Nick Young is being sued for sexual assault by a woman for an incident that occurred in West Hollywood in 2011. Young allegedly bought champagne for the woman and her friend, and then slipped the date rape drug gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid into the beverage because her memory of the evening ended shortly thereafter. Young admitted to the woman the next morning that he had sex with her but then stopped when she passed out. The woman was bleeding from her vagina and rectum. When Young took the woman home, she then went to the UCLA Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, where she took a rape kit and was tested for STDs. Young is being sued for sexual battery, sexual assault and false imprisonment. Young spent the 12-13 NBA season with the Philadelphia 7ers and will be a free agent this offseason. Via TMZ
The Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards had an agreement in principle on the eve of the deadline involving a trade of Caron Butler for Trevor Ariza, according to sources. Donald Sterling rejected the trade a few hours before the deadline in fear of ruining the team's chemistry. Butler continues to have a home in the Washington D.C. area, while Ariza would have given the Clippers a wing defender with length. Via David Aldridge/NBA.com
The Atlanta Hawks are continuing to look for a trade of Josh Smith. The Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards, amongst others, are involved in Smith trade talks. Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports
Although Memphis Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien recently declined to comment on persistent trade rumors surrounding the team, Rudy Gay is likely to stay with the organization through this season, according to a person with knowledge of those conversations. The Grizzlies have entertained the Washington Wizards' offer for Gay. The crux of the Wizards' proposal would be the Grizzlies receiving rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal in a larger package. The proposals for Zach Randolph -- who's also been in trade speculation -- have been even weaker. Via Ronald Tillery/Memphis Commercial Appeal
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived guard Shelvin Mack. Mack, who signed as a free agent with Washington on December 25, 2012, appeared in seven games, including two starts, and averaged 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 20.1 minutes per contest. Mack was originally selected by Washington with the 34th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and appeared in training camp with the Wizards this season before being waived on October 28. He spent the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League prior to re-signing with the Wizards on December 25. The team’s roster now stands at 14 players.
John Wall will have his left knee examined on Friday in New York as the Washington Wizards aim to get a specific timetable for his return, sources said. The Wizards have remained unclear about the status of Wall, who has yet to play this season because of a stress injury in his left patella. Via Chris Broussard/ESPN (Twitter)
Durant’s insane almost posterization of Andray Blatche
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived center/forward Brian Cook and guard Shelvin Mack. Cook was originally traded to Washington along with Nene on March 15, 2012 as part of a three-team deal that sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver and Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers. He was re-signed by Washington on September 17, 2012. In 16 games with the Wizards last season, Cook averaged 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting .408 from the field. He averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in seven games during the 2012 preseason. Mack was originally selected by Washington with the 34th overall pick in 2011 NBA Draft. In 64 games during his rookie campaign, he averaged 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes per contest. Mack averaged 4.1 points in eight games during the 2012 preseason. The Wizards' roster now stands at 15.
Martell Webster sees more of Dwyane Wade's game in Bradley Beal than he even does Ray Allen, whom the Washington Wizards' rookie most often uses as a comparison. "He says he wants to compare himself to Ray Allen, but he has a little more flash than Ray Allen. I’d say he has a little of The Flash — [Dwyane] Wade — in him," Webster said. "He can slash, put it on the floor, and make contact. That’s big. When you can establish yourself at the free throw line seven, eight times a game, that’s a big difference. He’s got it. He’s still a rookie. He’s learning the basics. If he keeps watching the players that he admires, take little bits and add them to himself, he’ll be a star in this league." Beal is averaging a team-best 16.5 points through the first two games as a reserve.
