NBA All-Star Weekend is here, but what about the Wizards? “The team needs a break,” writes owner Ted Leonsis on his blog. Nowhere does he mention the media (professional or those with day jobs) needing a break. Nor, more importantly, does he mention fans needing a break. So, the players may be getting much needed (but not much deserved) rest, but Wizards fans… they really just get a reprieve from bad basketball. “With the season over in two months..the rest of this season really has nothing to do with this season,” writes @WorldWiEdWard on Twitter. Exactly… so you gotta wonder if this Wizards franchise will have the balls to start making significant adjustments in the second half of the season, predicated on the disastrous first half, to better set themselves up for the future. Who knows. But let’s not take all the fun out of NBA All-Star Weekend 2012, one in which a single Wizard is participating — John Wall in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge as well as in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. To discuss this weekend’s festivities in 3-on-3 fashion, including the Rising Stars Challenge which is tonight at 9 pm, we have TAI’s Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis), Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and Kyle Weidie (@truth_about_it). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) John Wall (Team Chuck) is at 9-1 odds to win the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge MVP, behind Jeremy Lin (Team Shaq, 5-1), Blake Griffin (Team Shaq, 7-1), and Kyrie Irving (Team Chuck, 17-2). [Full odds listing below.] What are Wall’s real chances (factoring in him becoming miffed at being taken 12th in the Barkley/Shaq draft, or Barkley’s hared of the Wizards)? If not him, who you got?
McGINNIS: Las Vegas bookmakers earned their nickname of “Wise Guys” by having the Wall ranked much higher than he was selected by Barkley or Shaq. Wall was the best player in his 2010 draft class during his rookie season, has a national Reebok shoe campaign featured in Foot Lockers across America, and he is reigning MVP of this Rookie-Sophomore game, but TNT’s lack of coverage around Wall has declared him an afterthought. Wall will play extremely well as his pass-first and fast break game is suited for exhibitions like this one, and he will be fired up more than normal. However, I expect Jeremy Lin or Kyrie Irving to win the MVP. This is what NBA wants and TNT employees will be sure to deliver it for them.
MOBLEY: John Wall didn’t need to be miffed with his snub in the “draft” or motivated by Barkley’s distaste for his team to do well in this game. We know from his record 22 assists in last year’s game, and his dazzling summer exhibition performances from 2011, that he can easily stand head and shoulders above his peers. That being said, my vote is for Ricky Rubio. The Maravich in him will be unleashed.