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In Wilbon's World

Maybe it's Wall, after all

I've been operating under the impression that John Wall is a nice player, but not a special one, not a kid who makes you think your ship has come in because you just won the NBA draft lottery. I thought that winning the right to draft Kentucky's Wall was like winning $500 in the lottery, not the Super Duper Mega Lottery where you never have to work again a day in your life.

I was convinced, in fact, the Washington Wizards, the franchise with the worst luck in the history of professional sports in America, would win the lottery Tuesday night because there was no college player to lose your mind over. No Magic Johnson, no Hakeem Olajuwon, no David Robinson or Patrick Ewing, no Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, no LeBron James ... not even a Yao Ming or James Worthy. I was thinking that this, 2010, simply wasn't the time to get all worked up over winning the lottery if Wall was the Guy.

And then somebody who knows more about basketball than anybody of his generation shook some sense into me. Magic himself, sensing I was undervaluing what had just happened for the Wizards, said: "No, no, no, no! The Wizards have got to take John Wall. They must take this kid.

"When he's got the ball in his hands, he causes excitement. You can always get an Evan Turner. He's a very, very good player. But there will be an Evan Turner in next year's draft. The game has changed. ...There are no more huge big men you have to stop, no back-to-the-basket guys. The big guys are all shooting fadeaways and playing 15 feet from the basket.

"More than ever you have to start with a really good point guard. Look at what Utah does with Deron Williams, New Orleans with Chris Paul, Chicago with Derrick Rose, Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook. ... Look at how Rajon Rondo has come along with Boston.

"John Wall's got a little special in him. You can't pass on him. Look at Atlanta; they passed on Chris Paul and Deron Williams and are still trying to recover from that mistake. The last two rookies of the year [Rose and Tyreke Evans] are point guards. Wall has that same type of ability, lived up to the same level of hype as Rose did in college. You do it at Kentucky, you're playing on the biggest stage in college basketball every night, against top competition every night. You know what Wall does now as well as anybody in the league? Gets it off the glass and goes. I mean, right now he does that as well as anybody in the league."

I'm not about to argue with Earvin Johnson on the subject of point guards. He's the final word on point guards, on who can play and who cannot, on the importance of the position -- and most important to John Wall -- how much more important the position has become in the last 10 years as Big Men become big men. In that way the NBA has become more like college basketball. Guards rule. Mostly point guards.

Magic says he wouldn't even automatically dump Gilbert Arenas. "I like a guy with something to prove," he said, "a guy desperate to prove he's still one of the top players and that he can avoid trouble. And Gilbert has exactly that to prove."

If Magic turns out to be right, Tuesday night, May 18, 2010, will have been an enormous night for the Washington Wizards. This isn't like the Washington Redskins making noise in the offseason. One player in basketball makes that big a difference, both on the court and in energizing the fan base. And goodness knows the Wizards needed something good to happen to them. Something, anything.

If ever it was going to happen, how appropriate on the draft lottery after the death of Abe Pollin? How gracious of Ted Leonsis to wait in the wings while Irene Pollin, wearing her late husband's 1978 Bullets NBA championship ring, officially represented the club. Maybe it's Leonsis, with two overall No. 1 picks to his credit -- one in the NHL, one in the NBA -- who's going to change the luck of the franchise.

No matter, winning the lottery and the right to draft John Wall isn't a nice thing for the Wizards, it's an enormous thing. The way you go from awful to great in the NBA, with few exceptions, is to win the lottery.

If Wall's what Magic and most everybody else thinks he will be, it would help attract Carmelo Anthony with all that salary cap money the Wizards could still have next summer. Or, dare I say it, Kevin Durant. All-stars want to play with all-stars and if you have one it's easier to get another one. That's why the New Jersey Nets were so excited about the chance to draft Wall because it figured that LeBron James wanted to play with him. The Nets, all of a sudden, aren't so attractive. The third overall pick? I like Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors and Syracuse's Wesley Johnson more than Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins, a lot more, actually. But they're not point guards and it wouldn't seem they are players who would make LeBron say, "Yep, I gotta play with him."

This doesn't mean LeBron's going to want to play with Wall in D.C., either. The Wizards aren't at that point yet; they haven't evolved enough to be invited to the big party just yet. But winning the lottery and drafting John Wall appears to be a step toward the door.

