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John Wall ready for his Wizards debut

It has been nearly four months since John Wall played his last real competitive game. The time since his Kentucky Wildcats were upset by West Virginia in the Elite Eight have been filled with him selecting an agent, Dan Fegan, signing a multi-million dollar shoe contract with Reebok, daily training sessions in Los Angeles, a graduation celebration for his younger sister in Raleigh, getting drafted No. 1 overall, buying his mother a new home, and getting settled somewhat in his new city.


It's game time. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE for Getty Images)

Wall will finally get his chance to show what all of the hype surrounding him is about as he ushers in a new era for the franchise with his summer league debut on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors. The game will broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet and NBATV at 8 p.m. The 6-foot-4 point guard won't face off against Stephen Curry, since the rookie of the year runner-up has been a supportive cheerleader over the first few days in Las Vegas. Wall doesn't care. The kid just wants to play.

And, he's anxious. Al Thornton said he worked out with Wall last month at Impact Sports in Reseda, Calif., and during three-on-three scrimmages "he was competing like it was in the NCAA [Tournament] or something." When the Wizards met for mini-camp on Thursday night, Wall said, "I was so happy, I couldn't wait to get out there, but then I got tired pretty quickly."

Wall started preparing for summer league last Monday, working out with Wizards assistant Sam Cassell and picking up some pointers from a former all-star with three championship rings who played in NBA nearly as long as Wall has lived. "When I got hit the first time, [Cassell] said, 'You got to get ready, it's the big leagues,' " Wall said. "I'm used to it. I got hit a couple times, but this is a different level. The guys are bigger, stronger and they're not going to let you get by them as easy. It's going to be a learning process, but I'll get it down pat with my teammates."

Wall has displayed an improved jump shot and blazing speed through the first few days of mini-camp, but he realizes that things will be slightly different when he hits the floor against other teams. "The key is getting out here and playing at this type of the speed. Everything is boom-boom-boom, back and forth," Wall said. "It's a whole difference speed. It's 24 seconds, so you have to go back and forth pretty quickly. It's important for me to get out there and get in shape and prepare for this speed. The key is to keep getting better and learning as much as I can."

Wall has played against pros before, having gained notoriety for dunking on Jerry Stackhouse last summer in North Carolina. "Ever since high school, I've been playing against pros and college guys and that helped me a lot," Wall said. "Playing against those guys helped prepare myself for college and playing against pros, I feel I can play against anybody. But basically you just got to know the game. Everybody is here for a reason."

And Wall will get to show why he is here.

By Michael Lee  |  July 11, 2010; 2:16 PM ET
Categories:  John Wall  
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Next: John Wall overcomes shaky start to finish in full command

Comments

Is this only through broadband or can we get this game locally?

Posted by: jefferu | July 11, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

COMCAST(CSN) at 8PM!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | July 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe the game is on NBA TV 8pm.

Posted by: Nemo4 | July 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

As excited as I am to see Wall out there, I'm more interested to see what the rest of the guys play like. It's a shame Seraphin won't be out there, but very curious to see Booker and Ndiaye out there, especially after some of the performaces by guys like Lawal, Ebanks, Caracter, Rolle and some of the other guys the Wiz considered.

All the same, it is Summer League and it only means so much.

Saw DJ Strawberry play last night. I don't think he's under contract to anyone right now. That's a kid I think they should look at. Based on not much other than remembering how he used to play when he was at Maryland.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Walls, Walls, Walls = Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment--Not competitive professional team sport. A sports fan desire knowledge about substance of a TEAM.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | July 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Walls, Walls, Walls = Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment--Not competitive professional team sport. A sports fan desire knowledge about substance of a TEAM. Posted by: CTaylor42 "

You got me with that one. Once again in English?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait till the game is over and read about the studs Ernie found?

Does anyone remember last year when McGee was the greatest player ever and then went straight to the bench behind Fab on the depth chart?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember last year when McGee was the greatest player ever and then went straight to the bench behind Fab on the depth chart?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 4:50 PM

Another red herring from bulletsfan78. Anyone surprised?

Enlighten us. Who declared McGee the greatest player ever? Saunders? Grunfeld? Pollin?

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I read these blogs everyday and enjoy reading everyones thoughts but bulletsfan78 just pisses me off. Like we get it, all you ever say is negative stuff about the whole team.... you must be single because it seems to me that you just hate the world. Go eat some mcdonalds and put a damn smile on

Posted by: patljr7 | July 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

bobabuie,

I didn't say Saunders, Grunfeld, or Pollin said it it was some of the people on here that made posts like this one...


If McGee... had come out this year he might have been the second or third pick. So Grunfeld struck again.

