Summer League Day 5 — Crazy Kelly, Clutch Eddie, Trevor Booker, and a Bullets Cameo | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Summer League Day 5 — Crazy Kelly, Clutch Eddie, Trevor Booker, and a Bullets Cameo

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Updated: July 13, 2016
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John Wall and Garrett Temple talk during Washington’s game versus Brooklyn. (Photo – A.Rubin)

Washington’s summer league game against Brooklyn was a reunion of sorts for the 2013-14 Wizards: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Garrett Temple, and Trevor Booker were all sitting courtside. There were even rumors at the start of free agency that Washington was interested in re-acquiring Booker before he signed with the Nets.

I spoke with Trevor during the game and he confirmed the Wizards were on a short list of suitors, but he did not seem enthusiastic about a potential reunion. When asked if he would have returned to Washington under the right circumstances, Booker paused, flashed a wide smile, and said, “I am happy to be in Brooklyn.”

As for the game, it was about as exciting a finish as you can get in summer league action with Jarell Eddie hitting a game-winning layup with 0.1 seconds remaining. Rashad Mobley has the game recap and I have some behind-the-scenes highlights from inside Cox Pavilion below.

You May be Right, Kelly May be Crazy

Kelly Oubre is always talking on the court, but he raised his intensity to a new level against Brooklyn. It started with some trash talk to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and continued towards any Nets player who crossed his path. Oubre chirped at the refs as well, prompting one exasperated zebra to admonish: “That’s enough.”

Oubre’s antics reached comical heights when he knocked Brooklyn’s 6-foot-10 center Egidijus Mockevicius to the floor and extended his hand to help the big man up before quickly pulling it away at the last second á la a “too slow” fake out. One of Mockevicius’ teammates did not take too kindly to Oubre’s gesture and brushed Kelly aside while helping up the big man.

Kelly insisted after the game that his snub was not intentional: “I didn’t mean to do that because I thought he was on my team. I thought it was one of my big guys that got knocked down. I saw him and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ His teammate kind of came over and checked me. It is what it is.”

Even John Wall and Bradley Beal, who were sitting courtside during Washington’s furious fourth-quarter comeback, questioned Oubre’s sanity. After Oubre let out a guttural scream imploring his teammates to continue their rally, Beal started laughing and looked over at Wall, who pointed his finger at his head and circled it a few times as if to say, “This kid is crazy.”

Coach Sidney Lowe said after the game he has no problem with Oubre’s running commentary on the court, so I expect it will continue throughout the summer league tournament:

“Whatever floats their boat. If that’s what he needs to do to keep himself going or communicate with his teammates, I would never tell a guy stop talking. As long as the guy that’s talking is out there doing what he’s talking about—you can’t talk it if you are not going to walk it. But he plays hard so he’s able to talk to his teammates and try to push them along.”

The Next Dennis Rodman?

Kelly Oubre was asked a strange question after the game that began with the (possibly made up) premise that Dennis Rodman told the reporter that if anyone was going to be the next sex symbol in the NBA, it would be Kelly.

Oubre assured the reporter that basketball is his main priority, but allowed that “If it happens, it happens. I’ll take it on with full responsibility.”

Eddie Expanding his Repertoire

Jarell Eddie said after the game he would like to show that he is more than a spot-up shooter:

“I am trying to work on as many things as possible in the off-season—finishing around the rim, and on the defensive end, pressuring guys and keeping guys in front of me. So, it’s a whole bunch of things that I am trying to be better at.”

Whereas Eddie struggled with ball-handling and passing at times during the first two games, his hard work paid off against Brooklyn. Eddie had a nice driving finish in the lane and came off a curl for a midrange jump shot on at least one possession. He followed Oubre’s lead and stepped up his defense in the final minutes, culminating with his game-ending steal and layup with 0.1 seconds remaining. This was exactly the type of effort Eddie needs to secure a roster spot and wrestle precious minutes away from the veteran Marcus Thornton.

Bullets Throwback

Fans arriving early to the Wizards-Nets game were greeted with a strange sight on the scoreboard: the “Bullets” were listed as the visiting team. I assumed it was a throwback game but no team representatives I spoke to were aware of any promotion.

Alas, the scoreboard was corrected a few minutes later. We may never know the origin of the scoreboard faux paus, but we’ll always have those five minutes in Las Vegas when the franchise was restored to its rightful namesake.

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An unfortunate end to the Bullets era in Las Vegas. (Photo – A.Rubin)

Adam Rubin on EmailAdam Rubin on Twitter
Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.