Magic Johnson had one more thing to report about Wall before we turned our attention on the ESPN set to the Orlando-Boston Game 2: "I talked to guys who told me that Wall has been in Los Angeles for the last two weeks practicing six hours a day. All the indications are he's a gym rat. You want a guy with that skill level who wants to be in the gym. You've got to take that cat."

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  May 18, 2010; 9:56 PM ET  |  Category:  Gilbert Arenas , NBA , Wizards Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: So much for all the panic | Next: Fast-forward to the Finals

Comments

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Wilbon, you wouldn't know who John Wall was if he was standing right in front of you.

Posted by: mcsobran | May 20, 2010 2:40 PM
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This can be a good thing for the Wizards if they're patient enough to let it develop. The Wizards have a history of getting then trading All Star players. The, on-the-court, problem with Agent 0 is that he's not a point guard, so having a true one will allow him to come off of picks like a true swing man. Wall needs to work on his jumper and will probably take a full season to bring his game up to the pro level. But right now Wall is the closest person I've seen that could check a Rondo or a Rose. Hopefully the Wiz' can get a quality free agent that can make life in the locker room more productive. So Blache and Arenas won't be the Alpha males.

Posted by: kingmemnon | May 20, 2010 11:15 AM
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Abe Polin was a great man who loved the city of Washington and put his money where his mouth was. He valued things other people didn't, including hard work and loyalty over talent. He was a great business man who made a nice living and shared what he earned with others. Can you say the same?
Gil needs to go, go, go and his contract needs to be voided, voided, voided.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | May 20, 2010 10:59 AM
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"No Magic Johnson, no Hakeem Olajuwon, no David Robinson or Patrick Ewing, no Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, no LeBron James ... not even a Yao Ming or James Worthy."
See a single white guy in this list? Nah, not from predictable 'World-Wide -- if you're black -- Wilbon'.....

JPMCC

While I think that you are a jerk. I want you to name the top pick in the NBA draft that Wilbon didn't mention in the last 15 years.

Please don't say Andrew Bogut or Andrea Bargnani

You are a joke and you don't know your NBA history.

Posted by: jjack1 | May 20, 2010 10:40 AM
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As long as that a$$clown Arenas is on the roster, this team is doomed.

Posted by: Durham2 | May 20, 2010 10:00 AM
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"No Magic Johnson, no Hakeem Olajuwon, no David Robinson or Patrick Ewing, no Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, no LeBron James ... not even a Yao Ming or James Worthy."

See a single white guy in this list? Nah, not from predictable 'World-Wide -- if you're black -- Wilbon'.....

Posted by: JPMcC | May 20, 2010 8:52 AM
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Sure Wilbon. Magic knows hoops but he was also spotted doing the John Wall dance at Rupp Arena last year. Not clear that his perspective is completely unbiased. Kinda like all of your perspectives on the Tiger Woods saga.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | May 20, 2010 7:57 AM
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Come on, everyone. Get a grip! Les Wiz are cursed and HOPELESS! They'll figure out a way to screw this up too. This poor kid's career is DOOMED!

Posted by: jemoorman | May 19, 2010 10:30 PM
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Um...Yeah this is Big. Apparently Ted has the magic touch when it comes to getting lightening to strike in a bottle. This is a most Fortuitous turn of events for DC sports in general and a Giant Leap forward for the Wiz. Nevertheless, this is still step one for the Wiz, step 2 will be next summer (2011) when some NBA All-Stars with local ties become free agents. They should start positioning themselves to be a key player in next summer's free agency market,
ready to offer a Max Contact to Kevin Durant. But I do kinda feel sorry for the NJ Nets, the 3rd pick in the draft doesn’t do anything for them. If I were their GM I would trade that pick to Minnesota for the rights to Ricky Rubio. He is never gonna play in Minnesota anyway so that should be a pretty easy deal.
Congratulations to the Wiz and all of their fans!

Posted by: threeof3 | May 19, 2010 5:42 PM
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C_NOTE_70,

C'MON BRAH...EASE UP ON THE POLLIN FAMILY. THEY HAVE FEELINGS JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. YOU'RE TAKING THIS WAY TOO SERIOUS. I KNOW THAT YOU'RE A BIGGER PERSON THAN YOUR COMMENT.

