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Stephen A. Smith: Wall "is showtime"


John Wall at a Kentucky Derby party. (By Jeff Gentner - Getty)


If the Wizards had drawn the No. 2 pick in the draft, fans would have rejoiced. People would be happily watching Evan Turner highlights right now. I'd be quoting experts on how Turner might turn out to be a better pro than Wall.

But Turner doesn't, perhaps, inspire the sort of delirium that Wall has prompted in the minds of the most ardent Wiz fans. They're just kids, obviously, but Wall seems to have something of whatever it is that makes Alex Ovechkin so beloved here. A bit goofy, a bit majestic, a bit larger-than-life and a large bit of excitement.

That all prompted a Stephen A. Smith stream-of-rant on Comcast SportsNet's Washington Post Live Wednesday evening, and I can't say I disagree with anything he said.

"I mean, there's nothing to debate, there's nothing to speculate about," Smith said, when asked whom the Wiz will take. "If the Wizards are trying to be intriguing, that's because they're trying to find an excuse to be intriguing. The reality is is that John Wall will be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, because it makes absolute sense, because he's far and above exactly what everybody needs at that spot.

"You find a way to make sure you get him on your roster. Not only is he a sensational point guard, but the reality is is that he is box office, and we all know how desperately the Washignton Wizards need that after the season that they have had. There is no intrigue, there is no speculation, there is no anything. Come June, they will be drafting John Wall, period....

"What I would hearken y'all back to is when Magic Johnson came out in the NBA draft approximately 30 years ago. If you remember, there was a guy that was No. 2. That guy was Sidney Moncrief. He went to the Milwaukee Bucks. He could ball, ok? He was a perennial all-star. Some felt that had he not gotten injury and his career continued on, he would have been considered for the Hall of Fame.

"But there's a difference between somebody that can play and somebody that's showtime. And what I am saying to y'all is that y'all are sitting here talking about just basketball. I am telling you, the city of Washington, Washington D.C, this nation's capital, after what it's been through this past season? The fact that Caron Butler is gone, that Brendan Haywood is gone? You look at the talent that they have on this squad, which is suspect at best, just a bunch of little puppets, little kids running around. And all you've got is Gilbert Arenas, who's coming off the year that he's had? You need a box-office attraction. You need a star. Y'all are talking about basketball. I'm talking about a star. That's what I'm talking about."

(Really, that was all one sentence, but I provided punctuation out of courtesy. I guess Eric Prisbell technically gets a few seconds to talk in the video below, but you know SAS wanted to interrupt him.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 20, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Wizards  
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Comments

saw wpl yesterday, live, & sas comesoff as a non-local a$$

Posted by: Hattrik | May 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I spotted some non-local a$$ at Nats Town last night too!

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 20, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

SAS is not meant to be on a panel. He kept saying "I respectfully disagree" with JT3 and Prisbell when they were saying the same thing. JT3 did everything he could not to laugh at him.

Dude is such a joke and ruined that segment of WPL. Almost as bad as CSN showing viewers texts on the bottom of the screen...

Posted by: colerwilson | May 20, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

SAS = Cheetos!

Posted by: BlueberryRuffin | May 20, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Stephen A. thinks. A complete blow hard. This is not news.

Posted by: anw821 | May 20, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

saw wpl yesterday, live, & sas comesoff as a non-local a$$

Posted by: Hattrik | May 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

You are just mad because he gets paid to rant about sports and be opinionated and you have only thw WP web blog and you gets nothing for your rants and opinions. There are bigger opinionated self absorbed ranting a$$es on these blogs. I know I am one.

Posted by: geo030865 | May 20, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Live has gone completely downhill since Russ Thaler left........

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about SAS he aint wrong in this case. There should be NO question on who the Wizards should take and it is John Wall

Posted by: mjterry99 | May 20, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

saw wpl yesterday, live, & sas comesoff as a non-local a$$

Posted by: Hattrik | May 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse


You are just mad because he gets paid to rant about sports and be opinionated and you have only thw WP web blog and you gets nothing for your rants and opinions. There are bigger opinionated self absorbed ranting a$$es on these blogs. I know I am one.

Posted by: geo030865 | May 20, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse


NOW THAT'S FUNNY!!

Posted by: wisdom80 | May 20, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Live has gone completely downhill since Russ Thaler left........

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Why did he leave? He's still on CSN. I like him too...

