Wizards sign Len, Bell for restart; Westbrook iffy

1:32 PM ET

ESPN News Services

WASHINGTON — The short-handed Wizards signed free-agent centers Alex Len and Jordan Bell on Saturday, trying to fill out a roster decimated by COVID-19 and injuries.

The Wizards have scrapped six games since a win over the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 11 made them 3-8. They are scheduled to play Sunday at San Antonio.

Six Washington players have tested positive for COVID-19, and three other players were sidelined after contact tracing determined they might have been exposed to the virus.

Starting center Thomas Bryant is out for the season with an injured left knee, and point guard Russell Westbrook is still dealing with a left quadriceps injury.

Westbrook is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, and he said that he doesn’t know if he’ll play. Coach Scott Brooks said Westbrook is progressing and looking good so far.


LeBron, AD 'still have trouble' with Kobe's death

2:56 AM ET

Three-hundred and sixty-three days following Kobe Bryant’s death and 104 days after winning the championship in his honor, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ co-captains, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, reflected on the time that’s passed since the world lost Bryant.

“Man, it’s a saying that time heals all,” James said after a win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday at the United Center, where Bryant’s idol, Michael Jordan, used to play. “And as devastating and as tragic as it was and still is to all of us involved with it, only time. And it takes time. Everyone has their own grieving process.”

Many inside the Lakers and in Bryant’s family and close circle of friends are still in mourning, as if the helicopter crash, which killed 41-year-old Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, was a recent occurrence.

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Lue searches for closure 1 year after Kobe's death

6:04 PM ET

LOS ANGELES — Tyronn Lue put away all the framed photos he had of himself and Kobe Bryant in his home and the LA Clippers‘ coach still is unable to get himself to decorate his office with cherished moments he shared with his old friend.

Nearly a year after Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, Lue still is coping with the death of his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate. Seeing highlights of Bryant on TV or even fielding questions from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George about what Bryant was like is still painful.

Talking to a small group of reporters on Saturday, Lue opened up about Bryant’s death and revealed that he has tried coping by blocking out as much as he can. But Lue said he wants to try to start moving forward by doing things like putting up pictures of

Ben Simmons' fourth-quarter breakout showcases his full potential

Jan 23, 2021

Tim BontempsESPN

As Friday night’s game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers wore on, Ben Simmons was nowhere to be seen. Through three quarters, Simmons had eight assists but only four points on just three shots, and he appeared well on his way to a fifth straight game with single-digit shot attempts in a continuation of what has been a quiet start to this season.

But then, as Boston cut Philadelphia’s lead to four midway through the fourth quarter, and threatened to potentially steal the second half of this two-game series between these rivals, Simmons burst onto the scene.

He fought on the offensive glass to score off his own miss. He stormed down the lane for an and-1 bucket. He picked off a pass in the open court, one he took the other way for a dunk — and that

Ex-Mavericks PG Barea signs to play in Spain

12:14 PM ET

MADRID — Former Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has signed a contract to play in Spain’s top division with Estudiantes, the Madrid-based club said Saturday.

The 36-year-old Barea played for the Mavericks for 11 seasons, helping the team win the NBA title in 2011. The Mavericks released him in December.

Barea played 14 NBA seasons, including three with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 assists in 831 games.

The Puerto Rico native is signed through the end of the season, Estudiantes said. He is scheduled to arrive in Madrid this week to start training.

Barea told Spanish sports daily Marca in 2011 that his father’s family came from a village in northern Spain.