REMEMBER, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S ONLY ENTERTAINMENT.

Posted by: carterm1 | May 19, 2010 3:19 PM
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TEMPY_MCJOBHUNT,

I'm dying over here...LOL. You're probably right, the Cavs won't come anywhere near a playoff spot. That's even with knowledge that every team makes the playoffs in the NBA. (with the exception of the Wizards and the Clippers) HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Posted by: carterm1 | May 19, 2010 3:13 PM
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Ok everyone I am going to say, the best thing that happen with the Wizards is the day Abe Pollin died. Abe was a bad owner protect Agent 0 and his stupidity, protected Wes the worest coach ever in the NBA (you could have gotten a train monkey, to do a better job), give too much money for waste of playes (again see agent 0, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, etc.), brought in that scumbag Jordan and I mean MJ, gave a way Wallace for a cow and 2 magic beans, letting that inept woman run all of the good players and coaches away and trying to ge a good Global Citizen by changing the name from the Bullets to the Wizards. We need to rid the organization of all Pollin's. Tell the wife to go away and the same with the sons there bad karma is not what we need.

Posted by: c_note_70 | May 19, 2010 2:24 PM
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BTW the Wizards need a New Uniform Design. The Round Hole Top is Old and Ugly compared to Miami's unique curved V type design.

Posted by: liveride | May 19, 2010 2:01 PM
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CARTERM1,

Thats funny. I can't speak to how selfish Lebron is our isn't, but this I can say with certainty: not only will the Cavs go farther without him, they won't get anywhere near the playoffs. They've won 60 games the past two seasons. If he leaves, they could win half that next year. Thats a lousy team w/o Lebron.

Posted by: Tempy_McJobhunt | May 19, 2010 1:46 PM
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Hey Wilbon, may I have your job. You don't seen to know any more about basketball than I do. While you're at it, let me take over your halftime spot on ABC and ESPN. Not to mention PTI. I never seen someone with so much talent make good money for not using it.

Posted by: blackman721 | May 19, 2010 1:26 PM
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A lot can happen in one year, but I do not see at the moment why Mello and certainly Durant would want to leave their current situations. I like the idea of going after R. Gay or D. Lee this offseason, two players who I think can leave: Gay b/c he is local and Lee b/c (and I am really speculating here) he will feel jilted from all the FA attention NY is going to give the big 3. Let us hope that NY comes up empty on all 3 b/c then they really would want Arenas. Keeping Gil, at SG, would not be a terrible thing, but I still think this is a situation where it's better if both parties split...if possible. Plus, I like Foye and Young as the 1-2 combo at SG anyway. Get back Boykins and Livingston to back-up Wall.

Posted by: mcgratsp | May 19, 2010 1:10 PM
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I've heard grumblings that the Wizards should consider signing LeBron James. That would be a BAD MOVE!!! I don't think LeBron is willing to share some of the "lime-light" with anyone else. He's a selfish player who wants all of the attention except when who loses. He has a problem with congratulating all of the players on the winning team (see Orlando Magic 2009 series). I would fall out laughing if he left the Cavs and they advanced further in the playoffs without him. Hilarious!

Posted by: carterm1 | May 19, 2010 12:57 PM
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For this year:
KEEP ARENAS!!!
Get Wall.

Next year:
Get a big body to grab boards (someone between Perkins and Blair).

Sign Durant.

Win multiple championships.

Posted by: jaguar2490 | May 19, 2010 12:37 PM
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Dear Mike "BN" Wilbon:

Original thought has its advantages...Try it just once, you might like it!

Posted by: hmorrisjr | May 19, 2010 12:31 PM
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Gilbert better prove he can play defense, take a charge and stay in front of other Guards and not just allow them to Buster him for 24 while he scores 25.

