Having just arrived back in Las Vegas where he trained with Team USA from July 6-11, after spending some time in Philly for a Red Bull event, John Wall and his thick-framed glasses (with lenses) took time to chat with the media about:
his time with the Team USA Select team (“Sometimes it felt like we was on a J.V. team,” John said.);
his thoughts on the Wizards making moves to get veterans (he likes Trevor Ariza’s championship ring);
his observations on Bradley Beal (“He don’t play like he’s 19.”);
No, this isn't Ernie Grunfeld, it's Keith Sweat (clearly) - flickr/gwen
This Wizards lost their second summer league game against the Nuggets, and as a unit, they did not look good. But Ernie Grunfeld’s not sweating. He’s probably sitting poolside at the Hard Rock, requesting that the waitress blast some Skynard “Simple Man” over the sound system while he snacks on a cucumber and plays it cool in the 108 degree Vegas heat.
But should the Wizards’ Pres. of B-Ball Ops. (GM) be breaking a sweat over what he’s seen so far in Sin City?
On one hand, as we keep telling ourselves, it’s just a summer league game. The roster players out there will be playing vastly different roles come the regular season. They will be asked to do specialized acts and play within themselves, leaving the bulk of the scoring/defensive/creating duties to the ‘big boy’ players.
Checked out the Wizards’ foray into the summer league last night. They won, almost blew an 18 point lead to Cleveland. Andray Blatche came out shaky. His version, via the DC Sports Bog recap, “I came out real hyper, real real hyper.”
Yep, in the beginning he looked like the same ol’ Blatche … ill-advised long jumpers early in the shot clock, turnovers while trying to carelessly push the ball on the break instead of passing to a guard, etc..
Eventually, after a talking-to by Dominic McGuire and assistant coach Don Zierden, he settled down, started hitting the boards hard, and played like a summer league veteran.
With the Wizards set to being summer league play in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the team has been holding a mini-camp in D.C. for the players on the team. The camp began on Saturday and will finish on Monday. Both the Washington Post and Washington Times have first day wrap-ups posted on their respective Wizards blogs, but with limited media access (essentially being able to watch the players shoot), there wasn’t much to report.
Both Bullets Forever and Ridiculous Upside previously posted some quick facts about the players on the summer league roster, but I wanted to dive a bit deeper, not only to find out what type of player each is, but also what composes their background.
Part one will focus on James Lang, John Edwards, Alex Ruoff, and Jimmy Baron. Lang, who previously spent time with the Wizards, gets a more formal write up. The rest of them get a short-cut … bullet points.
On June 24th, the Wizards made the trade for Mike Miller and Randy Foye. Increased team depth, Grunfeld is “comfortable” with what he has … better odds to win it all, right? Not exactly.
(For the record, overall I’m very optimistic about the potential of this Wizards team … there are just some holes that need filling, and I’m not talking about some gross porno you probably just watched online.)