New Brooklyn Nets’ Andray Blatche’s Summer mixtape | The infamous almost triple double against Nets
Kevin Seraphin's Roadblocks And Opportunities By: Jonathan Tjarks One of the most interesting parts about international tournaments is the chance to see players in a new environment and with a different role than on their NBA teams. As usual, Team USA is stocked with All-Stars up and down their lineup in the London Olympics, but many young international players have a chance to make a name for themselves over the next two weeks. The biggest difference between 1992 and 2012 isn’t the quality of the American team, it’s the quality of the rest of the world. There were only a handful of NBA players on international teams in Barcelona; in London, teams that aren’t guaranteed a spot on the medal stand have NBA players coming off their bench. France was soundly defeated by Team USA in their Olympic opener on Sunday, with Tony Parker, Nic Batum, Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf all held in check by the stifling American defense. For the most part, the French know what they are going to get from their veterans; their X-factor is Kevin Seraphin, a talented young big man from the Washington Wizards who comes off their bench. He had a disappointing game on Sunday, going 1-5 with three points, one rebound, one block and four personal fouls in only seven minutes. However, he still showed glimpses of a multi-faceted game in match-ups against Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler, receiving the same type of high-level international experience that Serge Ibaka used to grow his game playing for Spain. Seraphin, a wide-bodied 6’9, 265 big man with a 7’3 wingspan, was selected No. 17 overall by the Wizards in the 2010 NBA Draft. As a 21-year-old rookie, he struggled to receive consistent minutes, but he began to earn a bigger role with Washington in 2011, when he averaged 7.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on 53% shooting in 20 minutes a night. He’s the rare young big man comfortable scoring with his back to the basket, and his wide base and long arms allow him to establish deep post position. With France trying to run offense through him on the second unit, he hit a smooth turn-around jumper over Love, drew a foul on a quick hook shot and sealed him in front of the rim, an easy dunk if the French guards had found him. Just as importantly, he has the athleticism to finish over the top of NBA defenders, which is often the Achilles heel of 6’9 post players (see: Sullinger, Jared) at the highest level. In the second half, he back-rimmed a dunk off a pick-and-roll that would have put several American players on a poster. He also showed the ability to pass out of a double team, hitting a cutter who drew a foul in the paint in the first half. However, Seraphin is far from a finished product, especially on the defensive end. Like many young players, he can lose focus on that side of the floor, which both Chandler and Love exploited to get him into foul trouble. Reaching and grabbing when out of position is the quickest way to pick up fouls on the interior, a problem for Seraphin in both the Olympics and the NBA. The biggest question about his future is his defensive position. At 6’9, he’s a "4.5": undersized as a center but without the foot-speed to defend small-ball power forwards 20+ feet from the basket. His strength and wingspan should allow him to survive on the post, but he may be best suited for a role as the first big big man off the bench. In many ways, the player he most resembles is his biggest competition for playing time next season in Washington: Emeka Okafor, whom the Wizards acquired from the New Orleans Hornets in a draft-day deal. While he could learn a lot about being a professional from Okafor, at a certain point, the best way for a young player to learn is doing not watching. Washington will pay the 30-year-old Okafor $27 million over the next two seasons to block the development of a 23-year-old who can give them prediction as good, if not better. Per-36 minutes, the two had nearly identical numbers last season: 12 points, 10 rebounds and 1 block (Okafor) vs. 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks (Seraphin), both on 53% shooting. Minutes are going to be hard to come by in the Wizards frontcourt in 2012 as they try to make a playoff push in John Wall’s third season. They have three veteran starters (Okafor, Nene and Trevor Ariza) in front of two combo forwards from the 2011 draft (Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton) and two more traditional big men from 2010 -- Seraphin and Trevor Booker. The French frontcourt, with Turiaf, Diaw and longtime European veteran Ali Traore, is nearly as crowded. However, Seraphin has the best combination of athleticism, size and scoring ability of the four. If he can stay out of foul trouble and play solid positional defense, his post scoring could get on France on the medal stand. It might open up some eyes on the other side of the Atlantic as well.
The 10 Young Players Most Likely To Become All-Stars In 2013 JaVale McGee is # 8 John Wall is # 4
John Wall’s Breakout – The Animated Story An extremely guard-heavy lineup meant Washington Wizards PG John Wall didn’t even get a chance at an Olympic appearance with Team USA this summer, but judging by the last time JW13 got overlooked so badly, he’ll be a key component of the 2016 squad. Serious basketball fans remember that Wall was relatively unknown before his surprising performance at the appropriately named Reebok Breakout Underclassman Camp. Wall had a Michael Jordan-like awakening a short while earlier, having been cut from the varsity squad and heading to the Chicago camp as a last-ditch effort to salvage a promising career. So he went from JV reject to the nation’s top recruit, all the while wearing a ‘look at me’ mohawk that served notice to his critics: John Wall’s is a talent that must be seen on the biggest stage. Check out the James Blagden-animated video in full after the jump and let us know how this one compares to the other inspirational stories we so love about sports.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist believes the Wizards will be a playoff-caliber team if they select him with the third pick in the draft. "I mean, with John [Wall] and Nene? I think it’s a playoff team," Kidd-Gilchrist said, matter-of-factly, when asked how he would fit in Washington. Next season? "I mean, I guess. I think it’s a playoff team," Kidd-Gilchrist said. Kidd-Gilchrist is no stranger to winning, having won a state title in high school, a gold medal at the FIBA Under-17 world championships and a national championship at Kentucky. "I want to win games," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "That’s what I’m about."
