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The fans and John Wall



It really doesn't matter if the Wizards have the first 15 picks in the draft; this event is at Madison Square Garden, and so it's about the Knicks. It's about fake LeBron Knicks jerseys, and Knicks yarmulkahs, and handmade Knicks signs, and Knicks fans chanting "USA" and blowing on vuvuzelas (really) and telling me I look like Jon Barry.

But that doesn't mean there weren't at least a few Wizards fans scattered throughout Madison Square Garden. They were here, and they were ebullient, whether wearing old-school Wes Unseld attire or possibly-soon-to-be-equally-outdated Gilbert Arenas jerseys.

The mass of the crowd was not interested in the Wizards' pick, chanting "Kwa-me Brown-nnn, Kwa-me Brown-nnn" when the Wizards were on the clock. But when the pick was made, there were at least three or four pockets of mostly youngish Wizards fans who stood and raised their arms in triumph.

(And also a whole heck of a lot of Kentucky fans, but we don't care about them much, do we?)

"It's the first time in two decades I can actually root for a Washington basketball team," said Adam Bieber, perhaps overwhelmed by the moment. "Twenty-three years of being depressed. Gugliotta. Webber. Strickland. Kwame Brown."

"Tyrone Nesby!" shouted out one of his friends.

"Popeye Jones!" shouted another.

"This is gonna work this time, they're actually going to rebuild, and we're going to do it the right way," Bieber continued. "You can say you're a Wizards fan and people don't laugh in your face."

Wall was considerably less....well, he was on stage, not in the balcony. He was asked what was more important for the franchise, winning games or rejuvenating the fan base.

"I thought it was going to be the fan base, but I feel like if you support them in their city, they are going to be there," he said. "The main thing is being on the court and learning so much. It's a different game and a different speed, and I've been grinding hard this whole summer, waiting and preparing for it."


The fans, though, weren't waiting.

"We were screaming, going nuts," said Bob Derouin, a Wizards fan from Alexandria wearing all Bullets gear. (This is a trend, no? Half the Wizards fans here are wearing Bullets shirts.) "It's a start," he continued. "I don't think it's a LeBron James start, but it's a start, it's a step in the right direction."

"It's the beginning of a legacy," maintained Jeffrey Bieber, Adam's brother. "John Wall's gonna change Washington D.C. basketball. John Wall's the truth."

"Only John Wall can make two goofy Jewish kids from Chevy Chase dance like this," Adam said, as they performed the John Wall Dance.

"This is literally the best moment of your life," someone else shouted at Bieber. He didn't disagree.


By Dan Steinberg  |  June 24, 2010; 9:17 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: A vuvuzela at the NBA draft

Comments

I cant wait till we change our lame nickname and uniform in the next few years. Bullets, Justice, Generals in Red, White and Blue is much better then sucky Wizards.

Posted by: MrWillie | June 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Those shirts are hot. I wonder where they got them?

Posted by: twoeightnine_ | June 24, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

That's what you get for letting the team name be selected by a write in contest. At least change that really lame logo. Wizards should look cooler than that.

Posted by: Andymr | June 25, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

They let 16 year olds drink in NY? Wow

Posted by: Kev29 | June 25, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I cant wait till we change our lame nickname and uniform in the next few years. Bullets, Justice, Generals in Red, White and Blue is much better then sucky Wizards.

Posted by: MrWillie | June 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse


I think Gilbert has pretty much ensured we can never go back to "Bullets." But, I'll be a VERY happy man if we bring back the stars-and-strips from the '70s!

Posted by: stwasm | June 25, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah - I'm diggin' the Curly W "Wall" t-shirt. Anyone know where I can get one of them?

Posted by: Ootek | June 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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