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John Wall on his new jersey, origins of his dance

Up, up and away. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

John Wall fittingly was the first model for the Wizards slightly new look, as he put on his soon-to-be-popular No. 2 jersey for the first time on Tuesday for the NBA rookie photo shoot with the Panini sports memorabilia company.

The new road uniform has some minor tweaks, with a V-neck collar, names in white lettering as opposed to gold, and also a sleeker feel with Adidas' unique mesh pattern and design. Wall was especially excited to finally represent his team in something other than a summer league practice uniform.

"This is my first time really putting on something with the Wizards on it. To have a real game jersey on means a lot," Wall said adding that the uniform felt like "a Kentucky jersey. They are light. It's nice to put on something that I'm going to be wearing for a long time."

Wall had a pretty hectic schedule, but he found time for fun. A DJ provided music during the photo shoot and I probably heard "Teach Me How To Dougie" about, oh, 50 bazillion times. No matter how many times it came on, Wall couldn't help from doing the dance. He even engaged in an entertaining dance competition with Tiny Gallon and former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins.

Wall said that the popular dance was the foundation for his signature move in which he bops his chest, forms his arm like a tea kettle and whips his wrist back and forth. He said nobody has to teach him how to Dougie. "I got the Dougie down pat," Wall said. "You got to have a little bit of rhythm to be able to do it. I learned the Dougie from Texas people, even though Doug E. Fresh did it first. You just got to add different stuff to the mix. I decided to do it one day."

And the result was the dance move that has become a surprising sensation.

You can also check out some video from our conversation on Tuesday, when he talked a length about meeting with Gilbert Arenas at Verizon Center last week:

By Michael Lee  |  August 17, 2010; 11:31 PM ET
Categories:  John Wall  
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Next: Wizards move training camp to George Mason's Patriot Center


I effin' love this kid.

Posted by: mardiros | August 18, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Well it looks like our offseason is dwindling down and we are looking at what we've got this season... roster wise and uniform wise. Disapointing to see the lack of change with the uniform. I really hoped we would at least change the lettering to something less cartoonish, and if keeping the blue maybe strip it to more basic colors (like a Kentucky style blue and white for example) rather than the mish mash of supposed team colors (blue, black, gold, bronze, white). Maybe "WASHINGTON" instead of Wizards on the road unis for example. More of the same old that no one likes... let alone a change to red, white and blue!!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Darnell1,
Maybe more alterations will come later.

I love the team but never really liked the name "Wizards"

I mean could they find something any less intimidating?

Posted by: millineumman | August 18, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I do like pretty much all of the roster moves. I like the change to a young roster with upside, athleticism and size. We have a team built for run n gun with a potentially dominant backcourt and frontcourt players with size and the ability to run with Wall for some slamma jammas!

I figure Wall and Arenas, with Blatche and Thornton is most likely. Seraphin, Yi, McGee will compete for that 5th spot. I actually like Seraphin to take it, especially after watching Yi and McGee in their world game performances.

Lets say we go with Seraphin, Blatche, Thornton, Arenas, Wall..

That leaves us with McGee, Armstrong, Yi, Booker, Howard, Young, Hinrich off the bench.

That's 12.. am I forgetting someone??

I figure once Howard is back healthy he can be utilized off the bench at SF/SG along w/ Hinrich at PG/SG. May see alot of uptempo unit of Wall, Arenas, Howard, Thornton, Blatche also.

Haven't heard anything about Singleton. I'd love to see him back. If he's retained I could actually see him compete with McGee, Seraphin and Yi for that final starting spot (pushing Blatche to C). In any case I'd like to see him back, as well as Cartier Martin. They also were talking about bringing back Oberto which would make 15, which I wouldn't mind... he adds a veteran with some good fundamentals and work ethic to teach the younguns, and another physical big to give us some fouls inside.

PG - Wall, Hinrich, Arenas
SG - Arenas, Howard, Hinrich, Young
SF - Thornton, Howard, Booker, Martin(?)
PF - Blatche, Yi, Singleton(?), Thornton
C - Seraphin, McGee, Armstrong, Oberto(?)