Posted by: Barno1 | May 20, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

What's w/ the glasses and the tux? Wall looks like Urkel.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 20, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

love stephen a cant believe hes not on national tv anymore..

Posted by: cboyhater | May 20, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I know im in the minority, but I think the number one pick is the not the godsend that some think it is. How many elite point guards are there left at this stage of the playoffs? There is one, and he is surrounded by two maybe three future hall of famers. John Wall is an awesome pass first pg. Who does he have to pass to? Blatche? The Wiz should package the pick and draft someone like Cousins or Favors. Elite big men are hard to find. Livingston showed that he can run the point and he was a former top 5 pick. Wall is the kind of guy you bring in when you have a major piece or two. Unless the wiz can convince a big free agent to come on board he will be a wasted pick. He will energize the fan base, but we all know wiz fans are front runners. Once the novelty wears off the seats will be empty again. Boston turned their lottery pick a few years ago into Kevin Garnett, why cant the wiz do the same. Would you rather have Wall or David Lee and Wilson Chandler. How about Kevin Love and the number 4 pick? The number one pick allows you to get one great player, if Grunfeld is smart he could turn it in to two or three.

Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | May 20, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Live has gone completely downhill since Russ Thaler left........

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 20, 2010 3:28 PM |
I agree Ivan Carter is a clown. SAS is ok with me, I have no problem with him. I like how he keeps it real. Russ Thayler was a way better Moderator.

Posted by: calito02 | May 20, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Good points KingJoffeJoffer,

As I see it, there are:

2 elite point guards left (Rondo, Nash)
2 elite power forwards (Amare, and Gasol when not playing center))
1 former elite power forward on the decline (Garnett)
1 elite small forward (Kobe) and
1 former elite SF on the decline (Paul Pierce)
1 elite center (Howard)
0 elite shooting guards
Then a few superior, but not transcendent players like Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Bynum, etc.
With the exception of SG, which is arguably the least important position on the court, these figures at least superficially suggests that there are many different positions capable of bringing you into contention. I love Cousins, Evans, etc., and given equal talent, one always chooses big over small. I just don't see anyone with the possibility of being a franchise cornerstone talent after Wall. You're right, there's a good chance someone picked after Wall will prove to be the better player (the top three rooks this year were picked 4,7, 10). It's a crapshoot, but you take your chances with the best prospect available, and the consensus best player by far seems to be Wall. True, you might get two good players for the number one, but also bear in mind how an elite player draws free agents. There are only a few elite players in the league you can build a franchise around, and experience shows you better swing for the fences when you have a chance to nab one (Foye & Miller for Jennings or Curry again, anyone?). Can you imagine Miami without Wade? LA without Kobe? Cleveland without Lebron? It doesn't matter how many good players you have: only teams with elite, transcendent players win championships. I'm not sure Wall is that guy, I'd rather be picking with Duncan or Lebron coming out, but he appears to be the surest chance we have.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 20, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Kobe is a SG.

Posted by: tramellcanady | May 20, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

"Who cares what Stephen A. thinks. A complete blow hard. This is not news."

Actually, Stephen A. is widely respected in the basketball world. Yes, he's arrogant but plyers open up to that guy and he knows basketball.

I agree with Wilbon however and you have to listen to Magic Johnson. The guy has championships and literally played EVERY position on the floor (if you're old enough to remember).

I can't disagree with either of those guys. John Wall is going to be a star and unless someone has a crazy brain fart it's going to be here!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 20, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

1 elite small forward (Kobe) and
1 former elite SF on the decline (Paul Pierce)
1 elite center (Howard)
0 elite shooting guards

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 20, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

You had me until you claimed Kobe is a small forward. From the rest of your post you seem pretty well versed in the NBA. Do you really not know Kobe is a shooting guard? I think even my grandma knows that.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 20, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the posters above-- who cares what Screamin A Smith shouts? Wow, John Wall is a good player? Gee thanks for the news flash. Hopefully WPL is just another stepping stone down until SAS is doing the morning sports broadcast in some tiny little market.

Posted by: calhokie | May 20, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards SOLD 400 season tickets as soon as they secured the #1 pick in the draft.....that right there tells me they're gonna draft JOHN WALL! I just don't see where Evan Turner would have 400 ppl running out to purchase season tickets.

Just Saying

Dageez from Waldorf,Md

Posted by: DAGEEZ | May 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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