If I were doing things in a better manner (blog-wise), I’d make a separate post for each and every little bit of John Wall-related news emerging on the world-wide-web … there’d be a thousand of them. Instead, I’m throwing the best of the recent best in this post … with commentary. Enjoy.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post discusses the possibility of an Arenas-Wall backcourt. Lee touches on the idea that Arenas might actually relish not having to lead the offense under Flip Saunders. Remember, much of his struggles in ’09-10 weren’t necessarily due to having to overcome physical obstacles, but rather how to get the ball to others within the offense while balancing the idea that he needs to attack himself in order to create for others. Now, perhaps simplifying the necessity of Arenas’ talent could create a better team-wide dynamic. Lee writes:
My point is, Arenas could easily switch to shooting guard and be effective playing with Wall. He was a shooting guard in his two seasons at Arizona. And, when he shared the backcourt with Larry Hughes in his first two seasons in Washington, Hughes led the team in assists both seasons. Arenas actually enjoyed not being the lone playmaker on the team. At times, the responsibility frustrated him last season under Saunders’s system.
We all know that Flip Saunders is already ecstatic at the opportunity to coach Wall, but getting a 20-year old to effectively run a major NBA playbook while integrating the rest of the team isn’t going to be easy. Flip better get those video breakdowns and iPod Touches ready.
Mike Jones of CSN Washington has even more on Arenas and Wall, reporting that there’s a lot more positive interaction going on in the organization than insinuated by John Mitchell’s ‘poison pill’ article. Arenas has reportedly reached out to Wall, he met with Ted Leonsis at his home last Sunday, and someone within the Wizards organization is quoted as saying, “Everybody’s getting a fresh start.”
Jones concludes with a reasonable and knowledgeable-sounding quote from an Eastern Conference executive:
“Gilbert Arenas may be misguided at times, but he’s not stupid. He knows he’s on a short leash and doesn’t have many chances left, so I expect that he’ll do whatever the Wizards tell him to do. And from what I hear, after being out for as long as he has over the last three seasons, he just wants to play.”
And NBA.com’s David Aldridge (and local DMV resident who is often seen at the Verizon Center) comes to a similar conclusion, and issues a challenge to both Arenas and Flip Saunders. He writes:
First of all, there aren’t horns growing out of Arenas’ head. Did he do a dumb, dumb thing, and lose millions of dollars as a result? Yes and yes. Is it possible he’s so thick-headed he learned absolutely nothing from that? Possibly. But that would be surprising. Arenas is immature at times, but he’s not stupid, and he’s not Lucifer. He knows that David Stern won’t need much to throw the book at him, kick him out of the NBA forever. If Arenas isn’t on his absolute best behavior next season it will be shocking. And career suicide.
Third, there has never been a hammer in the history of hammers like the one the Wizards have over Arenas. If they’re too frightened to wield it, and he’s too dumb to see it hanging over his head, then a pox on both their houses. He has no rights. He’s a plebe. If they tell him to drop and give them 20 pushups he better get to huffing and puffing. And if they tell him he’s moving to shooting guard, and he gives them any guff about it, they should Tinsley his rear end and forget about it. They’d have to pay him the rest of his $80 million, but they can lose without Arenas just as easily as with him. If Flip Saunders doesn’t set him straight about there being a new sheriff in town from minute one of training camp, then Saunders isn’t worth the $5 million annually he’s getting.
And so it begins … the WizzNutzz Re-Tweeting assault upon John Wall’s Twitter account.
The below image equals classic classic-ness. [Twitter]
- [DC City Paper] People are so afraid about John Wall potentially hanging out with Gilbert Arenas … what about all the time Wall spent with Rod Strickland?
- [Slam] John Wall switching from the Garner Road Bulldogs to D-One Sports had a hand in him becoming #1 overall pick worthy.
- [Ted's Take] Ted Leonsis touches on the possibilities of his possible communication with Wizards fans. ‘Twitter or Facebook Fan Page?,’ he ponders.
- [Brain On Funk] The grand run-down of NBA owners.
- [DC City Paper] Chris Bosh probably doesn’t want to play in D.C. because his baby mom who’s trying to get him to pay child support lives in the DMV area — she once made out with Damien Wilkins in high school and indirectly caused the downfall of a powerhouse high school basketball program, and also once talked trash to LeBron James, indirectly causing her then boyfriend, Bosh, and his team, the Toronto Raptors, to lose. Got all that?
- [DC Sports Bog] Andray Blatche and his yellow diamonds react to a lottery win.
- [Pioneer Press] I’d say Flip Saunders is gushing.
- [Bullets Forever] Ways the Wizards can get more draft picks like Ted Leonsis wants.
- [Free Darko] Randy Foye has recently been practicing basketball in Canada for a team with a bear mascot.
- [CSN Washington] Chris Miller and Brian Jackson catch up with John Wall in his home town of Raleigh, North Carolina.
- [Caron Butler Blog - HoopsHype] Caron Butler is going to work on his ball handling and isolation game this summer. It will be interesting to see how an unathletic/unagile player with diminishing skills will be able to improve in those areas, but good luck to Tuff Juice.
- [ESPN Dallas] DeShawn Stevenson recently took his $4.15 million option for next season with Dallas. Suckers. Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas speculates that he could be the only piece left from the Caron Butler-Brendan Haywood deal because Butler might be used as a sign-and-trade piece and the Mavs, “aren’t as enamored with [Haywood] as they might have been upon his arrival.”
- [Deadspin] I wonder if Ozzie Guillen is a Wizards fan.
- [The Baltimore Sun] A retro Baltimore Bullets picture.
- [Washington Post] And finally, since media outlets in several other cities are doing it, Michael Abramowitz politicks a ‘LeBron to D.C.’ scenario for the big local newspaper.
Washington is clearly the place to be for any global icon, which is what LeBron aspires to become. Everyone from Bono to Bill Gates to Angelina Jolie has trekked to the capital to make their mark as truly transnational figures. Prime ministers, Wall Street plutocrats and Hollywood moguls all come here to get their business done. Sure, New York has Madison Avenue. But LeBron doesn’t need to go to New York to get his commercial deals — Madison Avenue comes to him.
Besides, if he went to the Knicks — as fans from Spike Lee to New York magazine are begging him to do — LeBron would just be another superstar, the biggest for sure in New York, but still vying for attention with the likes of Derek Jeter (and his five championship rings) as well as the various rock stars and supermodels who walk the streets of Gotham. Despite the presidential nudge last week, he should definitely avoid Chicago, where nothing he may do would ever rival Michael Jordan’s exploits for the Bulls in the 1990s.
And where are the romance and mystique in Dallas or Miami or New Jersey, reputed to be among the other suitors for LeBron’s heart? Seriously, Jersey?