Posted by: firemetalrat | July 20, 2009 2:27 PM

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 6:15 PM

You said remember how McGee was the greatest player ever. I still don't see any support for your over-the-top claim. Even if someone said he would have been a high first-rounder it doesn't meet the superlative greatest ever. Give it a rest.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I want to see Aaron Pettway from spain might be a sleeper. Booker and H to.

Posted by: dakel76 | July 11, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

"f McGee... had come out this year he might have been the second or third pick. So Grunfeld struck again.Posted by: firemetalrat"

That ain't sayin' much -- seems like big men always get picked higher than they should. Think Hasheem Thabeet, Mike Olowokandi, Kwame Brown. Always a risk involved. You don't think the Magic fretted when they picked Dwight Howard over Okafor? Sometimes the raw prospects work out, sometimes they don't.

McGee is a big-time talent, but we'll have to wait and see if he eventually becomes a big-time basketball player. He's entering his third season. We hear he's getting stronger and even (possibly)taller. We've also learned he's got breathing difficulties and is a terrible low-post defender. The rest we'll get to see in person.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

If I were forced to guess who from the recent draft might turn out to be something of a disappointment, I'd probably go with Aminu. If he's lucky, the Clips will be so focused on Blake Griffin they'll leave him alone.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonWizards.com: Starters for tonight: John Wall, Cartier Martin, Raymar Morgan, Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 11, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

let's get this thing popping.

Posted by: dakel76 | July 11, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey CSN, thanks for making this the only Summer League game I won't see in HD. And also, I really don't need the inset of Chris Miller, I'd rather watch the actual bball action.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I remember how McGee was relegated on the depth chart behing Fabulous.

You think BulletsFan78 just made that up. Please. Fabulous was given the role of the first big man off the bench and he never earned it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 11, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone has finally decided to defend Lebron James.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5372266

See what the Christian Reverend Jesse Jackson had to say:

"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

"His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract."

Posted by: Vicc | July 11, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

As they just said, you don't find real 6'7" point guards everywhere.

The Wizards need to lock up Sean Livingston. It is so important to lock him up, especially if they intend on trading Gilbert.

But on the other hand if Gilbert is right and ready and you lock up Sean, this makes our team so much more powerful and so much further along in our quest to be champions.

Do you feel me.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 11, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Someone has finally decided to defend Lebron James.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5372266

See what the Christian Reverend Jesse Jackson had to say:

"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

"His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract."

Posted by: Vicc | July 11, 2010 9:03 PM

John Thompson did as well. He took it a bit further and said that what these three young black men did is historical and it builds upon the sacrifizes of men before them in the sports arena.

Small petty things can keep and blind us from seeing the big picture. Lebron James did well thar in Cleveland and he owes them nothing.

He not only made a business decision, but he made a decision based upon what he thought was the ultimate prize in his profession, winning championships.

Those three guys made decisions that the best of GM's dream about and Pat Riley deserves some credit for facillitating those decisions and RED AUERBACH is smiling big time and smoking his signature cigar.

Holla at a player when you see him on the street.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 11, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to Jesse Jackson to use the Runaway Slave/Slave Master comparison. He's an idiot...

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | July 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Wall and Mcgee seem to have very nice chemistry so far. Hopefully Wall can bring out some of the potential that Javale has in there somewhere.

Posted by: BACKS | July 11, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree that we must find a way to bring back Sean Livingston and lock him up. He proved his mettle last year and I hope Mr. Grunfeld will commit to this kid. His addition will definitely make our backcourt versatile and more potent. Please Mr. Grunfeld bring the kid back.

Posted by: Maapa | July 11, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

On NBA TV the announcers couldn't say enough good things about McGee, especially Kevin McHale. They think we might really have something with this JaVale. 23 pts, 13 rebs, 3 blks.

bulletsfan78,

Does Kevin McHale's gushing qualify as McGee is the greatest ever??

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

On NBA TV the announcers couldn't say enough good things about McGee, especially Kevin McHale. They think we might really have something with this JaVale. 23 pts, 13 rebs, 3 blks.

bulletsfan78,

Does Kevin McHale's gushing qualify as McGee is the greatest ever??

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

He did the same thing last year...do you understand there is a difference between the summer league and the NBA?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

if JM continue to work on his game he can be a very good center.I'm talking about one of the greatest of all time. But will he ever commit himself to being great? he need's to get stronger in his lower half so he wont be pushed out of position on the lower block.if he can do that he would be a force to be reconed with.

Posted by: dakel76 | July 11, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I saw that kid Prince from Tennessee on the summer league roster. I'd like to see him with more playing time. He was a solid college player.

