Tag:John Wall
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:47 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:50 am

Saunders: Wall played in too many summer leagues

Posted by Royce Young

There was one good thing about the lockout: How many players took to blacktops, high schools gyms and other place to play in pickup exhibition games and pro-am leagues. Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings, James Harden and John Wall were among the group of guys that seemed to play in almost everything.

The idea for playing being the more you play basketball, the better you get. Sure, it was for fans and for fun, but these guys were looking to get better too. For instance, take Durant who has expanded his game so far this season to more creative passing and ball handling. Those are things he worked on during the summer league games.

But could all that pickup have had a bad influence? Flip Saunders seems to think it did on John Wall. Via CSN Washington:

"I've never been a proponent of all those things," Saunders said after Monday's practice. "I think you pick up too many bad habits and a lot of things you think are going to be very easy [are not]. I don't think I saw a change all summer long."

As for the bad habits, just watch a Wizards game this season for proof. With greater repetition than during his strong rookie season, Wall often speeds past teammates into 1-on-3 situations or zooms into a congested lane with the most creative of intentions. [...]

Wall was not the only Wizard in those wild and woolly games or the only player to recklessly freelance. Yet, as the team's point guard, Wall has more responsibility. As the franchise player, he receives more scrutiny, especially on a winless team.

"Usually what happens is it's on the best player and the coach. That's part of the responsibility that we all have," Saunders said. "The positive thing is that when you're the best player, you're usually the one that can [help most]. You can help change things around as the coach can."

You know what this sounds like to me? It sounds like Saunders is looking for excuses. It looks like he's trying to find an explanation for why his team stinks and why its best player has started slowly when it was supposed to be a leap year for Wall. Instead of maybe just saying it's the roster around him, the culture of the team or the system he plays in, just blame it on Wall playing too much basketball during the summer.

Sure, you can develop bad habits in those games. But I tend think NBA players understand that. I think they are fully aware that it's not a good idea to go out and start chucking 30-footers and going for behind-the-back passes every time down. Wall has always had sort of a blacktop-style game and that's just part of who he is. He's got some flash to him. If you try and take that away, you're going to lose the player he could be.

Those "bad habits" aren't pickup problems. They're being-a-21-year-old second-year-point-guard problems. They're being-a-good-player-on-a-bad-team problems.

Playing too much basketball can't be a problem. Look at Harden, who dominated pretty much every summer game he was in and had other NBA guys calling him the best pickup player out there. I think he's benefitted from hooping over the summer. To blame Wall's slow start on that is simply a ridiculous thing to say. There are a lot of reasons for it, but it has nothing to do with practicing too much over the summer.


Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:34 pm

John Wall thinks the Wizards are a playoff team

Posted by Royce Young

Don't laugh. Because John Wall sounded serious.

He thinks the Wizards will be a playoff team. Via Sports Radio Interviews, he was asked on 106.7 The Fan in D.C. is the Wizards are a playoff team:
“I think so. Last year, we was ahead of Philly at one point and then they went on a 15-game winning streak. The most winning streak we had was two games and that was near the end of the season. … I think, going in, the main thing for us that’s really going to help us, in our first of two road games, we have to win one of those games. If we lose those two games, you start thinking of last year and the guys from last year start thinking, ‘Is this another year of losing a lot of road games?’”
I looked it up and the 76ers' longest winning streak was four, not 15. Maybe four kind of seems like 15 when you struggle to win two straight and overall go 23-59 which was 18 games behind Philadelphia.

But whatever. That was last year, this is this year. And the Wizards have a bit of talent headlined of course by Wall. Nick Young, if he returns, is a nice scorer, Andray Blatche, when his head's on straight, is a good player. Same goes for JaVale McGee. Who knows what rookie Jan Vesely is capable of. Rashard Lewis might have a little left in the tank.

And in the East where sometimes being three or four games under .500 is good enough, the Wizards might be able to make a push. Or at least think about a push.

Still, this team is just a step away from being completely dysfunctional. There are headcases, borderline headcases and disgruntled veterans all over the place. Wall has enough talent to make you believe it's somewhat feasible, but just the makeup of the roster does not.

