ShareBullets: Next Question, Next Web Link, Next Sadness in Wizards Land | Wizards Blog Truth About

ShareBullets: Next Question, Next Web Link, Next Sadness in Wizards Land

Updated: May 9, 2015

ShareBullets: Links, pixels, bullet points, other stuff … shared.

Washington Wizards, John Wall, NBA, Injury, Wrist, Adam McGinnis, Truth About It

[Picture courtesy of the Washington Post]

Dark clouds hovered over sports fans in the nation’s capital on Thursday afternoon when the Washington Wizards announced that John Wall had “five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand.” Previous X-ray examinations had not shown any breaks but once the swelling subsided, they were to take a MRI that revealed the cracks.

I decided to consult a medical physician, not a chiropractor who gives opinions on T.V.

My friend, Dr. Sumeeta Kantak of iNova Fairfax Hospital, told me that Wall may avoid surgery but he likely will be unable to grip a basketball. This is especially problematic for a point guard that has an exceptional left hand. Wall still has not officially been ruled out for the playoffs (only Game 3), so there is a sliver of faint hope that he can possibly play through the pain. However, the painful #SoWizards lore tells exactly how this will play out. “NOT GREAT, BOB.”

Lets share some pixels…


* Jorge Castillo locates experts for possible scenarios of Wall’s wrist. (Washington Post)

According to two hand surgeons who have not examined Wall, that time will not be enough to get him back on the court. His timetable, they said, depends on which five bones Wall fractured — there are 27 in the hand and wrist – but even the best-case scenario makes it unlikely Wall will be able to play Saturday, if against the Hawks at all.

“It’s going to make a big impact on his next two weeks,” David Moss of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine said. “No matter if it’s a bone bruise or if it’s a fracture or if it’s five bones that are fractured or one bone in five places, it’s all going to have an impact short term over the next couple weeks.”

Though improbable, Steven S. Shin of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles explained the swelling could diminish in a week and Wall could then wear a splint that allows for finger and wrist motion to handle the basketball. Though the injury is to his left (non-shooting) hand, fractures take approximately four to six weeks to heal, Shin said, and non-displaced fractures could become displaced ones, which require longer recovery periods and sometimes surgery.

* This excellent summary by Michael Lee of what it is like to follow this Wizards organization is almost too depressing to finish. (Washington Post)

For anyone who watched Gilbert Arenas collapse to the floor after Gerald Wallace dove into his left knee, Kwame Brown fumble post-entry passes out of bounds, Michael Jordan hobble around for two forgettable seasons that even he refuses to acknowledge and/or a washed up Mitch Richmond struggle to hit shots while Chris Webber thrived in Sacramento, Thursday was another unfriendly reminder that the Washington Wizards simply cannot have nice things.

* Lee also reports that Wall had intense arguments with the team medical staff about the severity of his injury.

Wall refused to accept the initial diagnosis of a “real, real bad sprain” after X-rays immediately following the game were negative. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Wall clashed with team medical staffers before sitting out Tuesday because he felt something more serious had caused his hand to explode. After a few days of confusion and concern, Wall got the confirmation of bone fractures that he never really wanted, leaving fans of the team with broken hearts.

* Randy Wittman unloaded on Michael Lee on Friday afternoon about that Wall “clash” passage. (Uproxx)

* The transcript of Coach Wittman’s out burst. (CBS Sports)

“I gotta get this off my chest. You guys that have known me know that I am completely honest with you guys. I don’t always tell you everything, all right, but I don’t ever come out and tell you a lie. And what was reported today by Michael Lee is a flat-out lie. About John clashing with doctors and the training staff. That is unfair to this kid. That is so far from the truth, I’ve got to say something. And if your inside source obviously isn’t on the inside, that’s not fair to this kid, where our doctors, they’re busting their ass. To have something like that said, that’s not right. I have to stand up for those people in there.”

At that point, Lee tried to respond:

“I don’t want to hear anything else,” Wittman interrupted, his voice elevating to a scream. “Next question! Next question!”

* Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer defended Lee’s reporting and called out Wittman’s behavior. (Ball Don’t Lie)

An outburst like this, no matter the frustration that comes from a season’s worth of work shot to bits in one bad fall, is inexcusable. Everyone’s earned a lash-out or two over the course of a tough season, but to call out Michael Lee (one of the more respected and certainly one of the best NBA writers you’ll have the good fortune to click across) is unprofessional and flat-out wrong. Some media will report things incorrectly, and some media will make things up, but it’s safe to assume that someone like Michael Lee did not make up the part about John Wall’s back and forth with Washington’s medical staff.

* TAI’s Kyle Weidie believes maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle between Wittman and Lee. (@Truth_About_It)

* A local D.C. TV station ran video of Wittman and Lee’s discussion continuing after Wittman’s media availability had concluded. I completely agree with Lee’s “I am not the story” response. (NBC 4)

* Then there is this:

** I experienced an expletive filled Wittman temper tantrum toward the media in 2012 at a pre-draft workout. (TAI)

Notebook: A Coach’s Wrath When the media was finally allowed into the gym to see Harrison Barnes workout, Randy Wittman cut the session short and started to yell his displeasure about their mere presence. “Where is that blog who is charting shots?” screamed Wittman.

A member of the Wizards communications team relayed to the coach that the unknown media member, who had visibly raised Wittman’s ire, was not present. Immediately after wrapping up with the players at half court, Wittman continued his verbal assault by barking harsh complaints toward the media as they gathered to interview the draft prospects in the hallway outside of the gym. It turned out that Wittman was upset over an Austin Rivers shooting drill video from his June 15 workout in Washington. Bullets Forever had a video up on Rivers’ “7” Drill that evening. The Washington Post’s Wizards Insider relayed Rivers’ shooting percentage before reporting that Wittman cut his “7” Drill short. And the next day, TAI had its own video and post about Rivers’ shooting woes. Other videos from other outlets also surfaced. Wittman stormed past confused reporters and video camera operators, muttering more about Rivers and complaining angrily that he had to cut his workout short due to the media.

Wittman’s “Next Question” tirade was all over TV and sports blogs on Friday afternoon. However, the one place you could not find it would be on the Wizards Monumental Network. I understand why they edited that part out, but it illuminates the journalistic limits of sports teams being covered by their own media operations. (Monumental Network)

This conflict seems to revolve on the subjective nature of the word “clash.” It is reasonable to imagine that Wall and his camp were frustrated that it took three medical examinations for the franchise player to figure out what was wrong with his hand and wrist. Wall is an emotional guy and was likely perturbed over the situation but probably was cool with everyone afterwards. Wall rarely calls anyone out publicly in the media, but privately he is not shy about communicating his feelings. He values loyalty, therefore, holding grudges it not his thing.

The item which raised Wittman’s ire was in the 14th paragraph, so obviously this was not some tabloid hit job on Wall or the Wizards. This has never been Lee’s reporting style and Wittman knows this too. The coach obviously was trying to stick up for his guys and get a public message across, but he could have talked to Lee privately about his issues. They have had a working professional relationship for years, and it is jerk move to ignore all of that built up trust to create an unfortunate spectacle by questioning Lee’s integrity.

washington wizards, wrist, injury, john wall, truth about it, adam mcginnis



The numbers display how instrumental Wall is to Washington’s success. (Hang Time Blog)

Wall has been one of the best player’s of the postseason thus far, averaging 17.4 points and 12.6 assists. With the Wizards playing small more than they did in the regular season, Wall has taken advantage of the extra space and sliced up the Toronto and Atlanta defenses. Though they scored less than a point per possession on Tuesday, the Wizards have been the most improved offensive team from the regular season to the playoffs by a wide margin.

In five playoff games, Wall has created 30.8 points per game via assists, 12 more than any other player in the postseason. His teammates have an effective field goal percentage of 60.5 percent off his passes.

Having earned a split in Atlanta, a healthy Wizards team would have a good shot at getting to the conference finals for the first time since 1979. But assuming Wall is out, they’re in trouble.