Posted by: lemekdivine | July 11, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

And once gain McGee comes through with his signature play: fouling a guy 20+ feet from the basket on a pump fake.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

glad to see javale play well and look in much better shape than those other clips. He's definitely a bit bigger and it looks possible he actually did get taller. 22yrs old? No way you even consider parting with this kid, his upside is almost unparalleled.

gotta love seeing immediate chemistry between wall/mcgee

Posted by: divi3 | July 11, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

And once gain McGee comes through with his signature play: fouling a guy 20+ feet from the basket on a pump fake.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 10:45 PM

Raymar Morgan fouled him and the foul was called on Morgan.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

And once gain McGee comes through with his signature play: fouling a guy 20+ feet from the basket on a pump fake.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I know I am probably the biggest javale fan on this site, but I agree wholeheartedly. When he learns to tame that instinct, he will be a markedly better player.

As they just said, you don't find real 6'7" point guards everywhere.

The Wizards need to lock up Sean Livingston. It is so important to lock him up, especially if they intend on trading Gilbert.

But on the other hand if Gilbert is right and ready and you lock up Sean, this makes our team so much more powerful and so much further along in our quest to be champions.

Do you feel me.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 11, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Larry i know I give you a hard time in here esp about Haywood...but let me tell you...I FEEL YOU!

Posted by: Blurred | July 11, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

He did the same thing last year...do you understand there is a difference between the summer league and the NBA?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 11, 2010 10:29 PM

Do you know the difference between saying nice things about a player and saying he's the greatest ever?

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I watched the game and I swear Wall accrued the quietest 24 pts I've ever seen. 8 turnovers sucks though.

McGee is continuing his summer league dominance. It's too obvious that he can be a player if we will be patient with him. I'll continue to be in his corner.

Nobody else really left an impression.

Our starting 5 should be really young. Let them grow.

Posted by: Vicc | July 11, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

And once gain McGee comes through with his signature play: fouling a guy 20+ feet from the basket on a pump fake.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Is that all you could come up with after the kid played a hell of a game. Players will make mistakes, they foul they commit turnovers, they dont box out, etc.

Javale played under control all game. His signature play was alley oop dunks most of the night. For a smart guy that was na idiotic comment.

Posted by: NewManagement | July 11, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

And once gain McGee comes through with his signature play: fouling a guy 20+ feet from the basket on a pump fake.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Is that all you could come up with after the kid played a hell of a game. Players will make mistakes, they foul they commit turnovers, they dont box out, etc.

Javale played under control all game. His signature play was alley oop dunks most of the night. For a smart guy that was na idiotic comment.

Posted by: NewManagement | July 11, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Javale played under control all game. His signature play was alley oop dunks most of the night. For a smart guy that was na idiotic comment.

Posted by: NewManagement | July 11, 2010 11:12 PM

He forgot to change his login to DC_MAN88. Plus he was wrong. The foul was on Raymar Morgan.

Posted by: bobabuie | July 11, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"Is that all you could come up with after the kid played a hell of a game. Players will make mistakes, they foul they commit turnovers, they dont box out, etc."

And McGee's problem his entire (albeit short) career is his tendency to commit the same mistakes over and over again.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

We already know McGee can throw down alley-oop dunks. That's easy to do in a summer league game where no one is playing defense and he's matched up against a lot of guys who likely won't be wearing NBA uniforms once the season starts. There was nothing of substance that particularly impressed about what he did. He basically overwhelmed smaller, lesser competition with his size and length. But we already know that won't work against actual NBA caliber talent on a nightly basis, and nothing he did tonight indicated that he's added anything to his game to address that fact.

But those alley-oops sure looked cool, huh?

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Well it's always easier to be a negative nancy than it is to be positive.

I got a stat:

In the past 31 seasons, only 8 different teams have won the NBA Championship.

Guess what?

That trend will continue.

And so will idiot mofos who continue to find darkness in light. What makes them idiots is that their issues extend farther than allegedly being a fan of the Wizards.

Posted by: Vicc | July 11, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

actually he did look stronger on the low block he was'nt getting pushed off the block like he was last summer and he has added some gurth to his frame. but we still have to wait until he faces stiffer competition

Posted by: dakel76 | July 11, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Nice game by JaVale tonight.

He was supposed to dominate the competition tonight and he did. Let's see if he can continue to build on it. He also ran the floor pretty well. If he can be a threat for alley-oops, the bigs have to respect that and not collapse so hard on Wall's penetration. He did a good job on defense of intimidating penetrators and was a force on the boards. Maybe the dim light is getting a little brighter.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | July 11, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

But those alley-oops sure looked cool, huh?

