Tag:John Wall
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:09 pm
 

Are the Wizards shopping McGee and Blatche?

Posted by Royce Young

Over the past two seasons, the Washington D.C. has been ground zero for weird NBA stories. That whole Gilbert Arenas thing happened -- something the Wizards are still recovering from -- but most recently JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche tried to punch each other's faces out in front of a night club.

The Wizards moved on from the Arenas incident recently by trading him. And the same fate may face either Blatche or McGee. Or maybe both.

According to HoopsWorld,
the Wizards are shopping McGee and Blatche to gauge how much interest there might be. This of course could be a result of the fight or it could just be something Ernie Grunfeld had planned on doing.

My guess is that it's all related. Under new owner Ted Leonsis, the Wizards have been completely committed to becoming more family-friendly and having a product on the court that the city can be proud of. I would assume that having two players that tried to rearrange each other's noses doesn't qualify there.

What's interesting is that the Wizards signed Blatche to a contract extension over the summer that runs through 2015. Obviously at the time, it seemed like the Wizards were entirely committed to Blatche as part of the future. But maybe not.

Then again, this might be a tactic by Leonsis and Grunfeld to try and get the attention of two of the entire league's biggest underachievers. Both Blatche and McGee have incredible talent. But neither have really been consistent. Blatche came into the season, well, fat and McGee just hasn't really developed his game outside of alley-oops, putbacks and trying to block every shot attempted ever.

I would assume that Grunfeld is going to find that not many folks are all that interested in trading much for either. Because of Blatche's extension, I doubt he'll garner much interest, but some enterprising general manager might be willing to take on McGee as a project. I remember before the 2009 draft there were a couple murmurs going around that Sam Presti was interested in McGee. A good system and a new culture could do wonders for a prospect like McGee.

More than likely, nothing comes of this rumor. By the deadline, I'd expect both McGee and Blatche to be in a Wizard uniform. But Grunfeld and Leonsis are focused on changing the Wizards' culture so any bad apples might be shown the door. Washington is in the middle of a complete flip and anyone not named John Wall is likely a candidate to be shipped off. Probably starting with the guys that try and beat up teammates.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:24 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm
 

Report: Wizards' Blatche, McGee exchange punches

Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards reportedly exchanged punches at a Washington, D.C. nightclub on Christmas Eve. Posted by Ben Golliverandray-blatche-javale-mcgee Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee took a short break from underperforming on the court to engage in fisticuffs at a nightclub on Christmas Eve, reports the Washington Post
Multiple league sources have confirmed that teammates Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee were involved in an altercation outside an area club early Friday morning.
Witnesses have said that the players were screaming expletives at each other, but two league sources added that Blatche and McGee also exchanged several punches at the Shadow Room in Northwest Washington. A Wizards spokesman released a statement late Friday that read, "The team looked into the matter earlier today and determined it was simply a disagreement between teammates."
Well, on the bright side, it was fists and not firearms.  Friday morning's incident comes roughly one year after former Wizards guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton got into a disagreement that saw Arenas bring multiple guns into the team's locker room, and ended with Arenas suspended for the remainder of the season. Both players are young. Blatche is 24 years old and McGee is just 22, and  no one would confuse either player with a mature adult. But their altercation, with some details still remaining unclear, is another sign that there is still work to be done in changing the Wizards' culture.  Washington's new owner, Ted Leonsis, has said in recent interviews that a full rebuilding effort will take multiple years. Both Blatche, who is averaging 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds, and McGee, who is averaging 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, are generally assumed to be in the team's longterm plans, which focus on building around franchise point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft.  But with any headline-drawing incident like this, it's good to step back and ask a simple but tough question: Will these players help Wall achieve greatness, will they stand in the way, or will they be a distraction? Bottom line: if they're not helping, they're hurting.  The Wizards are currently 7-20 and in last place in the NBA's Southeast Division. With no meaningful games remaining in their 2010-2011 season, this is an excellent time for the Wizards to take a hard-line stance on player transgressions. Get through to them, or get them out of there. Wall's future is too bright to waste.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 6:45 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Wizards guard John Wall has knee bone bruise

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is battling knee pain caused by a bone bruise. Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall-knees