Posted by: liveride | May 19, 2010 12:13 PM
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The Wiz winning the lottery and the Nets dropping to 3rd makes for a more interesting "Summer of Lebron." The Wiz need to take Wall. Ideas of him playing Side by Side with Arenas are suspect. When a team goes small it normally doesn't drop to 6'4 twins. Gil is not known as a stellar defender. Gil has a bloated contract that goes until 2014 at 20 mil for 2012, 13, and 14. While Wall has been playing at a high level in college should we as fans not expect Wall to be the 1st man off the bench. Get him 20 Mins a night being in charge of the 2nd string and get some time with the Starters. Let him grow into the role of savior. He is a real PG vs Arenas. This has become a PG and mobile F league. Wall would immediately improve the Wiz regardless of his starting or coming off the bench.
Conversely the Wiz winning the lottery pick may have made life easier for the Nets. If the Nets had won they would have to make a hard choice between Wall and Turner. Now that is resolved. The logic of that statement is as follows. The Nets have Lopez at 18.8 PPG, Harris @ 17 PPG / 6.6 APG and Yi and 12 PPG all but 3 of their players last season are 27 years old or younger. If the Nets can trade up and acquire Turner they become more attractive to Lebron. Why? Turner could become LBJ's Pippen. a versatile G/F who has size, smarts and is understated. If the Nets somehow could also nab Bosh then that lineup and their bench get them into the 2nd round of the Playoffs. What Phi would want for the trade becomes the real question.

Posted by: Hank4 | May 19, 2010 12:07 PM
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John Wall is reputed to be a High Character and Hard Working player. If we works his tail off he may be as good as Derrick Rose, Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

We still need a big post player like Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins, or highly skilled players Derrick Favors or Greg Monroe.

Now let’s see if we can trade Gil for a number 2~3 pick and have a KY reunion.

Posted by: liveride | May 19, 2010 12:06 PM
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I wasn't excited about Kwame Brown at all and I'm only slightly more excited about John Wall. This is one of those (many) years when it really doesn't matter if you have the first pick or the fifth. Wake me when Gilbert returns to form.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | May 19, 2010 12:02 PM
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Honestly, Wilbon's columns are no more significant than a monument column in DC...it just holds up a huge piece of rock.

As far as Wall, he could be an excellent fit, provided he's slotted properly.

Gilbert isn't going anywhere, so Wall at the Point is excellent. He can drive, get double teams and this guarantees Gilbert his shooting without getting beat up like he normally does driving to the bucket.

He's a good fit for Blatche because Blatche at least runs the floor for a big man...so that spreads the defense and creates shooting opportunities for a lot of Wizards. *hint* Work on those jump shots fellas!!

I think Javale is going to be the catalyst this season. If he does good, the Wiz could be a serious team to deal with.

Hope all goes well...and change that name Ted!!!!

Posted by: cbmuzik | May 19, 2010 11:36 AM
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I agree with Magic, the Wizards cannot pass up on Wall. He is the best available player in this years draft, and good point guards don't always come around. So, it would be a mistake for the Wizards not to draft him.

Check out my post on the draft:
http://eastcoastpaperboy.com/2010/05/19/powerball-new-york-lottery/

Posted by: jon3889 | May 19, 2010 11:34 AM
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To me Wilbon lost some creditability with the "Theres's Lebron and then everybody else article." He did comeback nicely with his next big article concerning the King -- with some insider talk from GM's. But now he's saying that he likes Derrick Favors and Wesley Johnson over DeMarcus Cousins, give me a break. Favors and Johnson are nice players -- DeMarcus is a beast. A little immature, but most 19 year old kids are. This guy has Carl Malone type potential, with the size, strength and agility to dominate in the paint. He will have a much better inside game than Mr. dunk or nothing Dwight Howard. Favors and Johnson will be O.K., but will not have the impact of Cousins.

Posted by: laboyde | May 19, 2010 11:27 AM
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I have to agree with Wilbon. First of all, he (Wilbon) has gone from local talent to national talent.(see PTI) To accomplish that feat the man knows what it takes to become a winner. And for him to pay homage to the Great Magic Johnson, only shows that he's not too big to respect the game of basketball.

I agree with Magic and Wilbon the Wizards almost have to pick Wall. He plays with an extraordinary amount of energy. Much like Josh Howard (pre-injury). It's a different game in the NBA and it's ran through the point guards.

I believe if the Wizards can get Alridge from Kansas (6'11" with attitude), along with Wall in this draft, they are well on their way.