Space Cadet JaVale Mcgee
By Sean Sweeney Gary Williams is on that water. He has to be. There’s no other explanation. In an argument that’s increasingly going from annoying to downright stupid, Williams actually agreed with a few talking heads that Kentucky could beat the Washington Wizards. A college team beating an NBA squad. ESPN 980’s Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro were going back and forth on the topic, and called in Williams to be the tiebreaker. Color me shocked. Sheehan and Loverro set the stage: the Wizards are in Rupp Arena on their third game in three nights. Everyone’s healthy. Everyone’s hungry to not be embarrassed. They called Williams in, and the Maryland legend said this according to The Washington Post: "I’ll tell you, you walk into some gyms — and that would be one of them, Rupp Arena — and you better be tough," Williams said. "Regardless of how good you are, you can get taken right out of the game with the crowd. You just don’t feel right, you can’t play your game. "I think one game — Kentucky couldn’t play in the NBA or anything like that — but one game at Rupp Arena, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kentucky win one game. Because you’re gonna have five players off that team playing in the NBA, and probably playing significant roles in the NBA. And that’s why I say that, for one game." I don’t dislike Kentucky. In fact, I love watching them play because 1) they don’t make as many stupid mistakes as most college teams and 2) they have some really talented guys who play together and go hard. But it’s one thing to crush the spirit from Pierre Jackson and Quincy Miller. It’s quite another to beatdown John Wall and Nene. Of course, people will say "Well, if this happened and this happened and this happened, then maybe, MAYBE, you never know… I think Kentucky could win one game." But that doesn’t count. Okay so John Wall gets hurt and Nene gets into foul trouble or Jordan Crawford does his "Jordan" thing… that doesn’t really count. That’s like myself saying I could beat Kobe Bryant one-on-one if I forced him to only shoot half-court shots (Actually, he’d still find a way to win.). There are so many fans out there who are delusional. And history revisionists. Remember John Wall at Kentucky? He was twice the player Marquis Teague is, and is twice as good now that he’s throwing up 20/10s in the NBA. Trevor Booker was a man at Clemson. Shelvin Mack helped lead Butler to back-to-back Final Fours, and he can barely get minutes off the bench; Last year at this time in college, he was dropping 16 a game. Anthony Davis is going to be really good, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t believe Nene could get 20 and 10 on him. Nene gets 20 and 10 on NBA PLAYERS. Even Andray Blatche – who is (if you go just by his reputation) lazy, overweight and doesn’t care one bit about basketball – could destroy any big man in college basketball. But because he’s Andray Blatche, people can’t envision him destroying anyone. The Bobcats are a far worse team than the Wizards, and yet they have Kemba Walker, who’s only a role player. Remember last year? Dude was possibly the best player in college basketball, and now he’s not even a full-time starter on the worst team in the NBA. Tyrus Thomas has a reputation for being a complete bust, but don’t even start me on what he did in college. We’re all jumping ahead of ourselves. Is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist a future All-Star? Not definitively. Could he be? Possibly. The odds say probably not. But as of right now, he’s just as likely to be Jared Jeffries as Gerald Wallace (Of course, if he were to become a bust, six years from now, you won’t be able to find a single person who will recall calling him a future stud.). These are the facts: for the most part, NBA players are already finished products. College players aren’t. Yes okay, maybe if you played 100 games, Kentucky might have a shot to win a few. Maybe. But you could say that about virtually anything. My sister could take me one-on-one once out of every 100 times we played if I didn’t try and got bored. In a scenario like this, I’m betting on the Wizards 100 times out of 100.
