John Wall makes like Darrell Green
Here's Michael Wilbon, describing the above play, which might have been the most memorable part of Tuesday night's Wizards home opener.
[John Wall's] quickness is the kind that embarrasses defenders and that allows him to cover ground like few players in the league. [Andre] Iguodala is sure enough one of the game's highest flyers and took off for a dunk in overtime that would have given the Sixers a two-point lead. But Wall ran him down and contested Iguodala's dunk. Okay, the kid committed a foul while blocking the dunk. But it saved the Wizards one critical point, in a one-point game, because Iguodala missed the first of two free throws.
So let's see, a lightning quick D.C. rookie chasing down an established national star from behind during his regular-season home debut. Ring any bells?
"On the night of Sept. 5, a tiny Washington Redskin rookie named Darrell Green caught the attention of the National Football League and a national television audience by catching Tony Dorsett from behind," George Vecsey later wrote in the New York Times. "The Dallas Cowboys' star runner was racing toward what was apparently an 83-yard touchdown when Green turned on his certified 10.08-second 100- meter speed and spurted past two of his teammates to tackle Dorsett on the 6-yard line. The Cowboys eventually had to settle for a field goal instead of a touchdown, and one can only guess how many psychic points that electrifying pursuit cost the Cowboys and Dorsett in the weeks to come."
"Darrell's the only defensive back in the league who could have caught Tony," Redskins safety Mark Murphy said the week after that game. "To me, it was like Dorsett was standing still. I had a very good view of it (while also in pursuit), although both of them kept getting smaller."
That play remains an enduring part of Green's legacy, despite the fact that the Redskins lost that game by a point. Even watching it now, it's just an incredible display of speed. I guess check back with me in 28 years to see if we're still talking about Wall's game-saving play from Tuesday night.
(Video via SB Nation DC. Idea for this post via Reader Tom.)
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