I should have known that the NBA Draft Lottery was not going to fall in the Washington Wizards favor when I walked into the media area. Two members of the Cleveland Browns, Joshua Cribbs and Joe Haden, who are from Washington, D.C. and Fort Washington, MD respectively, were sitting at a table with former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar. Maybe under different circumstances Cribbs and Haden would have donned the new colors of the Washington Wizards, but on this evening, their roles were to be good luck charms for Dan Gilbert. They were ensconced in Cleveland Cavaliers gear – the former pseudo-rival of Washington which also happened to be the team that eliminated the Wizards the last time they were fortunate enough to make the playoffs
Two hours later, Dan Gilbert, his charismatic son Nick, Kosar, Cribbs and Haden were posing for pictures in front of the ESPN camera, and celebrating the fact that the Cavaliers had won the first pick of the 2011 draft. The Wizards, who were represented by last year’s number one selection John Wall, were left with the sixth pick, despite having the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
Despite the disappointing draft position, there were still some positives for the Washington Wizards franchise. As I wrote for the DCist, in just a short period of time Wall displayed the type of confidence and leadership that the Wizards braintrust probably expected when they drafted him first just one year ago. He worked the room, he joked around with his fellow 2010 draft classmate Greg Monroe, as well as Kyrie Irving, who figures to the first pick of the 2011 draft class. He was equally comfortable in between Toronto Raptors President Bryan Colangelo and Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson; Wall even mentioned that he asked Mayor Johnson about his role in keeping the Kings in Sacramento.
Here is Wall speaking confidently on his summer plans, his opinion of some of the players in the draft and his expectations for his fellow teammates among other things:
Tags: bernie kosar, cleveland, cleveland browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Ernie Grunfeld, Interviews, joe haden, John Wall, josh cribbs, kevin johnson, kyrie irving, NBA Draft Lottery