The Bucks are now willing to listen to trade offers they receive from rival teams in regards to Andrew Bogut, according to sources. Sources say the Bucks will only entertain trades from teams willing to take back Stephen Jackson. Bogut is likely to remain with the Bucks, however, because he is currently out with a fractured left ankle. "The price (for Bogut) is high," one interested suitor told ESPN.com this week. The Wizards are among the teams most interested in Bogut, according to sources. Via Marc Stein/ESPN
Trevor Booker’s Monster Slam on Aaron Gray and the Raptors
By Sean Sweeney Already this year, we’ve seen Washington get embarrassed at home in a preseason game and now they’ve lose their opener to the New Jersey Nets after going up 36-12 in the first half. Afterwards, disagreements between players and coaches spilled into the media; Andray Blatche ripped Flip Saunders‘ play-calling and offense after he heard some remarks from the coach that appeared to be directed at him. Sound familiar? With a talented group completely devoid of leadership, these first few weeks of basketball have me worried all over again about that team in Washington. They should be turning a corner this year. But first, they have to get over themselves. Blatche played 39 minutes and went 5-for-13 from the floor for 11 points and eight boards, but complained loudly after the game that he needed the ball on the block more often, despite going only 2-for-6 from nine feet and in. Blatche told The Washington Post: "I said that I need the ball in the paint to be effective. You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jump shots. Give me the ball in the paint. That’s what I’m most effective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp — I need the ball in the paint. I don’t want to be the pick and pop guy that I used to be. Because it’s not working for me. I’m not saying the offense has to flow through me, but I prefer to be in the paint." Saunders complained of selfish play and that some of his players were trying to do it all themselves instead of focusing on making it work together. A few of Blatche’s teammates didn’t exactly take their big man’s side either. John Wall reportedly was confused by Blatche’s anger and said in practice, Blatche gets the ball in pick-n-pop situations as well as on the block. It’s only up to the play being called. Nick Young also said he felt Blatche was taking everything a little too personally now that the big man was really intent on being a leader. Blatche is really trying to make a change in the Wizards’ culture, but all in all this team is running in circles right now. With all of the talent they have – Blatche, Wall, Young, JaVale McGee, Jordan Crawford – hopefully they can focus. Just as they could’ve easily blown out New Jersey by 30 and no one would’ve batted an eye, the Wizards are ripe for collapses like this because they do play so up and down. Just one regular season game into the year, it’s clear: Without a turn in attitude, what might be the league’s most immature team could be in for yet another disappointing season.
NASTY DUNK JUST NASTY
Let me string you along. I’m talking really unknown… like not even David Kahn is talking about this cat right now (and he’s willing to go after old men in the draft who change their names). You could call this the end of the road, but the journey never really began. Not with the lockout this summer and fall, and not with a season-ending foot injury last year. He’s a dunking machine, and in one of the most anticipated showcase games during this lockout, he stole the show. So why isn’t anyone talking about Terrico White? Probably because he just became a free agent last night.
The Official John Wall Lockout Mixtape
The Lakers will monitor "amnesty" situations to add to their team. Both Baron Davis and Rashard Lewis are candidates that they would be interested in signing that may get waived by their current clubs. Via Los Angeles Times
JaVale McGee Shows You His Offseason Workout
Dave Checketts, former president of the Jazz and Knicks, said on ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City that he hears the players and owners have reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. Checketts was recently hired as a consultant to Tom Gores, new owner of the Pistons. Checketts is known as being very close to David Stern. Newsday's Alan Hahn, reporting from where labor talks are ongoing, says a deal has not been struck from what he has heard. A source tells Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick that a deal has not been reached, but reasons for optimism continues.
By Michael Lee As a Nike athlete, Nick Young wasn’t allowed to wear any other sneaker when he suited up for the Wizards. And on game nights and practices, Young always preferred to wear Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes, fancying the light feel and the design, which he usually personalized with strange color schemes and ordered from his personal computer. If that’s how you feel, Nick... Since his Nike deal allows him to wear other shoes off the floor, Young often has on a pair of Jordans or Louis Vuitton sneakers below his skinny jeans. But now it appears that Young plans to ditch at least one of those shoe brands after Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan emerged as one of the hardest of hard-line NBA owners that are looking to bury the players’ union in the next collection bargaining agreement. The league has given the union until Wednesday to accept a proposal that would give them a "band" between 49 percent and 51 percent of basketball-related income - or get a much worse offer, including a hard salary cap, later. Jordan is reportedly behind a push to offer the players no more than 47 percent, which prompted Young to take a stand. Young wrote on his Twitter account, @NickSwagyPYoung, "im not wearin jordans no more cant believe what i just seen and heard from MJ #ElvisDoneLeftTheBuilding." Jordan’s stance