their franchise record for points in a half with 77. Charlotte is shooting 31-48 (64.6%) from the field and the Hornets are 7-14 from behind the arc [against the Washington Wizards] 😮
The perception of the Wizards from the outside and within their own locker room at the midway point of this 2017-18 season perhaps says a lot about how the expectations are higher than they have been for this franchise in quite some time. After 41 games, exactly the halfway point, the Wizards are 23-18. Over the course of a full 82-game schedule that would amount to 46 wins. Considering that this team has only won 46 games or more twice since the 1978-79 season, that's not bad at all. But the Wizards have reached a new era where simply being good isn't good enough. When asked to grade the first half, head coach Scott Brooks and his players all offered marks within the C to B range. What held them back from As is the fact they have lost many games they feel they should have won.
The Wizards have had consistency issues in years past, but this is an unusual split. Past records show they are generally very good against lesser teams. "I know y’all are tired of hearing it and I’m tired of saying it," John Wall said. "Until we prove that we can do it on a nightly basis, we’re going to have these same conversations.”
Candace Buckner: More Brooks: “The starters gotta come in and give us effort.” Once again, Brooks sparingly played his starting frontcourt through the second half.
After Gortat proclaimed the team’s reserves “one of the worst benches in the league right now” following Washington’s seventh loss in nine games Saturday against Chicago, Brooks and Gortat stood together in front of the team before practice Monday. Gortat apologized, and Brooks preached unity to a team that can’t afford to waste energy pointing fingers. “I look at things from a whole, because this is how — when I played, I was a backup, and I didn’t like to be divided,” Brooks said. “We don’t have two teams here, we have one basketball team, and right now we’re not happy and content on being 2-7.”
“And I wouldn’t have begged him to come back,” Wall interjected. “I would’ve been, ‘Don’t come back because in two years, I ain’t coming back.’ We would’ve figured something out. … I think everybody blew it out of proportion for no reason. I mean, if you look at any two great teammates, and two young, great guys, that’s talented and want to be great, you’re going to have ups and downs. Everything is not going to be perfect.”
“My individual goal is to add [Beal] to the All-Star game with me. I feel like if he’s not there, then I didn’t do my job of leading the team,” Wall told The Vertical. “We’ve proved it. I ain’t an All-Star if he ain’t playing. Simple as that. We’ve had arguments in games. You’re going to do that. But if I can put that to the side, see him wide open and make that pass … and if I don’t make that pass and take that shot …”
J. Michael Falgoust: John Wall: "Yeah, it's a wasted season to me" #WizardsTalk @CSNWizards
Storyline: Washington Wizards Turmoil?
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July 28, 2021 | 12:24 pm EDT Update
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul is continuing to put the spotlight on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the arrival of a new college basketball tournament, The Undefeated has learned. Paul and the Basketball Hall of Fame have partnered in the development of the Chris Paul HBCU Tip-Off on Nov. 22-23 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The two-day doubleheader will feature HBCUs Morehouse College, Virginia Union, West Virginia State and Winston-Salem State. The games are also expected to be televised nationally, a source said.
“This is a great honor to be invited to the Chris Paul HBCU Tip-Off with some of the best HBCUs in the country. It will also be a great opportunity for our young men to tour the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, right after my teammate and Virginia Union’s very own Ben Wallace goes into the Hall of Fame in September. I would like to thank Chris Paul for continuing to give HBCUs the opportunity to showcase our prestigious schools on the biggest stage,” Virginia Union coach Jay Butler said in a statement.
Kevin Love: Question: Why the f*ck can’t we be accepting or even open to the idea of someone breaking down to have a breakthrough? People are scared of facing their insecurities and perceived weaknesses (me being one of them)…and let’s be real, EVERYONE has their own set. This is because we use these insecurities and weaknesses against each other!!! What I’ve found and believe to be the truth is that once your insecurities are out in the open, this becomes your weapon, therefore disarming everyone else. YOU CAN’T USE ME AGAINST ME.
Storyline: Mental Health
Kevin Love: Understand this 👉🏼… by being open about your struggles, you flip vulnerabilities into victories. The mental freedom comes in knowing once you put yourself out there, the other side is a reward of community and belonging. To Simone and others who have openly shared their story…You are helping many. Continue to lean into discomfort and vulnerability. Don’t deny your story — defy the ending. To those who aren’t venturing out into the “Arena”…we are all raised to believe emotions aren’t worthy of our attention. I recall reading a fitting term once: “emotion-phobic.” This isn’t a way to live. Your perspectives are understood but NO ONE benefits from withholding compassion. We are tribal beings. Why don’t we start acting like it?