John Wall arrives in D.C.
In one of the more absurd scenes I've ever been fortunate enough to cover, John Wall arrived at a red carpet outside Verizon Center Friday afternoon, surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of people, all of them trying to take cell phone photos and videos, many of them carrying hand-out glossies of Wall shaking David Stern's hand, and many of them wearing "Wall" t-shirts.
"Madness," said Ted Leonsis, who hugged Wall's mom and chatted briefly with the player. "He's a rock star."
"I felt like I was big-time," Wall said. "I never been on a red carpet before." Later, he compared it to arriving at the BET Awards.
Hundreds and hundreds of these people then headed to the practice court for a press conference with Flip Saunders, Ernie Grunfeld and Wall himself. The rhetoric was....it was a lot. Flip Saunders said something about how all point guards are delivered from heaven, and how he believes Wall was likewise "delivered from heaven." He said he believes Wall will be the best point guard he will ever coach.
Mayor Adrian Fenty was here, and while he had to leave early, he declared Friday John Wall Day in the District. Really.
There was a video, featuring Alex Ovechkin, Adam Dunn, Stephen Strasburg, Donovan McNabb and many others doing the John Wall Dance over the strains of Mambo Sauce's "Welcome to D.C." The words Game Changer were everywhere. Rapper Wale was in the crowd. I mean, the Nats ran away from Strasburg hype, but the Wizards are diving into it.
"This is a very important and special day for this organization," Grunfeld said. "This is a new era...and what better way to start a new era than by having a No. 1 pick....We found out that he has outstanding character, obviously his physical attributes are off the charts....He has a real competitive nature. Winning and losing is very important to him, and those are the kind of players we want to build this team with, players that care about winning and losing, and have pride, and have great character and a great work ethic."
"He's gonna be here for 10, 12 years...and he's gonna bring a lot of electricity to this building."
Unlike many press conferences, this one was filled with fans, who clapped and screamed and "uh-huh'd" his responses.
Honestly, it was insane. Oh, and Steve Buckhantz closed things by saying "Welcome to Wall Street." Pretty sure they haven't officially renamed it yet, but that's a good thought.
Posted by: tsbrul1 | June 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: aarseneault06 | June 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Cosmo06 | June 25, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: swishjobs | June 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: joeinva1 | June 25, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: snake_taylor | June 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jimof1913 | June 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RojoJohnson | June 25, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Urnesto | June 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Urnesto | June 25, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: upscalechef | June 25, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: trolly_time | June 25, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mlewis222 | June 26, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.