[A John Wall jumper, original picture via the Internets.]
“I never really had to use my jumper before,” John Wall told Kevin Van Valkenberg of ESPN The Magazine earlier this fall. ”I was so much better and faster than everyone, it didn’t matter.”
Welcome to the big leagues, Junior. Wall may have been the sixth-fastest player in NBA history to 2,000 points and 1,000 assists, but he’s not a top shelf NBA product. Not yet. ESPN’s NBA Rank project, which I participated in this season (here’s the full list of voters), ranked Wall as the 55th best player in the Association. He came in at No. 40 after after his rookie season.
Wall isn’t the fastest player, either. Not according to the 11th annual, and always entertaining, GM Survey on NBA.com. The survey asks every general manager (or team president) in the league to respond to 57 questions about the best teams, players, coaches, etc. GM’s are not allowed to vote for their own team or personnel.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 13, Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers; contributors: Kyle Weidie and John Converse Townsend from the Verizon Center and Arish Narayen from behind the T.V.]
“Charles is going to be Charles.”
Martell Webster on Charles Barkley calling the Wizards the Washington Generals.
Extra! Extra! The Washington Wizards are winless no more.
“I told them we just broke through the ice,” Randy Wittman told the press after the game. “I lived in Minnesota for 15, 17 years—that ice was four or five feet deep, but it’s broken through now. This is obviously a good win for us.”
It was a good win. But it’s their only win. The first. A step in the right direction. Had the Wizards lost to the Blazers, they would have been the 10th team in NBA history to have started a season 0-13. “We don’t want to go down in history as one of the worst teams ever,” said Chris Singleton in the winning locker room. The Wiz avoided that peculiar honor … for now.
What did the Portland Trail Blazers have to say about it? Glad you asked.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 12, Washington Wizards vs San Antonio Spurs; contributors: Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center along with John Converse Townsend and Adam McGinnis from behind the T.V.]
Somehow Martell Webster, more than not, has become the spokesperson for the Wizards. Part of it is that he’s good in front of the mic, so he naturally attracts the media. Another part of it could be that team veterans—Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor—simply don’t always have it in them to speak up, a silence that’s indicative of their poor play this season. Ariza is often long gone by the time the media scrum arrives to the Wizards locker room after Randy Wittman’s end-of-the-night press conference. Okafor, mostly a result of his post-game routine of stretching, etc., often takes so long after games that the press has mostly moved on to deadlines and work before Okafor even starts showering. Thus, we are left with Webster, a guy making a mere $1.75 million this season who wasn’t on the Wizards’ radar until mid-August, instead of the duo—Ariza and Okafor—making around $7.3 and $13.5 million this season respectively. It is what it is. So here is the guy with the guts to say that he and his teammates are embarrassed.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 9, Washington Wizards vs. Indiana; contributors: Rashad Mobley and John Converse Townsend from the Verizon Center with Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 8, Washington Wizards vs. Utah Jazz; contributors: Sean Fagan and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center with John Converse Townsendfrom behind the T.V.]
The Detroit Pistons, who were pacing the NBA in futility, crushed the 76ers in Philadelphia last night, 94-76. Detroit attacked the rim for 48 minutes and outscored Philly 42-28 in the a paint. Greg Monroe led the way with a 19-point, 18-rebound performance. That win snapped the Pistons’ eight-game skid to start the 2012-13 season, and meant that the Wizards, who fell to 0-7 in Dallas, are the last remaining winless team in the NBA. (Fun fact: The Wizards got off to the worst start in franchise history last season, going 0-8; traditions, it seems, are tough to break.)
But Randy “Rodney Dangerfield” Wittman thinks he knows why his squad is falling short of (playoff) expectations: No respect!
“For whatever reason, this team doesn’t get any respect,” Wittman told NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan. “We go to the rim and had 11 free throws. These young guys just have to make a name for themselves, and it’s just baffling some of the things that are said to me by the refs for why they don’t call it.”
Wittman didn’t stop there: “Maybe we have to send the game film everyday to the league.”
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s seventh game of the season against the Mavericks in Dallas are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), guest Bryan Gutierrez (@BallinWithBryan), who writes about the Mavericks for the TrueHoop blog The Two Man Game, and TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), who drops in with another game prediction.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 6, Washington Wizards at Charlotte Bobcats; contributors: Adam McGinnis, John Converse Townsend andKyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Kevin Seraphin contemplates the future, and maybe even his bowels.
Truth About It.net turns a whole five years old at the end of October, which is right about now.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
You may have heard of ESPN’s #NBArank project, now in year two. Now hear of #WizardsRank, where we rank each of those 56 players during Truth About It.net’s five-year run. TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.