This is John Wall. And the Future Ain't All That Bad | Wizards Blog Truth About

This is John Wall. And the Future Ain’t All That Bad

Updated: April 19, 2013

Garrett Temple cleaned out his locker at the Verizon Center on Thursday and departed with its contents in a large, black trash bag. John Wall cleaned out his locker and left with a large, rolling suitcase.

Bags were packed, ready to go. Wall wore an adidas shirt and Zubaz-esque shorts. CSN’s Chris Miller had jokes. “Summertime fine,” snapped-back Wall. And the DC Sports Bog had a whole pixel post about the garb.

So with that, it’s summertime, John Wall, and Wizards fans.

Feel good about how this season went?

First question, immediate, authoritative response: “NO.”

Wall’s key to ‘summertime fine’?

“The main thing we all got on our list is healthy. Just stay healthy.”

The former No. 1 draft pick is confident, almost braggadocio, nay, totally that word when he is on his game. And on his game he was, for portions of this season. Wall showed enough to earn a max-lite contract extension this summer.

You’ve all seem him flex on the court. Hell, Wall caused a Colin Cowherd aneurysm when he “Dougie’d” on the floor prior to his first NBA game. It’s just the amount of confidence you want in a star (in the making). But Wall is also humble in front of media, and fans–perhaps as coached. Wall knows what it’s like to be a loser, and he’s clearly hungry for a winning meal.

Making the playoffs?

“We’re healthy, we’re easily a playoff team, that’s the main thing, we’re healthy…” said Wall.

In the first 90 seconds of his media exit interview, the word “healthy” was said seven times. Probably makes Wall a true Wizard. He understands injuries and pain.

Wall spoke about a variety of subjects on the last official day of the 2012-13 season for the Washington Wizards. You see, people may be saying their goodbyes, but it’s not a summer off. It’s a summer of preparation. That’s the impression that Wall gave. It’s the preseason to the next preseason.

He’ll travel to St. Louis to workout with Bradley Beal, he said. John was sure that Beal would pay a return visit to Los Angeles where he’ll be working out. Wall will call other teammates, organize more workouts. Nothing he hasn’t done before. He’s a leader.

If not, Randy Wittman will certainly make sure it’s so. When asked about keeping track of his players over the summer, Wittman said:

“Oh, I’ll stay in touch with them. They know that. They’re going to go their separate ways, but they’ll be back in town here when I pick up the phone and tell them to be back in town here. And that will be throughout the summer.”

End of season John Wall spoke about a lot of things, so let’s see what else he had to say…

 What do the Wizards need? 

“A pick-and-pop 4 wouldn’t be bad, or a scorer off the bench at the 2/3 spot, I mean 2 spot, wouldn’t be bad to have to add-on to the guys we have that’s doing a great job in our second group.”

Will his approach to summer workouts change (in consideration of his pre-stress fracture)? 

Doesn’t seem like it. About his injury, the stress injury (“cartilage built up under his kneecap,” according to Wall), he said:

“I think it was just my time and it came.”

On a max contract?

“I think I’m taking the steps I need to take to keep improving and help my game develop, offensively and defensively. Just try to keep getting better and try to lead these guys and lead this organization back to the promise land, that’s all my goal is. That’s what I’m worried about. Nothing else, but just winning here.”

Less than the max?

Only video can explain:

“If we’re winning, I’m cool with anything,” is the key part, but can’t be completely sure.

What about recruiting free agents to the Wizards?

“I’m not a recruiter … I feel like if they want to play with me and stuff like that, they’ll come out. I’m not going to go beg anybody. I feel like if they see how I play and how my team plays, and they feel like they can fit in and add to our team, then they’ll make it a consideration. But I’m not going to go out and beg nobody to come play for us.”

Like the statement. Like the triple negative, I think.

Adding young players (via a potentially high draft pick)? 

“I don’t really know what to say to that. I’ll leave that up to management, but I think we have enough young players, but I think management knows what’s best for us and the organization, and they’ll make the right decision.”

In other words, I’ll tell them myself, not through you media types.

To the summer we go. There’s lots of work to be done. Out of the public eye for several months, at least as a team, before we know it the Wizards will have to prove it. Whatever ‘it’ is.

Did Wall think he could make that much of an impact when he came back this season?

“No, not at all. I just know they call me the ‘Game Changer’ so I don’t really take that too much into consideration. I just want to come in and help my teammates, and make the job easier for those guys.”

This is John Wall.

{And the Future Ain’t That Bad.}


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.