featured-image

Wizney World Blog: Weekend with the Wizards

addByline("Zach Rosen", "WashingtonWizards.com", "ZacharySRosen");

Happy weekend everyone,

I was a bit too swamped yesterday to get something together for everyone, but we’ve got a packed blog post tonight. Whether it be details and footage from Friday’s practice, or all of the off-the-court action on Saturday, we’ve got you covered.

Practice on Friday was in the late afternoon, with Thomas Bryant joining the team on the court for the first time. Bryant participated in only parts of practice while getting his own individual work in with director of player development David Adkins. The team essentially played an intrasquad scrimmage, with the white team of Jerian Grant, Troy Brown Jr., Isaac Bonga, Rui Hachimura, Moe Wagner, and Anzejs Pasecniks narrowly prevailing over the blue team of Ish Smith, Jerome Robinson, Admiral Schofield, Johnathan Williams, and Ian Mahinmi. Check out highlights from the competition below.

During practice, the team announced the signing of Jarrod Uthoff, who joins the Wizards in Orlando as a substitute player. Uthoff (6-9, 221) spent most of the season with the Memphis Hustle (the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate), where he appeared in 34 games (all starts) and averaged 18.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in 34.9 minutes. The 26-year-old was also named to the Western Conference Midseason All-NBA G League Team in February. Uthoff saw limited action in four games with the Memphis Grizzlies after signing a 10-day contract on Feb. 27. He’s a prototypical stretch-four, and there will be minutes to be had at that position without Davis Bertans.

After practice and dinner, I worked on an upcoming project with some of the players, which included sit-down interviews. It was a long day, so I decided to reward myself with a treat. Our freezer has a secret stash of Mickey Mouse themed ice cream bars, and I finally caved with a cookies and cream option.

Saturday was a full off-day for the team, but I still managed to have a busy morning.

At 10:00 A.M., I had an appointment to get my haircut. After pre-selecting a list of 50 barbers, the NBA ended up bringing six barbers to Orlando. Here at the Yacht Club, our barbers are Mohashie “Mo” Rodriguez (from Miami) and Sedric Salinas (from the Bay Area). My appointment was with Mo, who did an awesome job! The vibe they’ve set up in the suite looks great and makes you feel like you really are in a barbershop.

Mo is originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands, where barbers weren’t as appreciated or part of the culture there. He moved to Miami in 2004, working a minimum wage job. He was laid off within a year, but would cut some of his friends’ hair to keep up his craft. After he lost his job, he walked up to a shop and asked about getting a job. They told him he could do a demo on someone, so he went into a Subway next door to find a potential client. Inside, he found a Jamaican man and his son, who trusted him right away as a fellow islander. He impressed enough to get the job, and the two Jamaican men are still his clients to this day.

He eventually opened up his own shop called The Cut Stop Barbershop in Palmetto Bay, FL. He now cuts hair for Rajon Rondo, whose brother Will is heading the whole process here in the bubble, whenever he’s in Miami, Jae Crowder, Kyle Kuzma, Denzel Valentine, Lance Stephenson, and a few others. Moe was great to me and I’ll definitely be back up there again. Follow him on Instagram @Miami_Barber and show him some love.

After my haircut, it was off to another adventure! Hopefully you’ve watched the first two episodes of the Ballin’ in the Bubble vlog with Troy Brown Jr., which is one of the ways we as a team are documenting our experience in Wizney World. On Saturday, we went over to a batting cage turned laundromat on the campus of ESPN World Wide of Sports. The area has 66 washers and dryers, and Brown and myself joined assistant equipment manager Dave Avery to check it out. I won’t give away any more details on what ensued, but look for it in Tuesday’s episode.

Subscribe to Troy Brown Jr.’s YouTube channel here.

<p

During the day, most of the travel party either played golf or went fishing. On Saturday night, the Wizards held a full travel party team dinner and a movie night, catering courtesy of Del Frisco’s. With the unfortunate passing of civil rights activist John Lewis late Friday night, the team decided to watch John Lewis: Good Trouble. Coach Brooks and Admiral Schofield both shared some words prior to watching the documentary.

The 96-minute documentary gave insight into Lewis’s life’s work, one filled with countless obstacles and challenges. From marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to passing civil rights bills in Congress, Lewis will always be one of the most significant leaders in American history. His lasting message was the importance of voting, “the most powerful nonviolent tool we have.”

The Wizards will return to the practice floor on Sunday night, starting at 6:00 P.M. I’ll write to you after that or on Monday!