Posted by: carterm1 | May 19, 2010 11:17 AM
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I had to laugh when I saw Allen Iverson included in the same sentence with Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, etc. If John Wall is an Allen Iverson then please please please do not draft him. AI was the most overrated player I can recall. I think I could score 20 a night if I took 40-50 shots. He definitely had skills but no team he was ever on was going to win a championship. It sounds to me like John Wall is a different type of player though that gets all his teammates involved in the game as well - plus a 3.5 GPA when he knew he was "one and done" is also impressive - a testament to his work ethic and aptitude I would think.

Posted by: AsstGM | May 19, 2010 11:05 AM
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oh, so now wilbon is acting like he knew AI was a "college player to lose your mind over?" please
___________________________________________Were you hiding under a rock when Iverson was here at Georgetown. He was the consensus number one pick and considered by many scouts to be a can't miss superstar.

Posted by: impartial1 | May 19, 2010 11:00 AM
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Mike - you said the Suns were quaking in their boots about playing the Spurs. They swept the Spurs. Maybe you should have asked Magic before you said that.

Posted by: GeneWells | May 19, 2010 10:48 AM
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I love Wilbon, but he ALWAYS defers to a former player to help form his opion. Former and current athletes are not always the best evaluators(see MJ). And i think we always assume athletes will and should play to their greatest potential, but this is reality, not fantasy leagues or some video game where the best player is always rated the highest. Wall could very well be a good player, but just because Magic says take him, it does not mean he's going to be the next greatest thing. strasburg might be the exception, atleast i hope so. btw-magic is one of my favorite players in all of sports, but i've never heard him say anything negative about another player.

That being said...A lot of good hoop people are saying to take Wall, so that's exciting...Gil has to go now.

Posted by: boricuabopper | May 19, 2010 10:42 AM
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All I had to see was his 3.5 GPA. If a player is dedicated and mature enough to handle his studies when he is guaranteed millions in a year, that is the guy I want.

Posted by: BT23 | May 19, 2010 10:35 AM
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Who are these idiots comparing Wall to Kwame? Wall was a very special player on as big a stage as there is in the NCAA. Kwame played friggin HS ball. Quite a difference to bas your judgement on. Easiest decision in this draft is who is the No. 1 pick.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 19, 2010 10:33 AM
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Davel4, could his assessment be any worse? In any case, it's nice to hear from someone outside the organization.

Posted by: jrodgersjr | May 19, 2010 10:23 AM
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The curse is in the purse... Not so fast. Arenas could be a bad influence on Wall. Wall could get hurt in practice. Lets wait til the kid plays a whole long season..

Posted by: jercha | May 19, 2010 10:03 AM
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"... the Washington Wizards, the franchise with the worst luck in the history of professional sports in America..." Wrong. Don't you think the vast majority of the Wizards misfortunes have resulted from its ownership's incompetence?

Posted by: Rravenfan | May 19, 2010 10:01 AM
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i think we KEEP gilbert, regardless of who we select. if wall, there is no doubt in my mind that the two of them can play together. one of the few things wall doesn't yet do well is make treys, but that WILL improve. meanwhile, he does have the speed and quickness to get off midrange J's to help balance the floor with gilbert, thornton/miller(?) from range which will open the middle for blatche and let mcgee (or whomever else is on the front line) crash the offensive boards. nick young and livingston (if he stays) off the bench will present huge problems for opponents. actually (in my view), the current roster, with a summer of practice and better coaching, may already be capable of getting 40 wins and making the playoffs. i do not think the team should trade these picks for veterans. build the team through the draft and whomever (veterans) that are looking for a positive situation will come.

Posted by: dcjazzman | May 19, 2010 9:53 AM
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Wilbon you are such a hypocrite!!!

You refuse to make hay out of the NFL draft yet gush over the NBA lottery.

Posted by: oldnova | May 19, 2010 9:50 AM
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Sorry JaVale McGee, I called him Tim McGee. Play this dude.

Posted by: reesea1 | May 19, 2010 9:46 AM
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With all due respect to Magic, an unbelievably good player, another unbelievably good player was responsible for selecting Kwame. Does Magic have better player evaluation skills than Michael Jordan?

