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Morning tip: John Wall's sights on All-Star Game and All-NBA team

Morning tip: John Wall's sights on All-Star Game and All-NBA team

His sixth game of 40 minutes or more in the books, John Wall finally has the Wizards where they hadn't been since Nov. 24, 2015. Keeping them with a winning record, with the second game of a back-to-back at the Boston Celtics tonight, is key to his hopes of being a four-time All-Star and first-time All-NBA performer.

"I've been an All-Star before. I've been a starter. I've never been on an All-NBA team," said Wall, who hit the game-winning shot and registered his 23rd double-double vs. the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. "I'll be very disappointed if I don't make it this year, to be honest with you. On both."

Based on the first round of All-Star fan voting, which counts for 50% of the equation to determine starters for the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans, Wall likely won't be a starter as in 2015 when the Wizards opened that season 22-8 and played on Christmas Day when he dominated the N.Y. Knicks. They started 2-8 this year but are 19-18 after erasing an 18-point deficit to beat Chicago as Wall had a game-high 26 points, 14 assists and five rebounds. It was his 10th game of 12 more more assists.

No other conference player is in Wall's zip code when it comes to the points-assist double-double. He was just seventh in the fan voting among East guards at 87,000 -- 41,000-plus behind sixth-place Kyle Lowry and fifth-place Derrick Rose. The top two, as it stands Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade, will start but media and players also will vote to comprise the other 50%. Coaches will determine the reserves. The next round of fan voting comes out Thursday.

The lack of national attention and respect has long bothered Wall, who was irked at end-of-regular-season media voting that put Irving on the All-NBA team ahead of him for the 2014-15 season.

The Wizards were just 41-41 last year and missed the playoffs. Wall required surgeries to both knees May 5 but still averaged 19.9 points and 10 assists per game. Despite having to use part of this regular season to play his way back into shape, Wall is putting up career-highs of 23.4 points, 10.4 assists and 2.2 steals to go with 4.5 rebounds. He was named Player of the Month in December when he posted 10 double-doubles and set a career-high with 52 points.

"I don't know how you can start an All-Star Game and don't make an All-NBA team," Wall said of what he perceived as a slight in 2015. "I was close to averaging 20 and 10 (last year). Both of those recognitions mean a lot to me but All-NBA team is very important. I know there's a lot of great guards in this league and they're all playing well. 

"I know you don't get noticed if your team is not winning. We're a team that's back in the playoff picture. I think that should help me get over the hump from where we started early in the season. I don't know too many guys that won Player of the Month and wasn't an All-Star or made the All-NBA team. ... Got to see what happens."

MORE WIZARDS: Wall to Bulls' Valentine after dance: 'You woke a monster'

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Kevin Durant says he won't visit the White House with NBA-champion Warriors because of Donald Trump

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USA Today Sports

Kevin Durant says he won't visit the White House with NBA-champion Warriors because of Donald Trump

The Golden State Warriors have still yet to receive a formal invite from President Donald Trump to visit the White House as 2017 NBA champions, but if they do make the trip, D.C.'s own Kevin Durant will not be with them.

The Warriors All-Star told ESPN on Thursday he will not accept an invitation from Trump due to his policies and reaction to the recent events in Charlottesville.

"Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN. "I don't respect who's in office right now."

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that... And what's going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable."

Durant and the Warriors travel to Washington to play the Wizards on Feb. 28 at Capital One Arena. That could be the time they choose to visit the White House. It will be interesting to see which of his teammates show up.

[RELATED: LeBron reacts to election, not sure if he'll visit White House to see Trump]

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Wizards' Markieff Morris to be a father soon with training camp right around the corner

Wizards' Markieff Morris to be a father soon with training camp right around the corner

Wizards forward Markieff Morris has a lot to look forward to next month besides the start of 2017-18 training camp in Richmond. Morris and his girlfriend are expecting a baby daughter, their first child, with a due date of Sept. 6. Morris has some time, but it will certainly require an adjustment.

Morris feels ready for the challenge.

"It’s just real chill right now. I try to keep her off her feet as much as possible and try to stay by her side," he said. "I'm getting ready for the kid and staying up all night... I'm a laid back-type of guy. I know she’s going to be chill and laid back like me. It can’t be too much."

Morris has been spending much of his offseason back home in Philadelphia along with his twin brother Marcus. They have been training for the new season, a regiment that has included boxing at a local gym. In Philly he recently held his second annual basketball camp and sixth annual backback giveaway.

[RELATED: PODCAST - Morris on Celtics rivalry, NBA video games preview]

Morris was in D.C. over the weekend for another backpack drive, his second annual giveaway in Southeast Washington. Morris arrived at the Ridge Road Community Center and exited a black Range Rover with fellow NBA player Thomas Robinson to a long line of kids and their parents. Inside were tables and tables of backpacks for all ages and both boys and girls. Morris, Robinson and Morris' family members each wore shirts and hats that read F.O.E. (Family Over Everything).

That's a fitting motto for what Morris was trying to accomplish with his charity venture.

"This is like a home to me. My mom is from here. My entire family is from the D.C. area. So, once I got here I knew right away that I had to get in the community," he said. "I just want to give back to the kids. They’re the future. I’m making sure they know that anything is possible. The city needs stuff like this, guys giving back and coming to the city.

"What we try to do is to try to do everything from the inside. We don’t look for sponsors, we aren’t looking for people to broadcast it. We do it on our own. My mom and my uncle actually run the whole thing. Everyone here running the camp is from the community here at the rec center or my family. We just try to keep it that way. We really don’t even want cameras here. We just do it for the kids and the community."

[RELATED: Morris sees Irving's situation with Cavs as 'unfortunate']

Morris, 27, recalls going to Rasheed Wallace's basketball camp when he was a kid. He knows firsthand how meeting an NBA player can inspire a child with basketball dreams.

"I always remember it. I was at Rasheed Wallace’s camp. I think I was about 10 or 11 and I got to interact with him. That’s something that will stick with kids forever. They will never forget that when they get older," he said.

Morris has a lot on his mind these days, but he is heavily focused on getting back to work with the Wizards. He said their Game 7 loss to the Celtics still bothers him and that "I still feel like we're the better team." He thinks "every game is going to be like Game 7" against the Celtics, who now have his brother Marcus on their roster, this upcoming season.

As for what Morris hopes to improve on himself, he's got a few areas in mind.

"Just keep improving on the 3-point shot, scoring more and staying more consistent. I was a little up-and-down this year, but it’s a long season. You have to forget about the 20 games before and just be more consistent. Rebound the ball more and get a little bit more edge on my bones and muscles. I’m a pretty stiff-type guy, so I’ve gotta figure out how to get loose," he said.

[RELATED: Keef and Dolph: an odd couple friendship within the Wizards' organization]

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