Last week, we took note of comments made by Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who expressed some concern over the state of Wizards point guard John Wall's knees. Saunders said that he didn't believe Wall would ever be "pain free" and that it was leading the Wizards to take a careful approach in managing his return to the court. On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that Wall's knees may be worse than originally thought. Previously, everyone was under the assumption that Wall was dealing with tendinitis, but Wall told the paper he received a more serious diagnosis. 
"I had a feeling it wasn't just tendinitis," said Wall, who was distraught when he heard the diagnosis and believes the injury is the result of compensating on earlier foot and knee injuries on the left side of his body. "I was like, 'If it's tendinitis, I would've played through it.' Tendinitis is very painful, but I played through it summer league, I play through it now. I couldn't do no squats or I couldn't really run or I couldn't cut, so I knew it had to be something more than that."
Wall said he failed in his attempts to run on Saturday. He added that he is looking into soon working with a personal trainer to help him overcome his ailments. The pain in his knee might not allow him to play this week. "Not right now. Not the way it's feeling," Wall said. "It's not really a timetable. "It might be day by day and it might end up being a week or two. I really don't know right now.
"It's pretty tough," Wall said. "I've probably missed five, six games out of my whole life playing basketball. This is the most I've missed. So it's frustrating, trying to rehab, and seeing my team out there and can't be out there and can't make plays. I think my team is doing a great job of fighting and doing as much as they can. I just can't wait to get back out there with them."
Wall, the 2010 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, has missed 10 of his team's 25 games so far this season and has had his Rookie of the Year campaign derailed, thanks to Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin's sensational, all star caliber start. Wall has also shown spectacular flashes, but the time away from the court has turned him, temporarily, into an afterthought rather than a main attraction. Young guys will always want to play through this type of pain, especially competitors looking to make a name for themselves like Wall.  On paper, the Wizards look like a worst-case scenario for a player in this position. They have an owner who has made it clear he wants to greatly increase ticket sales, they have an embattled GM who has placed Wall as the franchise centerpiece from day one after spinning in circles for years, they have a desperate coach who knows he should probably be fired, and they have a roster without enough depth to reasonably compensate for Wall's absence. If ever there was a situation in which a player would be rushed back too quickly, this would seem to be it. Yet, it hasn't happened. The Wizards have done the right thing: take their lumps, exercise maximum caution, and let Wall's health, and not any outside factors or motivations, dictate his recovery timeline. The list of cautionary tales in the NBA is a mile long; a player who relies as heavily as Wall does on his athleticism won't be nearly as effective in years to come if he doesn't take care of his body, and especially his knees, at a young age. The highlights will have to wait in Washington, but for now that's a good thing.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 8:40 am
 

Shootaround 12.20.10: Trades, injuries and LeBron

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum says he's still feeling pain in his knee: "It's not going to change. It's nothing to be nervous about. I have to expect that that's going to happen. I can't wait to start working with my trainer (Sean Zarzana) again, so I can get some explosion back. I feel like I can't really jump right now."
  • Rashard Lewis doesn't seem like enough back for Gilbert Arenas. But Michael Lee of the Washington Post says that should've been expected: “The Wizards weren’t going to get “equal value” — or whatever that may be — at this time. And, unless they were willing to take back Baron Davis — which they weren’t — the Wizards couldn’t find another comparable point guard in the deal. So they had to settle on adding another forward to a team that is now overwhelmed at the position, with the return of Josh Howard."
  • Jermaine O'Neal wants to retire a Pacer: "Just because I'm not there anymore doesn't mean all the memories are forgotten ... If it wasn't for the Pacers, the organization and the community nobody would have probably known who I was. Anywhere in the world I go, they know me because of my Pacers days."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel : “Blame LeBron, Magic fans, if it helps. He’s been catching Heat (and that wasn’t even a forced pun) since he left the Cavs. Folks everywhere said he was at fault for everything from the Obama tax cuts to Sal Alosi to Miley Cyrus. Those are just coincidences. Not this. Sign up for our new Varsity Sports newsletter and get high school sports updates delivered right to your inbox. He’s a serial home-wrecker, fracturing franchises like Godzilla in an old sci-fi movie. He not only laid waste to the city of Cleveland, but he’s the supernatural force that eventually doomed Orlando, leading to the Magic’s break-up. Blame LeBron. If he stays in Cleveland or goes anywhere else but Miami, F-L-A, the Magic’s pre-trade woes aren’t quite as magnified or exposed. They wouldn’t look as if they were going backward so fast."
  • LeBron gets why Orlando brought back Hedo: “I’ve thought that it was surprising when Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) wasn’t brought back  the year after they beat us [Cleveland Cavaliers]. I just thought what Turk created for their team, that point-four created everything. He always created a mismatch and that was part of the reason why they beat us. There were times I would switch off onto Turk and they would go to Rashard (Lewis). Sometimes I would go on Rashard and they would go to Turk.  We were too small on the perimeter during those years … I know they’re happy to have him back. It’s gonna be different, it’s going to be a different transition because I know when you break up a team and bring guys in it takes a while. We’ll see what happens.”
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:02 pm
 

Flip Saunders has chilling words about John Wall

No.1 overall pick suffering from tendinitis which his coach thinks may effect him indefinitely. Posted by Matt Moore

To file under "things that are utterly terrifying to a fanbase:"

“I don’t think, with his situation, having tendinitis, that he’s ever going to be pain free from that,” said Saunders. “So I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to monitor it. That’s the approach we’re taking, but the reason we say day-to-day is because these things, when you go through them, all of a sudden you might wake up the next day and they might be good to go. That’s why we’re handling it that way.”
via Wall out, Blatche unlikely vs. Lakers | Washington Examiner.

