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John Wall uses social media to spotlight missing black kids in D.C.

John Wall uses social media to spotlight missing black kids in D.C.

Wizards star John Wall is from Raleigh, North Carolina, but engages with the D.C. community as his own. In fact, last season he won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his good works.

Like many residents in and around the District, Wall has been alarmed at the reports of "critical missing" children, many of them black girls, all over social media. 

He shared his concern and prayers for their safe return on Instagram.

🙏they are found safe and sound

A post shared by johnwall (@johnwall) on

Ultimately, the information in the viral post he shared was inaccurate, according to NBC4, but it reflects the escalating urgency on social media over D.C.'s missing children. 

An exact number of missing is tough to nail down because reports are filed daily and people are often found quickly. The most recent figure provided by the Metropolitan Police Department is 22 cases of missing juveniles, most of them black or latino, still active in D.C.

That update came at a March 22 town hall meeting in Southeast, where Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the community's fears on the issue.

The MPD insists the number of missing kids has not risen; instead, awareness has increased since law enforcement began sharing their images and last-known whereabouts on social media.

Newsham said that even though there aren't more missing children than usual, it doesn't mean there isn't a problem. Via WUSA9:

"The disturbing fact is that we do have that many kids who go missing in our city. And, it's been that way for a long time."

Then on Thursday, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond issued a letter, obtained by the Associated Press, asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey for help in locating the kids. 

It seems clear that social media platforms, including those of celebrities like Wall, are bringing fresh attention to an issue that might be old, but is as urgent as any we face. 

MORE WIZARDS: What has changed for Otto Porter?

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Wizards owner Ted Leonsis agrees with Adam Silver that resting players hurts product

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis agrees with Adam Silver that resting players hurts product

After two recent incidents of teams resting multiple starters during nationally televised games, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to teams calling the strategy "an extremely significant issue for our league." 

The gist of his argument was that resting stars damages the fan experience and the game product for broadcast partners. Silver warned that teams that don't provide adequate notice before resting players would incurr penalties. 

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis seems to be in the commissioner's corner on this issue. Appearing on CNBC this morning, Leonsis said he, too, was concerned about how resting star players could damage the NBA's product. 

"I responded immediately to Adam and said, 'Just put the Washington Wizards on national television and I'll make sure our players show up,'" Leonsis joked.

"I think it's an honor to play on national TV. I was chairman of the media committee for the NBA and the networks paid a lot of money for the programming and they want to drive ratings," he said. "They deserve to have our best product out there and the best players. And so I empathize and support where our commissioner took a stand here."

As for what can be done to curb teams from giving healthy starters a night off, Leonsis said he wouldn't necessarily advocate for a rule change. 

"It's a slippery slope if you put a rule out because if a player is hurt or a player is banged up, he should be able to sit out. You have all sorts of issues around the CBA and what's in the best interests of the player," he said, before reiterating that there has to be a line drawn somewhere. "I do think when you sit out three players arbitrarily in the main game for the game of the week, then that's probably inappropriate."

Still, it seems the owner is very much on the same page as his players. Wall said last week that he's not fond of the resting idea, in part because he hates to disappoint the fans. That it's even an issue in today's NBA is evidence that the league is becoming "softer," he said. 

MORE WIZARDS: Oubre, Smith give hope to Wizards' improving 2nd unit

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Celtics to rest superstar Isaiah Thomas ahead of huge game vs. Wizards

Celtics to rest superstar Isaiah Thomas ahead of huge game vs. Wizards

On Monday, March 20, the Wizards and Celtics meet in the finale of their competative, contentious regular-season series

While not yet true rivals, the Wizards and Celtics made it clear that the two teams do not like each other, and the previous matchups accentuated this fact.

With the two teams fighting for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Monday night game will be of utmost importance, which is why the Celtics are leaving Isaiah Thomas behind in Boston when the team heads to Philadelphia and Brooklyn this weekend.

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Thomas has missed just four games this season, all coming between December 7 and December 14. The Celtics finished 1-3 over those four games. 

But with the Wizards just 1.5 games behind the Celtics for the No. 2 spot, and both the Nets and 76ers at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, resting Thomas should not hurt the team all that much.

The Celtics are 1-2 against the Wizards this season, with Thomas averaging 28.6 points and 9.6 assists in those three games.