Lakers' Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris continue streak of ex-Wizards getting rings
Howard and Morris continue their streak of ex-wizards getting rings that originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
It's a classic pipeline like Georgetown once was with star NBA centers or Second City to SNL. The Wizards have become a factory that regularly produces championship bench players.
On Sunday night, when the Lakers won the 2019-20 title, four former Wizards players celebrated on the pitch at Disney World in Orlando. Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris, who played for Washington last year, were joined by JaVale McGee and Jared Dudley. That's four of the 12 players who appeared for the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Final, a third of their squad.
In fact, it was the fourth year in a row that the NBA Champion had at least one former Wizards player in the group. And during those four years, no other NBA team has won more former players rings than the Wizards, who have seen it seven times.
Howard, Morris and Dudley each got their first rings. McGee now has three after winning two with the Warriors. Shaun Livingston and Nick Young also won twice with the Warriors, Livingston, while Jodie Meeks won with the Raptors last year.
The question here is whether it means anything. And the answer is almost certainly not. Basically, it is a wizarding trend that players elsewhere will be more successful when asked to serve in smaller roles.
Many of these players were acquired by the wizards to start or to be their sixth husband. Some of them were kicked out before signing cheap deals with their title teams to extend their NBA careers.
Wizards fans didn't seem to complain at all when these guys left. Livingston may be the only one feeling like he's escaped, and he's played for Washington twice.
In Howard's case, it was just bad luck and timing. He signed as a free agent with the Wizards prior to the 2018-19 season just to require major surgery on his back. He's only played nine games and the hole he left in their lineup was big enough to crater the season and lose the team president's job.
Morris was a good player for the Wizards at his peak, but when he was eliminated from a business in February 2019, injuries had cut his time in DC. Having served as a key element on the 2016-17 team, he was never able to request this form back.
In Los Angeles, both Howard and Morris were key pieces. Howard averaged a ridiculous 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks from the bench in just 18.9 minutes per game. Morris signed with the Lakers in late February and gave them another shooter. In the postseason, he knocked down 41.7 percent of his three.
While Howard and Morris struggled with injuries in Washington, they got well in LA at the right time. That's how it works in sport. Timing and luck are factors.
Come on, Wizards fans; Be glad to see these players who you earlier put down roots for and left Washington to go to greener pastures. And keep an eye on which ex-Wizards players are signing this off-season. Maybe the series will continue.
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