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John Wall wants to play in front of Obama

I'm not sure if it's even lazy Internet hyperbole anymore to talk about Barack Obama as a recruiting tool for D.C. sports teams, even if he doesn't root for them. Maybe "Obama" is just the primary cultural landmark for athletes who have never been to D.C., but his name was one of the first out of Donovan McNabb's mouth at the quarterback's introductory press conference, and John Wall is already talking about him.

"President Obama can be at your games," Wall told's Andy Katz on Tuesday night. "I'll keep working hard and hopefully they'll pick me."

"That's my homeboy right there," Wall said of Obama to Yahoo! Sports. "We talked to him before we lost our first game [at Kentucky]. He tried not to jinx us, but I think he did a little bit."

Katz spent the entire day with Wall, and his report is obviously a must-read. After Obama, the next name that stood out was...well, read for yourself.

"People thought I was just going to look over college basketball and not take it seriously, not do my school work and just look to the draft," Wall said. "But that wasn't my goal or my mindset. I went to Kentucky to be a better player. Coach [John Calipari] and [assistant] coach [Rod] Strickland helped me get better. The college experience jump-started me to the NBA."

There's enough good stuff to read Wednesday morning that you might not get any work done at all. Ernie Grunfeld noted at the lottery that his Washington Post horoscope had been promising, so Henry Abbott at True Hoop went to dig it up (and read the rest of that, too):

"This dutiful, responsible mood that has overtaken you has gone on for far too long, and you've decided that enough is finally enough. You're going to have some serious fun, and you're going to have it now!"

Jake Whitacre at Bullets Forever noted that "the last four guards taken with the top overall pick are Derrick Rose, Allen Iverson, Mark Aguirre and Magic Johnson." That's not terrible company.

Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo says the Wizards will still try to trade Arenas, and that Wall's face will soon be hanging on the side of Verizon Center:

What's so important for the Wizards next season, though, is this: The return of Arenas becomes marginalized with the arrival of Wall. The kid is strong and sure with flair and substance. He doesn't make the Wizards a playoff team, but he makes them watchable again. He makes them a magnet for free agents and fans. As much as anything, John Wall makes the Wizards relevant again for all the right reasons.

Ted Leonsis makes it clear to Michael Lee that he'll have at least some say-so in what's happening here:

"I'm going to let our staff do their work. Ultimately, it's the general manager's call. But if he wants to trade it, he'll have to come through me.

Andrew Sharp at SB Nation links his horrific case of food poisoning to the Wizards' lottery win.

And Kyle Weidie at Truth About It pointed out that the John-Wall loving LeBron James blurbed Ted Leonsis's recent book, and, well....hey, why not wonder?

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 19, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Flip Saunders praises John Wall


So who becomes our main DC recruiter in 2012?

Posted by: fushezzi | May 19, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Too bad they're still saddled with Gilly.
I'd rather have 2 other 50 mill guys instead of him. Mix them with the #1 on the floor. I don't care about his pistols. He will never justify that contract. An idiotic move from jump.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Kev29 | May 19, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Thank god Leonsis would make any attempts to trade come through him first. 'Cause you know Grunfeld would like to trade that pick away...

Posted by: DaleGribble | May 19, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Rod Strickland, I observed him first-hand several times outside of the court when he was with the Blazers and let me tell you that it's hard to imagine ever meeting a bigger _ _ _hole.

Terry Porter, Chris Dudley, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams were all phenomenal, great to kids, decent people. Chris Dudley sunk a million bucks to guarantee everyone attending a particular inner city elementary school would be able to attend college.

Rod Strickland as a coach - wow.

Posted by: nativedc | May 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Too bad they're still saddled with Gilly.
I'd rather have 2 other 50 mill guys instead of him. Mix them with the #1 on the floor. I don't care about his pistols. He will never justify that contract. An idiotic move from jump.

Posted by: ridgely1 |

Thank you! Just one in a series of BONEHEAD moves by out inept GM Bumfeld! The vastly overrated Gil does not even approach the level of talent to warrant a max contract. Compare him to top players in the league? Laughable!

42% carreer shooter, 35% from 3. Any clown can average 20 if you just keep gunning... so to speak.. the ball regardless of how many you miss.

We are going nowhere until we FIRE Grunfeld and somehow rid the team of Arenas!!

Posted by: iubiquity | May 19, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

That was strange hearing Rod Strickland and help in the same sentence... what's even more troubling was hearing coach :) When strickland was a bullet, he was the same self centered sum-bee as he ever was. The world revolved around him. I hope Wall pans out (can't shoot the jumper) so he does not turn into another great lottery pick we had....who I think is now out of the NBA before turnign 25! (maybe he is a cheerleader somewhere on someone's bench)

Posted by: rvanags | May 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, I can't wait to watch Wall play with JaVale McGee. The two will electrify Verizon Center!

Posted by: RedCherokee | May 19, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Rod rung up DWI #4 last month and UK has placed him in some sort of admin job.

Posted by: buster_c | May 19, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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