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I did forget actually Hamady Ndiaye who I actually really like also! He could be on the team if we don't re-sign Oberto and/or Singleton, but I kinda assume we're gonna stash him overseas for a year or two to develop and bring him over when he's a bit more polished. I liked what I saw of him in the summer games, and he reminds me a bit of a young Mutumbo.

But if he plays Europe ball (opposed to DLeague), he doesnt' take a roster spot but we keep his rights (as we did with Verameenko for example). Also he plays against seasoned professionals, learns good fundamental big man skills, low post play, passing and team ball, and a physical low post style of game.

But if he has a strong camp maybe we keep him here.

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

But looking overall... I gotta say I am pretty optimistic. I like the size and athleticsm at forward with Blatche/Thornton after watching the undersized Jamison/Butler the past few seasons.

I really like the top 9 of Wall, Hinrich, Arenas, Howard, Thornton, Yi, Blatche, Seraphin, McGee.

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I like Hamady also. He has good size and appears to know he will make his living defending, rebounding , and dunking.

Don't think they can "Stash him overseas" I believe the Wizards have signed him to a contract(maybe mistaken). I think they "stash" players that they draft that already have active contracts in another professional league. They don't attempt to buy them out of those contracts until they're ready.

He definatly needs development. He looks uncoordinated. Hopefully over the years his mechanics will gain SOME fluidity.

Posted by: millineumman | August 18, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm optimistic that they will compete and will have much more upside than recent years. They also have some contract flexibilty to add. Most of the contracts have 1-3 years remaining so while they develop next year they should have some salary cap room to work with.

Win / Loss ; I am anticipating sub .500. I saw an ESPN projection where most of they're analyst voted Wiz to be one of the most improved and finish 9th possibly 8th in the east.

That's very possible but besides Gil, they don't have anyone who has gone out and won games. The east will be brutal this IMO and its hard to imagine the youngins whipping Orlando,Miami,Boston, Chi, and maybe even Atl.

Posted by: millineumman | August 18, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

If this comes to be a really good Uptempo style team, run and gun, then you can't keep Young out of the top nine.

Course now, if we have problems getting our run and jump properly aligned, we might get accused of being a low BBall IQ team.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

JWoww first dance came from this cat:

Posted by: prescrunk | August 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

It's a more flexible roster which will give Flip the ability to try different combos and different looks. He should be able to play deeper into his bench then he normally does by using some specialty units.

Darnell, I'd root for Seraphin show us a whole lot more then we expect and just come in and use that big body to grab the center spot. But I think he's going to be pretty green and will struggle some. Even though he's not tall, he's got the girth and the long arms to play the position.

This lineup is a decent center away from being a playoff contender. I'm not talking about an Allstar caliber guy either. Just a guy that could play at Brendan Haywood's caliber would make a huge difference.

As much as I like McGee, I really don't see him as a true center at this point of his career. He may mature into a center when he finishes growing, but right now he's like a big puppy running around out there.

He'd probably be better served coming off the bench as a high energy, run the floor guy against second unit guys. To start at center his defensive rebounding skills have got to come a long way.

The Wiz can't have their guards pulling down more defensive rebounds then their starting center. But we'll see, he's worked hard and impressed a lot of people with his upside, question is, how much of it can he bring this year???

Posted by: flohrtv | August 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Just for an example, lets compare this squad with the up and coming team that beat the Bulls in the playoffs to make the 2nd round:



Which would you rather have? Both have injury prone starting SGs (Hughes & Arenas) and backup SFs (Hayes & Howard), both have star PGs of the future, and disapointing high pick PFs (Kwame & Yi). But pretty interesting to look at the 2 teams. Maybe Booker will be this squad's Ruffin??