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 11:26 PM


And the points were even better!

Posted by: ArmChairQB | July 11, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Methinks Vicc needs a hug (or perhaps something a little stronger). Lighten up son. It's just preseason bball.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Wall's pull-up mid-range jumper looked better than advertised but, again, it was against sub-NBA caliber defense. Booker showed some fortitude on a couple of plays, holding his ground when G.S. tried to post him up.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Granted this was only a summer league game, I liked what I saw from Wall.

The way he passed the ball clearly indicated to me that he's a natural passer. He's not "forced into being a facilitator" like others.

He plays within the flow of the team and the game. He looked fluid.

JaTravel got some easy dunks, but if he wants to improve, he still needs to develop his game to be beyond just dunking, and not expect to have Wall give him easy passes.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

And once gain McGee comes through with his signature play: fouling a guy 20+ feet from the basket on a pump fake.

That doesn't bother me as much as the cheating on fast breaks. The problem with McGee is that he's always looking for the flashy play. He's really similar to Tyrus Thomas in that way.

Cartier Martin had some nice plays. I wouldn't mind seeing him signed for the season. He's not a guy that's going to shine in the summer league, but he seems to get the team concept. Loved that play where he found Booker at the front of the rim.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 12, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

"And McGee's problem his entire (albeit short) career is his tendency to commit the same mistakes over and over again."

Personally, I'm hoping he comes up with something new like dribbling the ball off his foot. I used to like it when Blatche did that.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

JaVale played a good game. But he should. Looking at the rosters of the teams we are playing, no one except the Clippers has anyone who should give McGee trouble. So I expect to see him perform like this. That's not taking away from his play tonight, but it's what we should expect. I was hoping to see something more polished from him on the block, but it was their first game.

Looking forward to the Dallas game. Beaubois vs Wall should be something to see.

Posted by: ts35 | July 12, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Cartier Martin had some nice plays. I wouldn't mind seeing him signed for the season. He's not a guy that's going to shine in the summer league, but he seems to get the team concept.
Posted by: djnnnou

I'd expect to see Martin on the roster. He's familiar with the scheme, plays hard, and well, he's cheap.

Posted by: ts35 | July 12, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I gotta admit i see what JaVale was talking about comparing John Wall to Gil. Some of his drives were like the Gilbert of old - from the days when he bragged about how he didn't even see the first defender - he was already looking at the second tier and how to get by. Big difference is JW looks not just to get to the hoop but where he can dish, whereas as JaVale mentioned Gilbert's got way more range and a better shot. I hope the team gives Gil one more chance - see if he's healthy and this backcourt can work - could be some of the most exciting ball the wiz have seen in a long time. Very impressed with John Wall's speed and vision.

Posted by: vanishingelephants | July 12, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Childress and Hedo are going to the Suns in a sign and trade.

Posted by: anacostia85 | July 12, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

Wizard summer collection did not exit me.I was expecting competative players to join the team.They need to scout some where not from this group.They have empty roster.I think Booker will be a real energy man.We need three point shooter from the nondrafted pool.
I am still thinking about Arenas,i am not trying to be negative but i do not know how he is going to control his ego and come out to show who he is on the court.If he could not do that,he will make it hard on himself and the ball club.I think washington has enough drama,god need to help us on this one.

Posted by: gtefferra | July 12, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

"The problem with McGee is that he's always looking for the flashy play."

Yeah. Make the spectacular dunk, miss the easy layup. Attempt to block every shot, forget about the defensive rebound.

The athleticism is nice but I think it's about time for him to show he has half a brain.

I liked the effort I saw from Booker and Cartier Martin.

Posted by: EestiLaps | July 12, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I HAD MY DOUBTS WALL OR TURNER AT THE DRAFT. I AM GLAD I AM NOT A GM THANKS ERNIE.YOU CHOSE THE RIGHT MAN.

Posted by: lazy1520 | July 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey CSN, thanks for making this the only Summer League game I won't see in HD. And also, I really don't need the inset of Chris Miller, I'd rather watch the actual bball action.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing....that's why I didn't want to watch it on CSN...because I knew they would be doing other things rather than just showing the game.

Posted by: chicoexcell | July 12, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Lester Hudson looks like a stud as well!!

How many players besides draft class do you thnk have a shot to actually make the roster????

I'm thinking.....

Morgan, Martier, and Hudson all have a shot...being that we really don't have a proven 3 yet!!

Posted by: chicoexcell | July 12, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I would've loved to see Gee on the summer team this year....is he still balling with the Spurs??

Wall, McGee, and Gee would've been very exciting to see!!!

LMAO!! that rhymes!!

Posted by: chicoexcell | July 12, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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