In the regular season, Washington was 12.5 points per 100 possessions better with Wall on the floor than with him off. In the playoffs, the offense has scored 115.7 points per 100 possessions in 191 minutes with Wall on the floor and just 96.0 in 102 minutes with him off the floor.

Ramon Session had a solid Game 2 but there is still a severe drop off between him and Wall. (Washington Post)

As Fancy Stats pointed out, Sessions couldn’t match Wall’s ability to produce for himself offensively while still getting others involved. In Game 1, Wall had 28 assist opportunities and 51 points created (points scored or assisted on),according to ESPN Stats & Info. Sessions, on the other hand, totaled just six assist opportunities and 30 points created.

Quick Hits.

  • An orthopedic surgeon told Kornheiser that he believes Wall will eventually play in the series. (PTI)
  • According to a USA Today reporter, Wall’s return appears doubtful. (@JeffZillgitt)
  • Wall met with the media on Friday. (Monumental Sports)
  • Fans of the Wizards didn’t take the news of Wall’s injury update very well on the Twitter machine. (WaPo Sports Bog)
  • Solid analysis on how Washington can defeat Atlanta without Wall. (Bullets Forever)
  • Wittman’s “Next Question” performance did succeed in deflecting attention to one of his few coaching mistakes of the post season, relying on Nene too much in this series. Atlanta is a bad match up for the big Brazilian, who is mirrored in a miserable funk. Kris Humphries would be a much better option and should be finally given a chance to contribute meaningful minutes in the post season. (Washington Post)
  • Grantland’s Zach Lowe observed in Wizards practice that maybe Humphries is the next Wizard to become a “stretch four.” (@ZachLowe_NBA)
  • Missouri natives, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, garner national praise in this nice write up. (
  • Porter’s emergence has been one of the positive outcomes of these playoffs. (Bullets Forever)
  • Gameday Preview from the Wizards Monumental Crew. (Off the Bench)
  • Wittman is still struggling with the coaching dry-erase board. (@Andrew_Mulligan)
  • There is always humor in photoshops of Wittman. (@SwedenDC)
  • Randy is a two pockets in the suit type of guy. (@wzzntzz)
  • Atlanta fans should avoid chants against Paul Pierce. (WaPo Sports Bog)
  • Pierce, who has a player option for next season, indicates that he wants to stay in Washington. (CSN)
  • I can’t figure out why Al Horford was flinching here, either. (@Jeff_Ermann)
  • I will admit that I did enjoy this Horford “blind” celebration. (@AminNBA)
  • Preview of Game 3 from Atlanta’s TrueHoop site. (Hawks Hoops)
  • Sir Foster, Atlanta’s awesome organ guy, played “Pony” during Game 2. (SB Nation)
  • DeMarre Carroll continues to be Atlanta’s best player in these playoffs. (Peachtree Hoops)
  • Wizards guard Garrett Temple turned 29 on Friday, Happy Bday Gtemp! (@RealDealBeal23)
  • Ex-Ravens LB Ray Lewis gave a motivational speech to the Wizards team. (CSN)

Washington’s Rasual Butler has fallen out of the rotation but is still keeping it real on the Instagram. After sharing photos of his girl (WCW), he responded to the online haters of his mixed relationship.

Good day everyone hope everyone has a great day! For those who have a problem with my relationship because it’s interracial just don’t like our pictures! You don’t have a choice with who you fall in Love with or the circumstances that cause the Love to happen! You don’t know me or her! And what’s sad is my Grandfather marched for civil rights and his words to me was don’t you dare practice racism in anyway He accepts my Woman and the rest of my family!

I Love my race and love our beautiful Black women! In life you meet and connect with those you’re meant to. Don’t be a hypocrite and say that interracial relationships are wrong but turn around and don’t want to be discriminated against! I never respond to things so this will be the last of this but some people need to check themselves! And for the record I’m well aware of who I am and my History! God bless to those lovely people out there who always send me Good vibes they’re being sent right back to you! #learntolivetogether

Butler is dating Leah LaBelle, an R&B singer from Canada, that apparently sang the anthem in D.C. during the Raptors series. Anyway, good for Rasual to stick up for his girlfriend.


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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.