That's Flip Saunders talking about John Wall, and his bout of tendinitis he's struggling with. And that's not awesome. At all. Wizards fans are advocating shutting Wall down for as long as it takes to get him healthy. It's of considerable concern that the No.1 overall pick has a coach who thinks he won't ever be healthy, because of tendinitis. That's not a doctor's opinion, but Flip's been around the block once or twice. 

It's odd because Wall didn't show an injury history in college, these ailments have been relatively new, and are either a product of the increased physical nature of the NBA, or the extra burden placed on Wall due to the Wizards needing him to be brilliant immediately. Then again, it might just be a bad run of luck. 

Either way, let's hope Saunders is wrong on this one. 
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:10 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 10:43 pm
 

Wizards' Big 3 may miss Lakers game

Wizards' three best players likely out versus defending champion Lakers Posted by Matt Moore

You know what the Wizards can't afford to have happen? John Wall to miss games. The number one overall pick leads the Wizards in assists and steals, is third in scoring, and fifth in rebounds. But if Wall is missing, what the Wizards really can't afford to have happen is for Gilbert Arenas to miss time. He's their leading scorer and second best overall player. But if those two are missing, they certainly can't afford to have Andray Blatche gone.

You know where this is going. From the Washington Post
Blatche's appears to be the most severe, with Coach Flip Saunders saying that the 6-11 forward is "probably out" against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers with a swollen left knee. Wall has developed some soreness in his right knee, which Saunders said is probably the result of overcompensation from his left foot injury, and is "very questionable." Arenas is probable, with what the team is calling "general soreness."
via Wizards Insider - The latest NBA news from Michael Lee.

Which means the Wizards, who face the Lakers Tuesday, will be without their three best players, against the most talented team in the league (apologies to the Miami Triad). Even with the Lakers struggling, they're still a dominant team, and the Wizards were a heavy underdog to begin with. Without any of the Wizards' Moderate-Sized-Three, they may as well forfeit. This could get ugly.

Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom are probably thankful, though.

Anyone else wonder if Flip Saunders is going to have to turn to some sort of medicinal alternative to get through this stint with the Wizards?
Posted on: December 10, 2010 2:47 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 2:49 pm
 

F&R Quarterly Report: 1st Quarter Good and Bad

Here's a look at the 1st quarter and what we've taken away from it.
Posted by Matt Moore




We're a quarter in to the season, and it hasn't gone exactly according to plan. Some things we thought would happen, some things we didn't. As we head towards the season being halfway through, here's a look back at the first quarter of the season and what we thought about it.

MVP: As Ben Golliver will be telling you later, Dwight Howard makes a pretty strong case for first quarter MVP. Royce and I wound up on the Big German's side of the aisle, though. With the Mavericks on a ridiculous winning streak (make it 11 after blasting the Comrade's Nyetzkies on Thursday night), Nowitzki has been off the charts so far this year. The Mavericks look better this year because of their depth and their defense, but without Nowitzki, they'd still be nowhere.

As Nowitzki's career begins to wind down (we think?), it's important to let go of the past where people questioned Dirk's intensity, toughness, and clutchness. He's been one of the best players in the world for the past ten years, and the fact that he's still putting together stretches of games like this only confirms that. Don't believe me? Check the elbow.

ROY: Boy, was I wrong . Again. John Wall hasn't been a slouch by any means, but to compare the impact the two has on the court is to examine the ballistic missile barrage that is Blake Griffin on a nightly basis. It's not just the dunks (but trust us, we'll get there). It's things like the way he absolutely blew Lamar Odom off the block, and his intensity and athleticism while rebounding. It's the way that even though this Clippers team has no hope of winning on any given night, Griffin looks like he's dying for a win, to try, to compete. He's the only unanimous pick for a reason.

Biggest Surprise: We're split between the Knicks, who were supposed to be better but not this better, and the Pacers, who were supposed to be bad and are really pretty good. Amar'e Stoudemire has the Knicks rolling, and Danny Granger alongside Roy Hibbert is making up one of the best frontcourts in the NBA this year. Great to see teams surprise us in a good way.

