…and I’ve got opinions about John Wall.
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Wall doesn’t believe that any team from the league’s junior varsity can claim enough separation to be considered an overwhelming favorite. Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto are often mentioned as the teams best prepared to get slaughtered by Golden State in the next NBA Finals but — like Washington — they also have questions.
“I feel like we’re all equal,” Wall told Yahoo Sports recently from his annual backpack giveaway at Barry Farm. “None of them won a championship. This is no knock on no other team. Don’t get me wrong. Boston is a hell of a team. Philly has great young talent with those guys [Joel] Embiid, [Ben] Simmons. And Toronto, losing DeMar [DeRozan], they still get Kawhi [Leonard]. Y’all might have been to the Eastern Conference finals, where we haven’t been to, but none of y’all were going to the Finals. It was one guy going to the Finals.
Look, I get it. These guys have to say stuff like this. They have to have that level of confidence in order to succeed on the floor. It’s almost like you want an ever increasing level of detachment from reality as you go from the GM (who should be under no illusions about the state of the team) on down to the players, who should walk onto the court every game thinking that they’ve got a legitimate chance to win.
But it’s one thing for John Wall to think that the Wizards are elite (they’re not–they’re really, really really not).
It’s another thing to buy into this mind-numbingly revisionist picture of the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics were within a game of the NBA Finals on a day where two of their best players weren’t even in the same area code as the rest of the team.
Ain’t nobody separated from nothing.
Yes, it’s reasonable to assume that if the Celtics’ opening night starting lineup once again loses a combined 127 games, and the bench mob loses another 75 games to injuries, there’s not going to be much separation between the Celtics and the rest of the conference. But, unless there’s some reason why injuries to Celtics players are something other than random occurrences, the Celtics are unlikely to have a third consecutive year of worse-than-average injuries.
But, again, I get it. Wall has to say stuff like this:
Boston looks great on paper. But how are all those young guys going to mesh with Kyrie [Irving] being back? Or Gordon Hayward being back? Nobody knows how that’s going to work. Now, they’ve got a hell of a coach in Brad Stevens, and [with GM and president] Danny Ainge, they’re going to figure it out. But you still got to put it all together. You’ve still got to make it work on the court.
Jeez. Does this guy think Kyrie and Gordon both missed the entire 2018 season? There’s plenty of evidence about how well the team’s young players mesh with Kyrie. And, as far as questions about chemistry go, Wall should probably look to his own affairs before he starts speculating about potential problems on other teams:
“It was just guys all for themselves last year,” Wall told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what I felt it was about. It wasn’t the same as the year before when we were all having fun. It was hard to find any fun on the court. You didn’t see any smiling or excitement. I don’t know, that [expletive] was just weird. If you don’t know your roles, everybody wants to be ‘the man’ and when they do that, it hurts.”
And here we have the part where Wall says stuff that really sticks in my craw.
John–you’re the number one option on this team. You’re the acknowledged locker room leader. You’ve got seniority, you’re a veteran talent and an all-star.
Crap rolls downhill
If the whole team is a dysfunctional mess, you need to look in the mirror before you start using vague passive voice phrasing (e.g. starting sentences with ‘it’). If you don’t, then guess what? You’re in for another disappointing year, and once again, you’ll be saying that a fictitious grammatical placeholder “it” was responsible for the team’s problems.
An Instagram direct message and a phone call from Wall persuaded Howard to join the Wizards as a free agent
Hooo boy. This has ‘disaster’ written all over it. An Instagram direct message and a phone call. Read that again. An Instagram direct message and a phone call. Somebody somewhere or another said that Dwight Howard belongs in the Hall of Fame–I can’t be bothered to find the article, but it definitely exists. Reading that snippet, I have to agree–somewhat–Howard definitely belongs in a Hall of Fame, but it’s not the basketball one, because if he picked the Wizards because someone DM’ed him, that’s some next-level stupid decision-making right there. That’s the kind of stupid decision making that the rest of us only dream of achieving.
I, for one, am going to enjoy sitting back and watching the Wizards fly apart like a runaway turbine. Their two signature acquisitions, Austin Rivers and Dwight Howard, promise to bring new heights of dysfunction and self-centered cluelessness to the Wizards–and that’s no mean feat.
Page 2: Gordon Hayward is a nerd
He’s an All Star, a millionaire, and he’s got a much better hair cut than the one he had at Butler, but he is still a nerd.
Holy crap, he is still such a nerd.
And as a nerd myself, trust me, I know ’em when I see ’em.