Posted by: davel4 | May 19, 2010 9:46 AM
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PG- John Wall - Shaun Livingston
SG- Gilbert Arenas - Mike Miller - Nick Young
SF - Le Bron James - or Any Free Agent, Josh Howard, Al Thornton
PF - Aundray Blatche, Al Thornton
C - JeVale McGhee

NEEDS - REBOUNDING MACHINE WITH ADEQUATE SCORING POTENTIAL

#30 and #35 draft pick

SICK! SICK! SICK!!!
BEST TALENT IN NBA. THANKS ERNIE GRUNFIELD

Posted by: 1bmffwb | May 19, 2010 9:45 AM
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"...there was no college player to lose your mind over. No Magic Johnson, no Hakeem Olajuwon, no David Robinson or Patrick Ewing, no Allen Iverson..."

oh, so now wilbon is acting like he knew AI was a "college player to lose your mind over?" please!

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/9431880.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS&date=Mar+25%2C+1996&author=Wilbon%2C+Michael&pub=The+Washington+Post&edition=&startpage=C1&desc=Not+yet%2C+Allen.++Not+yet

why should we pay attention to anything this clown says?

Posted by: vnoahcampbell1 | May 19, 2010 9:44 AM
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Lets not be stupid, take John Wall he's a major addition in turning this thing around. Keep Gil only if he's committed to being one of the best in the league, he's your SG. He can get a bucket any where on the court agianst anybody. Gil wake up!!! Blatche grow up dude!!! Josh get back to being an all-star!!! Mike Miller come on!!!. Chris Bosh "PLEASE" and some defense. Also, put Tim McGee in the regular rotation, he brings the max every game. Find out who can really play from your bench.

Starting Five
PG John Wall
SG Gilbert Arenas
SF Josh Howard
PF Chris Bosh
C A. Blathe or Tim McGee

Posted by: reesea1 | May 19, 2010 9:40 AM
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The curse may not be lifted but @ least for 1 night we are #1.

Wall is the real deal: maybe better than Derrick Rose.
Makes Rose look like he's standing still.

& Bank on this: Bullets will be the name if not this season (paper work in short period of time) - then '11-12

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 19, 2010 9:39 AM
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If Magic says he's a player, that's good enough for me. Go get him, Ernie!

Posted by: and_1 | May 19, 2010 9:37 AM
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Magic realized that Wilbon was drooling and hanging on his every word so he decided to mess w/ him a bit. He told Wilbon that it's a good idea to check your tire pressure in the middle of the night. Sure enough, at 2 am Wilbon was in his garage w/ his tire gauge.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 19, 2010 9:14 AM
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John Wall is a special player with enormous potential.

Just like Kwame Brown.

The Curse lives. Bank on it.

Posted by: kemp13 | May 19, 2010 8:49 AM
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First of all, there should be no pretense about what the Buzzards (Bullets/Wizards) do--Grunfeld and Leonsis should open up channels with Wall and his agent and get this out of the way before draft night.
But the elephant in the room...and I hate saying this...is LeBron. If we believe the story that LBJ wanted to go to whoever had The One--knowing it was going to be Wall--then the Wizards suddenly have a monster chip. The league should do a meet to get the majority ownership turned over to Leonsis immediately--it was strange (but typically SternWorld) that Prochorov was allowed to get control of the Nets before Leonsis has been allowed to take over the Wizards, but...if LeBron forces the Cavs into a sign-and-trade, the Buzzards have a few parts they could throw at Cleveland--Josh Howard and/or Aundray Blatche and/or Al Thornton come to mind...

Posted by: scotpeirson | May 19, 2010 8:39 AM
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Wilbon, get out of here with this junk. You dump all over the NFL draft, then get caught up in the NBA LOTTERY?! Give me a break. What a hypocrite. No one knows how any of these kids are going to turn out. Are you now some draft expert? Pleease.

Posted by: hithere1 | May 19, 2010 8:10 AM
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When are you sports writers going to quit exaggerating the value of athletes by using the terms "savior" and "hero" in association to players. Geez. Hero worship in sports is so ignorant and juvenile.

Posted by: wkrdove | May 19, 2010 8:06 AM
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If we are truly starting over, then Arenas needs to go. Clear out all the bad air that has hung here for years!

Posted by: slimjim21787 | May 19, 2010 7:52 AM
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I'm glad to hear that Magic thinks Wall is a number 1 pick.