Best Overall Performance: We're all very impressed with the Celtics, basically. Except Ken. But we think that's because he had a bad cab ride. Maybe it was bad chowder. No, couldn't be that, there's no such thing as bad chowder in Boston. Probably the cab ride. Anyway, the rest of us are completely horrified of Boston coming into our homes at night and subjugate us under their imperial rule.

Biggest Letdown: Ken and Ben (hey, that rhymes!) have a soft spot in their hearts for the sad plight of the Blazers' health. I'm more concerned about Houston and why they're not competing among the West's elite (but they're getting there), and Royce has the same question about the Bucks in the East. If you couldn't see this coming in Portland... you probably haven't been paying attention for the past, oh, forty years.

Ticking Time-Bomb: While Ben Golliver frets over Chris Paul continuing to keep his cards close to his vest, the rest of us are alarmed at how DeMarcus Cousins seems hell-bent on alienating his teammates and coaches. Tick, tick, tick.

Best dunk: Yeah, sorry, not going to be able to get over this, regardless of whether he traveled or not :





Here's a look at our votes for the first quarter of the 2010-2011 season.




Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Among other things, players want age limit at 18

Posted by Royce Young

Other than LeBron James and his Heat buddies, the biggest story of this NBA season starts with an "L" and ends with an "out". It's kind of hanging over everything. Just when we all start having fun and forget about a potential work stoppage, it rears its ugly head again. Bummer.

The basics around where the league and the players are hung up is over the salary cap situation, player salaries and revenue sharing. You know, the usual stuff.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com dropped a bomb's worth of knowledge Wednesday updating the current situation. Included in all of that information was a small nugget about other things the players are asking for in addition to all the salary and money stuff.

They want the NBA's age-limit requirement returned to 18.

Berger says the players suggested a few non-cap related things that would "improve the game" and "benefit both our players and the league." One of those is a re-examination of the age-limit rule that currently requires players to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from their senior year of high school before they're allowed to enter the draft.

(Along with the age rule, the NBAPA is also adding this Berger says, which I found incredibly interesting: They want to enhance pension benefits for retired players, which would be paid for, in part, by a so-called exit tax on owners who sell their teams and earn capital appreciation far beyond historic levels. So when an owner that bought his team in 1973 for $19.7 million sells it for $400 million, the players want a tax on that money that would pay a pension for retired players. Anyway, just wanted to point that one out too.)

While the players want the rule back at 18 years old, they also threw in that they want to work with the league and NCAA to incentivize players to stay in school longer. I think we all rolled our eyes there together, didn't we? Stay in school kids! Money's not important! Ignore the fact we're willing to go to a lockout over it!

The age rule probably isn't as important to the players as the money related issues, but the fact it's included in their recent proposal is interesting. Feelings on the current rule is sort of split. Most think it's an NCAA rule, but it's not. It's an NBA one. While it helps college basketball in some ways by bringing star power like John Wall, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden to college, it also hurts because everyone knows they're one-and-done. Bobby Knight was one of the biggest detractors about the rule talking about how nobody has to go to class the second semester and that is creates an unfair advanatge to the big name schools and recruiters. And it's easy to see that point.

The idea behind the original creation of the requirement was to help prevent the massive busts that were coming straight from high school, thus ruining potentially solid careers. Kids that has dollar signs in their eyes and skipped a college scholarship because an agent told them they'd make millions in the NBA as a first-round draft pick. But for every DeShawn Stevenson, Jonathan Bender and Kwame Brown, there's a Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard. It's always worked both ways.

And it's not some guarantee that if you go to school you won't bust. Ed O'Bannon, Robert Traylor, Stromile Swift, Marcus Fizer... lots of names there too. I guess they got an education or at least a few college credit hours out of it, but the rule doesn't guarantee anything.

Players want to be able to make money. And the fact that the NBA is preventing an 18-year-old from having the opportunity to have a job in the NBA obviously bothers the NBAPA.

It's a small issue and probably not one they're worth fighting that much for. But it's in the current proposal. The fact it's on their mind is interesting nonetheless.

But what's so ironic is that a lockout could greatly affect players like Terrence Jones from Kentucky, Harrison Barnes from North Carolina, Jared Sullinger from Ohio State and Kyrie Irving from Duke. Guys that would likely be one-and-done and headed for next June's draft. Except a lockout may make them think twice about it. They may either return to school and let the CBA stuff get settled or head to Europe for a season, especially the ones that have been tanking in their academics because they never thought they'd come back for a sophomore season. 

But remember, the NBAPA wants to educate and encourage players to stay in school. And they may be doing exactly that, only by accident.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com