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Posted at 5:36 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

John Wall: too much too soon?

By LaVar Arrington

John Wall, the super-talented rookie for the Washington Wizards, has been having ongoing bouts with injuries early in a very long season. That should be a concern to the Wizards.

I'm no coach, but if I'm Flip Saunders I'm definitely paying attention to how he's playing out there and I'm trying to reel him back in. He doesn't have to make every play and he certainly doesn't need to think that he has to have 30- and 40-plus point evenings.

Wall entered the season as the Wizards' proclaimed savior. After he was selected with the first pick in the NBA draft he was flown to the capital, driven in a limo and a police escort to Verizon Center, where he was greeted by a parade. Mayor Adrian Fenty even named a day in D.C. after the young star, declaring June 25, 2010, his day. If this wasn't enough pressure on the young man, he was named the captain of the team before playing one NBA regular season game.

I've watched the Wizards games closely to see if the team has taken any steps in the right direction and also to see how Wall would play. The observation that jumped out at me was that Wall seems to try very hard to make things happen on the court, almost borderline forcing it.

And now he's battling injuries that are keeping him out of games. I wonder if all of the media attention and his being anointed the team savior is too much too soon? He is a bright eyed young man, eager to impress the city and live up to all of the billing placed on him.

I hope that the team as well as fans show patience and give Wall time to grow and develop as a professional basketball player. Believe me when I tell you a player of Wall's athletic ability in the right situation will become a staple for this team and city for years.

But in the wrong situation he may burn out far too quickly.

By LaVar Arrington  | December 9, 2010; 5:36 PM ET
 
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Comments

LA: OMG, I guess you are a basketball expert now? Is there a washington team you like Lavar, i would think you would leave wizard alone since Dan does not own the wizards? Lavar, you are getting a lot of money from this town show some home town spirit man!!!!

Posted by: mazbar | December 9, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

LA: OMG, I guess you are a basketball expert now? Is there a washington team you like Lavar, i would think you would leave wizard alone since Dan does not own the wizards? Lavar, you are getting a lot of money from this town show some home town spirit man!!!!

Posted by: mazbar | December 9, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

No disrespect mazbar but yes, LaVar may not be an expert but he is a fan and has been for a long time. He has often been spotted at Wizard's games over the years so if it's okay to voice our opinions on here as fans then I don't see why LaVar can't also as a fan... All he's saying is he hopes that Wall paces himself a bit as it's a long long season, far longer and brutal than what Wall is used to. Seems like sound advice to me! :-)

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | December 9, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

LaVar is often wrong but, never in doubt. In this case he is on to something. That is- JW hits the floor way too much. A few times a game at full speed. Needs to learn to turn it down at times.

Posted by: Mikereese23 | December 9, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

LaVar can voice his opinion on the Wizards if he wishes. People need to stop hatin' on LaVar!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | December 10, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, LaVar is absolutely right. Too many people are giving John Wall too much pressure. I didn't see the hype going on with Derrick Rose when he came to Chicago. I guess people just think John Wall is the new Derrick Rose. First, they went ahead and gave John Wall the Team Captain position as a ROOKIE? Give it to a veteran man, like Kirk Hinrich like they did with Derrick Rose. People just expect too much out of someone similar in speed with Derrick Rose. John will will fall if he doesn't get it back.

Posted by: lihen12 | December 10, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

As a Wizard fan I would like to see Wall be able to compete for a long time. He goes all out, that makes him exciting and dangerous. Some athletes only know what got them to the dance and find it difficult to adjust, they feel they are not giving their all if they are not running in top gear. Wall is special, hopefully he will figure it out. His coach should keep control of his player, and realize that the future is what is important, not this throw away season.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 10, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

T. Hamilton a respected Washington post columnisty has already written virtually the same points in her article about couple of days before Lavar wrote his....so where is the value added that L.A. has brought in, i can do the same cut and paste as LA has done. Grow up Lavar , support the Washington Teams. My friend you are no longer in New york....

Posted by: mazbar | December 10, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

@mazbar

Your two posts is basically about Lavar and not the story itself. Who cares if he is echoing something that was written by someone else. The man is making some valid points so I don't understand your issue. If you have a disagreement with what Lavar is saying then put it out there. Leave the personal stuff alone.

Posted by: spades72 | December 10, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

mazbar

if you dont like LA dont read his blog man. I think mike wise sucks so I dont waste my time reading his columns or listening to his show. Very simple solution. Dont be the d-bag who comments on every article just to spew personal insults...... get a life man

Posted by: zvick11 | December 10, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

At least Wall doesn't jump offsides on 3rd and 2 and give the other team extra possessions....LOL!

Posted by: amontgomery1 | December 10, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I remember Lavar talking about how he himself didn't listen to the old-timers who suggested that he take it down a notch during practice. There's an old German saying, too soon old, to late smart.

I seem to remember Michael Jordan being injured a lot early in his career. At what point do young bucks learn to pick and choose when to turn it on?

Posted by: dannykurland1 | December 10, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

All he needs is a mid range game and learn to break down at the free throw line in transition to pull up for a short jumpshot. He's used to getting to the basket at will but the athletes are much faster,stronger, and more athletic in the leauge. He'll make the adjustment because he is a student of the game and he wants to get better.

The word is out on him in transition and opposing teams have tried to take that away from him.

He sacrifices his body getting to the basket in transition and hits the floor too much, too hard, and very often.

Posted by: JWADE4 | December 10, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@mazbar Did you even read the full article? "Believe me when I tell you a player of Wall's athletic ability in the right situation will become a staple for this team and city for years." LA does support the Washington teams. All of them.

Anyway, Wall has been battling injuires. Wiz aren't looking to Gil anymore for the future, so Wall's health for the long run should be a top priority. He's a young guy, just have to make sure he's on the right path for his career and the teams success.

Posted by: arjefferson | December 10, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

John wall is playing against different level of players now. This is not like hs and college. I noticed everytime he drives at full speed, he hits the floor most of the times. He will need to learn when to turn it up during the game. Great players know not to get hurt.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | December 10, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought when i saw all the "wall to wall" coverage during the off season on Comcast SportsNet i was like oh boy...what a huge downer that was around the corner. The Wiz are rebuilding. The Caps have already done it. It took the Caps 3 or so plus years to get there. It's amazing in this town how all the coverage goes to the Wiz and the Skins..Don't get me wrong i like all the local teams but I'm tired of the Haynesworth deal and am looking for more of the winning teams say the Caps and Georgetown (even though we slipped up against Temple last night)

Posted by: rdiehljr | December 10, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

That's why I think J. Howard is so important to this team. To assume the primary leadership position on this team.

Posted by: digger76 | December 10, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Good advice! Heed the word, Flip!

Posted by: richs91 | December 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

John wall is playing against different level of players now. This is not like hs and college. I noticed everytime he drives at full speed, he hits the floor most of the times. He will need to learn when to turn it up during the game. Great players know not to get hurt.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | December 10, 2010 10:58 AM

This was my impression from the start, too. I saw how magnificently quick he is, but wondered immediately how he, with his small body type, was going to survive in the NBA flying to the basket as many times as he likes to do it. He's going to get hit. He's going to get hurt. Yes, let's hope he learns to adjust.

Posted by: OintheSierras | December 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

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