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Both teams also have streaky scorers at backup SG, and white backup PGs. I gotta say I'm a bit torn which squad I'd take... Haywood is an edge at center, but McGee has more upside. Seraphin has more upside than Etan too. Thornton/Howard kills JJ/Hayes at the 3 IMO. Gil is a more dominant scorer at SG than Hughes, and Wall is a more true PG than Arenas at point. Both teams have #1 overall picks also in Wall and Kwame.

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Another move I'd really like to see Ted make is to acquire our own designated DLeague team like some other teams like the Lakers have.

Move it closer ("The Baltimore Bullets"??) where we can play some of our young guys that need more pt (Hamady Ndiaye, Booker), have guys for possible later call ups (Hudson, Martin), or maybe play a guy coming back from injury not quite yet up to NBA speed (Howard, Seraphin).

Have our own hand-picked coaching staff, teaching the same system as the Wizards. Maybe give Cassell some run at heading the team. Close by so we can bring in guys to add to our practices when we need to (a problem we've had the past few seasons!). Maybe bring in the D'ers to scrimmage once in a while.

Having the Dleague team in B'more makes alot of sense, and gives Wizard fans something to go to there. And they could show their games on Comcast. Use it like an actual minor league farm team.

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If this comes to be a really good Uptempo style team, run and gun, then you can't keep Young out of the top nine.

Course now, if we have problems getting our run and jump properly aligned, we might get accused of being a low BBall IQ team.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Larry I got N1 in the top 10. He is the #2 SG behind Gil... but figure he loses out on some pt there behind Josh Howard and Kirk Hinrich. But Nick will get his chance, let's see what he does with it!

Posted by: Darnell1 | August 18, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I effin' love this kid.

Posted by: mardiros

I second that!!!!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | August 18, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Here is the best I can do for pre-season analysis and optimism. I say we can keep up with many teams on most days(accounting for in-game hot and cold streaks), at least enough for a .500 record and 8th playoff spot, but unfortunately in my memory most of the hotshot, running young teams fizzle in the last few minutes game after game - that is where lack of experience just kills you. Man would I love to see some coaching that somehow turned Arenas and maybe Howard into late 4th quarter dagger machines, and then organize some late game defense self respect. If Flip can pull that off, then he has the tools to earn that 6th, 7th, or 8th playoff spot. However, if we win or tie the first 3 quarters night after night and then make a habit of fizzling in the 4th, then the optimism flies out the window.

What specific advice do we have for the last 4 minutes of a close game, given the roster we have? That will make or break us.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | August 18, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I feel your sentiments, but based upons Flip's 4th Q' decisions last year, let's not hold our breaths.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 18, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to explain, but the 4th Q' is the money quarter and the best players that have it in their guts to win know this.

It is like the freshness at the beginning of the game, or the beginning of the season, but with a finality. The good players relish the 4th Q' and you can tell it in their face and in their body language.

This Wizard Team believe it or not has some Money Players. There are at least 5 money players on this team and I won't name them now, for it would trigger another whole debate.

However, that being said, coaching is extremely important as to how your Money Players finish a game.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 18, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Who gives a rats behind about a top pick and dancing as the headline. Boy, team progression towards W & L is something I learn about everyday from the towns newspaper.(NOT)

Posted by: CTaylor42 | August 18, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

An actual "Wizard" would be pretty intimidating. Unfortunately, our guys usually play more like The Magician's Apprentice.

I always thought "Warlocks" was a better name if we absloutely had to go with a swords and sorcery type of name.

Posted by: Ootek | August 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Larry, good points. I didn't follow Wall in college last season, but I hear he hates losing. Let's hope so. Blatche's mental approach to the game will be huge for 4th quarter improvements, and any players proud of their defense will help. If Gilbert can focus back to basketball, stays relatively healthy, and returns to reasonable form physically and mentally, he'll help on the offensive side of the 4th quarter equation. I'd love to hear Flip's strategy and team lectures on this, but I'd be happy just to know that he has a specific 4th quarter strategy he can convey to the players. I have a feeling the blog will be talking about it a lot this season. Let's hope we see some players with that fire at crunch time.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | August 21, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

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