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Leonsis on John Wall


Not surprisingly, one of the questions posed to Ted Leonsis during his National Press Club appearance on Friday concerned the identity of the team's No. 1 draft pick. An "overzealous" Wizards sales rep posted on Facebook on Friday that the team was taking John Wall, but Leonsis said no decision has been made.

"You know, one of the things that I've learned, everyone's an expert," Leonsis said, speaking of the general media buzz. "I'm reading all of the reports, the mock drafts. And one guy with passion -- a blogger -- was e-mailing me over the last two days. And he's really articulate. I said 'Have you ever seen one of these players you're talking about play live? Have you ever met these young men and talked to them, or their parents? Do you know their history and background and personal makeup?'

"And the answer was no, no, no, and no. I said 'Well, that's why it's good to be a blogger, but it's not the way the real world works.'

"And so there's consensus on who we should take from experts, and they might be right. But we have to work them out, we have to interview them, we have to do our research, we have to compare and contrast, we have to articulate what type of system would we be playing, we have to build that system and bring in other picks. My goal is to get more first-round picks.

"And so there's a lot that goes into it. And so I'd like to share empty calories with everyone and tell you who we're gonna pick, and everyone would be excited, but it would not be true."

The moderator then made a joke about how Leonsis had been gesturing to the "wall" as he spoke, and asked specifically about John Wall.

"Certainly he's a talented player," Leonsis said. "There's lots of talented players in the draft, and we'll make our decision when we make it."

Still, go buy this new Wall t-shirt with the Curly W.

Leonsis also expressed some sympathy for pro athletes who become young millionaires by talking about his own behavior after he sold his first company.

"I bought my parents a new house, I bought my father for the first time in his life a new car, I bought houses, I became very popular with girls, I had lots of friends, and I started to lose my way a little bit," he said. "I have great empathy for a lot of our players who are equally as young and come into a windfall, because there isn't a How to Handle Early Life Success For Dummies book."

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 21, 2010; 4:34 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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