This will go down as the In-N-Out Burger of ankle shattering moves. (Ray Felton supporters: I promise that’s not a fat joke! Well, actually, it kinda is. Sorry!)
John Wall is back, and Ish Smith was the last to know.
His start has been so rough to the point where professional evaluators are now claiming they’d rather start a team with Ricky Rubio. Others are declaring he should’ve gone into track. No disrespect to the phenomenal rookie in Minnesota, but I beg to disagree with both of these claims. In the land of immediate reaction and over-evaluation, the standings of a No. 1 overall draft pick should not be judged by the first 10 games of a training camp-less season. It makes no sense. The expectations weren’t too high, and he hasn’t lit the court on fire, but John Wall will be fine. The situation he’s in—with no veteran voice and very few selfless attitudes—could not be worse. But patience is a virtue, and John Wall will prove it.
Not many players headed into this season with higher expectations than John Wall. Thanks to the once-in-a-generation leap we saw from Derrick Rose, all young point guards coached by John Calipari must now make the All-Star team, lead their franchise to the playoffs, cure cancer, AND be named an All-NBA super human in his first three years or be declared a desperate failure. With the exact same “I” before “team” players that surrounded him last year still hanging around, Wall’s started his second season slower than we imagined possible. But don’t read into it. He’s the game’s fastest player doing the best he can with what he’s got. Players this good don’t stay down for long.
Doug Collins—coach of the fine team that allowed this monster move to happen—called the play “brilliant”, and, well, it kind of is. Wall didn’t have the best stat line in his preseason opener, but this crossover encapsulates everything we’re expecting from the sophomore once games begin to matter.
If this crossover/dunk doesn’t get you excited about John Wall’s future, here are a few interesting tidbits from his past that should.
-Became the first Wizards rookie to record at least 32 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in a game since Earl Monroe posted the same numbers for the Baltimore Bullets on February 24, 1968.
-Became the only rookie in NBA history to record nine or more assists in 10 straight games (1/1–1/21).
-First rookie guard to record 26 double-doubles in a season since Damon Stoudamire, who had 37 double-doubles during the
-Became the first Washington rookie to record 26 double-doubles in a season since Tom Gugliotta, who tallied 37 double-doubles
during his rookie campaign (1992-93).
-Became the sixth fastest rookie to record a triple double.
-Is the first player in franchise history to record 500 assists and 100 steals during their rookie season. The last NBA player to
accomplish this was Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets during the 2005-06 season.
- First player in NBA history to have at least 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals in a single game (11/2 vs. PHI)
In the grand scheme of what’s altruistically important in life, I believe it’s fair to suggest all teachers, doctors, surgeons, and members of the armed forces should be given financial compensation of equal or greater value to that of which is awarded professional athletes. Their actual impact on human life is indisputably greater, more important, and further reaching. Of course, they don’t (and never will) because the businesses they’re in don’t create the billions upon billions of dollars in gross revenue that the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL produce on an annual basis. They also have an uncountable number of members in their labor force, making each worker’s slice of pie much smaller than that of the athlete. Call it sad. Call it unfair. Call it horribly disproportionate. Call it the real world. Read more…
Show of Hands is a feature involving you (the loyal reader) and your valuable opinion. From time to time, questions will be raised in an effort to explore the many various topics our beloved NBA has to offer. Don’t be shy; have a look and place a vote.
The 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, Serge Ibaka, badly hurt his ankle during Oklahoma City’s Game 2 victory. An imposing ability to block shots and dictate interior offensive options makes Ibaka a vital championship piece, but what’s really sweet news in the Thunder’s mailbox is a breaking report that John Wall doesn’t play for the Memphis Grizzlies. Watch the clip above—more times than a few if you must—to see 2011′s Rookie of the Year runner up make Ibaka’s poor ankles think twice before defending the Wizards’ franchise point man.