I hate saying a team doesn't have a shot and Wall should absolutely believe they do. Everyone is in first place right now. With just 66 games, a 3-1 start could mean the Wizards can think about it. But I don't see how this team is any better than the one that won 23 games last season. Sure, Wall is set to take a leap this season, but how many wins would that be worth? Five? He still needs help and unless Blatche or McGee is ready to snap out of it or Vesely is something special. the Wizards are still probably a year or two away. 
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 9:10 pm

NBA stars to play Barack Obama fundraiser game

Posted by Ben Golliverbarack-obama

Do you support United States President Barack Obama, like professional basketball and have $5,000 sitting around? If so, I know just the event for you.

President Obama is hosting a Washington, D.C. exhibition game featuring some of the NBA's biggest stars on Dec. 12. The only catch? Tickets start in the triple digits, with proceeds from the game going to the Obama Victory Fund to support the President's 2012 re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The Obama Classic Basketball Game, announced on BarackObama.com, is expected to feature NBA and WNBA stars past and present.
Please join us in Washington, DC for a game featuring basketball's greatest super stars in support of the Obama Victory Fund.

Confirmed to play: Ray Allen - Carmelo Anthony - Chris Bosh - Vince Carter - Tyson Chandler - Jamal Crawford - Kevin Durant - Baron Davis - Patrick Ewing - Derek Fisher - Rudy Gay - Blake Griffin - Tyler Hansbrough - Dwight Howard - Juwan Howard - Antawn Jamison - Dahntay Jones - Brandon Knight - Kevin Love - Jamal Mashburn - Cheryl Miller - Reggie Miller - Alonzo Mourning - Dikembe Mutombo - Chris Paul - Quentin Richardson - Doc Rivers - Steve Smith - Jerry Stackhouse - Amare Stoudemire - Tina Thompson - John Wall - Russell Westbrook. More players to be added soon! 
Tickets for the game start at $100 and escalate to $5,000 for courtside seats. The venue is currently listed as "to be announced."

Obama, a huge basketball fan, has said in recent months that the ongoing NBA lockout has left him "heartbroken" and "concerned." Asked recently if he planned to intervene in the NBA's ongoing labor dispute, Obama said that he "wouldn't intercede" because he has "some bigger fish to fry."

I guess putting the still-unemployed players to work fundraising for a president re-election campaign technically counts as frying a bigger fish. The message here: ask not what the President can do for your job, NBA players, ask only what you can do for the President's job. 

But, seriously, if this is anything like the Carrier Classic -- a college basketball game played on an aircraft carrier that Obama and his wife attended on Veteran's Day -- then it will be all sorts of awesome.
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 1:54 pm

Wall, Westbrook in club where shooting happened

Posted by Royce Young

A number of NBA and NFL players were partying at a New York City nightclub when a gunman opened fire, killing an ex-con and injuring two others, according to the New York Daily News.

None of the NFL or NBA players were injured. Among them though were John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Chris Duhon and Kemba Walker, as well as five New York Giants -- Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Aaron Ross, Antrel Rolle and Chris Canty. The NBA players were still in New York, presumably after the players' meeting that happened Monday.
The gunman, clad in a white leather jacket, crashed the crowded party at the Juliet Supper Club on W. 21st St. by squeezing off five shots shortly before 2:30 a.m., police said.

In Tuesday’s bloodshed, the killer is thought to have fired the shots in a bid to get even after a woman was bumped on the dance floor — but her relationship to the gunman was not clear, the sources said.
Also in the club was actress Reese Witherspoon and her former husband Ryan Phillippe. Again, no players were involved or injured. They were just there when some psycho came storming in firing off shots. Which is extremely scary.

Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:08 pm

Video: LeBron vs. Kobe 1-on-1. Who you got?

By Matt Moore

The L.A. Times decided to ask a popular and interesting question to a collection of NBA players, and the responses were at once not suprising, and kind of intriguing. 


