The name “John Wall” has been trending quite often lately. A portion of his recent involvement in media sports conversations is related to the discussion of his contract extension negotiations. However, the remainders of his involvement in sports headlines have been his own verbal statements.
Wall will have this upcoming season to back up those statements, and we hope his mouth is writing checks he can cash. The media conversation of his contract negotiations are how close his camp and the Wizards are to securing a deal that will pay him roughly 80 million dollars over 5 years, and whether he is worthy. Taking that into consideration, he will be cashing checks in some sort of fashion. His statements- of which I have enclosed, don’t come off as arrogant, but very confident.
Per Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Wall says that he and Bradley Beal can be an elite backcourt.
“I feel if both of us stay healthy, we’ll be top-five, top-six best back courts in the league,” Wall said. “Him as a young player, he’s very mature. He knows how the game goes. He’s just like me, a competitive person.”
While backcourts like Deron Williams/Joe Johnson and Kobe Bryant/Steve Nash offer much more skill (and age for the latter example), the upside and potential ceiling of a Wall/Beal backcourt is only exceedable by the duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Wall also told RealGM.com that this upcoming season should be his breakout year, and that making the playoffs is his goal. While the Wall detractors start their Jim Mora impressions, his supporters point out Wall’s claims of greatly improving by partaking in a lot of something that a former Philadelphia 76er franchise player found baffling: Practice. Apparently Wall has been doing a lot of it, while exchanging advice with Bradley Beal on how to maximize their chemistry. Wizards’ fans want to envision Wall and Beal in such a fashion, challenging each other to be better and setting goals for themselves and the team.
I was always critical of Wall when he might mention practice, because his FG% of the past never showed the end justifying the means. Then again, I think this time is different. Last year, the Wizards were 16-9 with Wall and Beal in the lineup, and extrapolation projects 50+ wins. Granted, this way of calculating is not practical, but it gives us a small sample of the superstar potential Wall and Beal have when playing off of each other. The last Wizards superstar, whose style of play was eerily reminiscent of the previously mentioned Allen Iverson, was too busy to practice because he was doing his best Clint Eastwood impersonation with another former Wizard who was recently indicted on murder charges.
In the large scope of things, I’d say the John Wall headlines are refreshing. When was the last time the Wizards were trending so heavily in the news for something that wasn’t embarrassing? Beats me. Those who support Wall but have been realistic about his slowly developing production, wanted him to demand more of himself. Being considered an elite backcourt in the NBA could prove difficult, but I’m glad that “A Few Good Men” are inviting the challenge. Being hard on John Wall could pay dividends when we look back on this upcoming season, and I don’t mind being Colonel Jessup when it comes to the tough love.
“You WANT me on that Wall…you NEED me on that Wall”.
Maybe somewhere in the middle or side??