What about his statement that the game has changed, and that there are no huge big men that you have to stop, no back to the basket guys? Something tells me that Magic didn't watch the Wizards much after the all star break last season. The Wizards couldn't stop any strong center wiht a back to the basket game. Remember what Marc Gasol did to McGee? I bet Magic didn't see that game.

So take Wall by all means, but don't listen to that nonsense about big men. The Wizards obviously need another big man who can at least play good defense and rebound well.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | May 19, 2010 7:48 AM
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Wilbon...for all your professed love for basket ball, you continue to show your ignorance of the game. I don`t know much about the specifics of the NBA game..but even I knew the game has become about point guards
and guys with a lot of speed and scoring ability. Portland could have picked Kevin Durrant..and went for the big man..Oden. How did that work out?
Abe was a great guy...and did a lot in many arenas besides the NBA...but face it...the buck stops at the top..and the Bullets/Wizards did not do much since winning in 1978. Well they did pretty well in ~79~ but that was it. Abe should have sold the Wizards to Ted along with the Caps. After so many years of failing.he should have stepped aside years ago.

The team better not make a mistake with the no. 1 selection!

Posted by: blazerguy234 | May 19, 2010 7:47 AM
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Anyone who can't see that this kid Wall is not a special talent needs to take off of their blindfolds. Kentucky beat some great (not just SEC) teams this year in hostile territory. Who was at the helm? Also, the sign of a good point guard is how well the players around him played. Where is Demarcus Cousins slated to go?
I think the curse is lifted. At no time in the recent past have you found that we have the # 1 pick, plenty of cap room, a player in Gilbert who could potentially be (with more time to heal his knee and his head and something to prove) one of the most explosive players in the NBA, a very crafty NBA veteran in Josh Howard and two other picks (#s 30 and 35) to boot.

Will all the bullets/zards fans on this site, stop living like the jilted girlfriend and get excited about basketball or just stop watching and commenting on it.

Posted by: justman1 | May 19, 2010 7:35 AM
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Teddy L., go ahead, change the entire culture of this team...now. Package Gilbert, Blatche, Howard, Foye & Miller any way that you see fit and build around your new Wall.

Carmelo won't come, but Rudy Gay will if the presentation is right. But change the culture....

Posted by: karlw171 | May 19, 2010 7:14 AM
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red, white and blue unis
John Wall - 22 ppg. 10 assists in 3 years
buy out Gilbert -do you really want him taking Wall under his wing?
Blatche
Howard
Carmelo
McGee

with Greivis Vasquez, Mike Miller, Livingston, SIngleton, Hassan Whiteside coming off the bench

rename the team The DC Jam

Posted by: minorthread | May 19, 2010 6:57 AM
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I don't know what position the Wiz need but Wall's the man for the job. He can turn tricks that Evan Turner only dreams about. Don't get me wrong. Turner is good, but not great. Wall has the talent to be one of the premiere guards in the NBA for the next decade. More than Chris Paul, he can be Rondo with wings.

Posted by: KraftPaper | May 19, 2010 6:20 AM
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wilbon wrote in a chat yesterday that the zards should take evan turner. WRONG!!!

Posted by: slim4 | May 19, 2010 5:51 AM
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Let whomever they choose get a couple of years under their belt before any proclamations...Wall is a nice look

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 19, 2010 4:21 AM
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Mike: I think your original premise might be more accurate. This is not necessarily the year for the Bullets to have the number 1 pick. Still too much controversy with Gil and Andre etc. Not sure that Wall can make a difference or at least that much of a difference with what the Bullets have to go with him. LeBron isn't coming here, nor is Wade nor are any of the other top notch free agents. I'm not sure Wall wants to play here he might holdout forever to force a trade let's face it this place has been a disaster for a long time. Ted proved to be a great owner for the Caps but rebuilding this mess may well be beyond his capacity. I'm not sure what other options the Bullets have but maybe they should explore them prior to the draft.

Posted by: cctsbuddy | May 19, 2010 4:10 AM
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Definitely need new uniforms. The current bronze-and-aqua is hideous... I never rock any Wizards gear because it looks ridiculous.
Old-school, 70's style red, white and blue uni's would be awesome. Keep the name Wizards, even though it's kind of lame, as a nod to Abe Pollin, who felt guilty about the name "Bullets" and the city's gun problems. Also, given our backcourt's firearms issues, not the best idea. Maybe make the new uni's similar to the old Bullets and Harlem Globetrotters duds.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | May 19, 2010 3:45 AM
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The curse is not lifted until Wall plays a season without one of his legs randomly dropping off, a real possibility in the mind of a life long Wizards fan.