was bound to rile up a current generation of players that grew up idolizing him and wearing his fashionable line of shoes. Jordan isn’t just any owner looking for a favorable deal, he’s a former player who fought on behalf of the union in previous disputes and runs the Jordan Brand shoe subsidiary of Nike that employs several of the league’s superstars, including Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. So, Young can scratch that Jumpman endorsement off the list. Though a few players made comments about Jordan on Twitter — Indiana Pacers guard Paul George called Jordan a "straight hypocrite" — when talks stalled on Saturday, Young is the only player to announce that he would boycott his shoe brand. Young has long been a fan of Jordans, once telling Dan Steinberg that the Jordan IXs, issued in 1993, were his all-time favorite growing up. But when asked on Monday if he preferred Kobes now anyway, Young replied, "Yep!!!" http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/295850_10150933923555171_895205170_21822796_1403805975_n.jpg
By Jaimie Canterbury Last week, John Wall hit the streets of New York City to celebrate the release of his new signature shoe, the Reebok Zig Encore. After all the commotion died down, we got a chance to catch up with John to chat about his new kicks, the Wizards and Kentucky’s chances this season. *** *** *** Dime: How does the Zig Encore compare to the ZigTech Slash you wore in your first season? John Wall: It’s a big difference. It’s a lighter shoe. The Zig Encore is a lot lower, it has a gum bottom and it has my new logo on it as well. Dime: Last year, Reebok released a super limited "Gold Rush" edition of ZigTech Slash. Can we expect to see a Zig Encore release as special as that this year? JW: Yeah, we’ve got some big things on the way. Whenever the season starts and I get a chance to play at Madison Square Garden, we’re gonna do another shoe. Dime: How do you like the Wizards’ new uniforms? JW: I love ‘em. They’re red, white and blue so they’re perfect for D.C. They resemble the American flag since D.C is the nation’s capital. Also I think that with a new team, in order for us to start over, win some games and become a playoff team, you need a new look. I think the colors are perfect. Dime: The Wizards picked up some promising new talent in the draft this year between Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton. Have you gotten the opportunity to play with either of them yet? JW: I’ve gotten to play a few pickup games with Chris, but haven’t gotten the chance to get on the court with Jan yet. Dime: How do you think they can contribute to making the Wizards a better team next season? JW: I think Chris is going to be a huge factor in helping us out next season. He’s about 6-8, 6-9, and can really run the floor well. He’s very athletic and he can really defend. That’s just the type of player we need to help us win games. I haven’t gotten to see too much of Vesely yet, but I know he can dunk. So I look forward to seeing him catch a lot of alleys and maybe even entering the dunk contest. Dime: This summer you were tearing it up in leagues all over the country. What was the most exciting game you played in? JW: The most exciting game for me was the Drew League vs. Goodman League game. We got a battle going on right now. The series is at 1-1 right now, so we gotta play a sudden death match to see who the best team is. Dime: When will that be? JW: I dunno. I think we’re gonna do it in Vegas sometime soon. If the lockout ends anytime soon it’ll probably have to be next year sometime. Dime: The "Lockout League" in Vegas was crazy. Tell us a little about that experience. JW: It was great, man. I just came from my birthday weekend turning 21, so I was really enjoying myself at the time. I was just having fun out there learning from guys like Chauncey Billups, Kyle Lowry and those guys. I just love playing basketball, so it was a great experience. Dime: Last question. What do you think about Kentucky’s team this season? JW: I think they’ve got a great team. Coach Cal has had great teams for the past three years. We fell short my year, last year’s team made it to the Final Four, so hopefully this team can get Coach Cal the championship.
By Aron Phillips Sometimes when you’re putting together an issue it takes on a life of its own. That’s definitely the case for Dime #66. Typically this would be our NBA Preview Issue, looking at all the stars and storylines for the upcoming year. But with the 2011-12 NBA season indefinitely on hold until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, a central theme began to arise while we were planning. What we’ve dubbed The Breakout Issue features the rising stars from the NBA, college and high school ranks that are primed to breakout this season. Ever since our first issue 10 years ago, we’ve made it our mission to tell the stories that need to be told – not just the ones that we’re supposed to. And like that first issue with Allen Iverson on the cover, we’re leading off with a point guard that is poised to change the game as we know it, and become the NBA’s next breakout star: John Wall. On three separate occasions, we spent time with Washington’s favorite son, getting unprecedented access with arguably the game’s most exciting player. And the scary thing is that he just celebrated his 21st birthday. After one season in the League – and a summer of destroying everyone that stood in his way to the rim – Wall has already entered the echelon of NBA point guards that includes the likes of Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Russell Westbrook. Four years ago, Wall was an unknown, unranked high school basketball player who drove 18 hours from Raleigh, N.C., to showcase his talents at the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Chicago. Thankfully for all of us, he’s primed to breakout again.
Sneak Peek: John Wall Reebok Zig Encore Commercial
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