Some notes:

  • Matt Barnes' "Don't nobody lose to Kobe one-on-one" should be entered into the great quotes of our time. 
  • Durant's modesty has no fatigue. Mentions LeBron, Kobe, and Wade, is asked about his place, and he says he's "nowhere near those guys." It's that comment you love to hear from a superstar, and you rarely get. 
  • Wall's comments about LeBron were particularly interesting. Wall's close with LeBron, has been since high school. So for him to essentially challenge LeBron to play in the post more is pretty interesting. It's also pretty accurate. I think Bryant would kill him from the high post and off the dribble with pull-ups, but if James bodied and bullied him low, he could keep it close for pretty much forever. 
  • Trevor Ariza nails it: "I don't know who'd win, but I'd pay to watch it." 
Posted on: October 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Young players to see appeal drop during lockout

Posted by Royce Young

Lost games do a lot of things. It ticks off fans and it loses money for both players and owners. But that's just the obvious stuff. Losing games has an underside that affect a number of different things. One being player appeal and marketability. Which if you weren't paying attention, is one way players make a hefty part of their income.

Via USA Today, the lockout has already had a pretty major impact on players' marketability and that's before games were even being missed.
It appears that established, veteran players are stable. The younger ones, however, are taking most of the hit from consumers. According to Henry Schafer, executive vice president of The Q Scores Company which measures consumer appeal of athletes and other personalities, the rating for Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, John Wall and Danny Granger dropped from an average of 21 in March to 14 last month. Dirk Nowitzki was the only NBA player with a better Q score (from 18 to 25 during the same span), a likely reflection of winning his first NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks. He also hasn't been active in the lockout.
And like I said, that's without even a single game being lost yet. That's just from a few dark summer months. So imagine what's to happen if the lockout starts dipping its toe into December, January or even more. What were once shining beacons of the league, players like Griffin, Kevin Durant, Rose and John Wall will see their profile drop dramatically.

Which is something the league thrives on. Whether the league wants to admit it or not, the NBA is a league of stars and right now it's in a great place in that department because there are 20 or so young players with a bunch of starpower. But set their profile and appeal back and not only have you hurt their endorsement opportunities, but you've always indirectly damaged the faces of the league.

Without games, people kind of just forget. Without Griffin's dunks highlighting SportsCenter, without slick Rose YouTube clips of him breaking ankles making the rounds all over the Internet, the casual fan will put their time, and money, into other things. The NBA has always taken a back seat to the NFL until February. You can only imagine how far that seat will be back if the NBA's not even playing games.

With lost games, there's a laundry list of ramifications. You know the league -- and the players -- know all about what's coming as a result. As David Stern said, enormous consequences.
Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:13 am

Video: John Wall scores 55, Durant 55 at Goodman

By Matt Moore

While the NBA and NBPA were slugging it out over, apparently, nothing Sunday night, Goodman League played Drew League in a rematch. This time the California-based Goodman League came out on top, but what made the narrow win more impressive is that they survived 105 points from John Wall and Kevin Durant. That's right. Kevin Durant scored 50 points, and he wasn't the top scorer on his own team. That's how ridiculous these exhibitions are. Here are the highlights including some of John Wall's as he dropped 55 points in the loss. 

Posted on: October 2, 2011 12:23 pm

Video: LeBron and Wall exchange awesome plays

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Paul hosted a charity game in Winston Salem Saturday night and while I think most of us are a bit fatigued by these All-Star pickup games, this one produced some nasty highlights. Who won? I have no idea. Nor do I care. Nor should you.

As it should, because joining CP3 was LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and John Wall. And for about three minutes, Wall and LeBron totally stole the show with LeBron finished a wild two-hand reverse dunk and then Wall responding with a behind-the-back dunk. Then LeBron threw himself an oop, then Wall put down one off the backboard from CP3. Back and forth, one stellar play after another. All without an semblance of defense too. Go figure.

Durant led the way with 48, CP3 had 39, Gay 38, LeBron 30 and Wade 32.

(Interesting note: Via CP3, 1,072,532 viewed the game online, which streamed for free on Paul's website. People are missing their basketball.)

But here's the thing with these vidoes: While nice and certainly a good fix while we're waiting for basketball, it just serves as a very obvious reminder as to what we'll be missing if there's lost games. Which makes me physically ill.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com