I wonder what this makes the front office think about Livingston?

Posted by: yankeevicar | May 19, 2010 3:23 AM
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I meant to say GREATER authority, of course

Posted by: augustiswest | May 19, 2010 2:06 AM
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While I like the idea of wilbon bowing to a lesser authority, I don't see wall as being as good as Paul or Westbrook. I hope I'm wrong and he's the true pg this team so badly needs, along with a big.

Posted by: augustiswest | May 19, 2010 2:04 AM
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DMoney,

Learn to read before you criticize other posters.

SMATHERS1 said "I'm not so sure SEC basketball over the past two years qualifies as "top competition."

There was nothing said about Wall being in the SEC for two years, just that the SEC has not been good the last two years.

Posted by: shalendra_s | May 19, 2010 1:32 AM
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Wall could be the magnet that draws a Bosh or Stoudemire to Washington, when otherwise they might have preferred to gargle razor blades to coming here. All good bigs love to play with a good PG and the Zards have some cap room. Wall also can play defense, which on the Zards would make him almost unique. If he starts with Agent Zero, he is big enough to guard whichever of the other team's guards who is the bigger threat and let Arenas do his matador act on the lesser of the opponents' starting guards.

There is also one other BIG source of luck in this draft. Due to the CBA ending, an inordinate number of talented underclassmen are coming out -- and staying in the draft rather than ducking back to college when not assured of being picked in round one. That means that the #30 and #34 picks may generate some seriously talented players this year. Those draft picks could also have serious trade value for the same reason. In my fondest dreams, I see them packaging Arenas with one of those two picks and trading up far enough to get a decent big man.

Posted by: dolph924 | May 19, 2010 1:28 AM
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nkscouting@gmail.com

At least the Wizards have hope, unlike the Los Angeles Clippers. You could give the Clippers the top 5 players already in the league in the NBA each year, and in my opinion they'd finish in the lottery every year.

If David Stern has so much clout in Los Angeles, has come he hasn't convinced the owner of the Clippers sell his team?!

Yes, they should take John Wall! He would sell tickets, which Evan Turner would not. Who would get excited about seeing Evan Turner play? No one that I know.

By the way, there's no way that LeBron will play for the New York Knicks. Name me one player who has intentionally gotten himself traded to the New York Knicks!

Posted by: nkscouting1 | May 19, 2010 1:10 AM
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Mathers...

He played in the SEC for one year. Please know your stuff before posting nonsense

Posted by: DMoney28 | May 19, 2010 12:56 AM
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I really hope Leonsis chooses this offseason (perhaps the draft itself) to re-brand the Wizards back to the Bullets, replete with the old-school Red, White, and Blue uniforms.

Posted by: alecw81 | May 19, 2010 12:30 AM
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Whoa now, Ray, let's not get carried away with ourselves. I'll believe that the curse is lifted when Wall turns out to be the next Rose or Evans or Paul or Williams.

Posted by: ASchumacher | May 19, 2010 12:25 AM
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I agree with Magic, they have to take him. After going over his stats, he has a tremendous upside along the lines of Deron or C. Paul.

Posted by: jbworldwide | May 19, 2010 12:24 AM
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I'm not so sure that SEC basketball over the past two years qualifies as "top competition."

Posted by: smathers1 | May 19, 2010 12:16 AM
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We needed this last year when Blake Griffin was the #1 player. If he could have stayed healthy with the Wizards, that line up could have been impressive. (until Gilbert pulled out his guns) Arenas and Butler in the back court, Jameson, Heyward and Griffin up front could have been special. We'll have to see about Wall, but I just don't see can't miss superstar written on him.

Posted by: unquiltom | May 19, 2010 12:15 AM
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Wonder what TK will say now. ;-)

Posted by: JamWhitt | May 18, 2010 11:57 PM
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Spot on Wilbon.

Wall is going to be a special player, thank God the "curse" is lifted!!!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 18, 2010 11:35 PM
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