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Two sides of John Wall

By Gene Wang

There's the boisterous John Wall, and there's the thoughtful John Wall. Both sides to the Washington Wizards' rookie point guard were on full display this afternoon following the team's afternoon practice at Verizon Center.

Wall's initial temperament was that of the reserved, eager student, receiving advice from Coach Flip Saunders and discussing the game with guard Gilbert Arenas as the workout session wound down. Then the fun-loving, encouraging youth emerged as many teammates watched a one-on-one game between starting center JaVale McGee and reserve forward-center Kevin Seraphin.

Late in the matchup, Seraphin was taking the fight to McGee in the low block, scoring several baskets in a row and attracting the attention of other players who were milling about or shooting at the other end of the court. Then when Seraphin caught McGee out of position on a fake, he elevated near the basket and came down with an authoritative dunk that brought Wall off the floor and into a dead sprint yelling, "Go to work! Go to work!"

Wall then chest-bumped Seraphin and assistant coach Sam Cassell, who had been feeding the ball into both McGee and Seraphin as the unofficial supervisor of the makeshift drill. Soon after, Al Thornton came running down the court, and he and several other players mobbed Seraphin, who bellowed like a conquering hero.

The comraderie after last night's 98-91 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets was never better.

"It's fun," Wall said outside the auxiliary court at Verizon Center in considerably more hushed tones than when he was celebrating Seraphin's dunk. "I like to have fun every game."

Wall's enthusiasm is certainly understandable after the first triple-double of his career last night. He had 19 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds and 6 assists with just one turnover, becoming the second point guard in NBA history to record a triple-double with six steals. The other was Magic Johnson, who watched last night's game at courtside as a guest of Saunders and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.

The milestones continue to mount for Wall. He now has the most assists (61) of any player in league history after six games, surpassing Oscar Robertson in second place.

"That's pretty good company," Saunders said. "Anytime you're going to be mentioned in the same sentence as the people he's been mentioned with, that's pretty good. I think it does say what we talked about earlier when we got John. He's a very unselfish player and looks to get other people the basketball. It's something to really build on."

By Gene Wang  | November 11, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  John Wall  
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Next: More of the same from Wall?

Comments

It's time for the annual player pool. Josh Howard and Kevin Seraphin are the only two players who have not played so far this season.

When do you think they get first burn? Here's my guess:

Seraphin - Nov. 17th @ C's
Howard - Nov. 23rd vs. Sixers

Posted by: elfreako | November 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know if you made this up, or you are really just passing on something that you really dug up or heard.

However, that would really be some interesting bit of news to envision for this franchise. Mr. Theodore Leonsis was the catalyst that brought Michael Jordan here.

If there is a scintilla of truth to what you just said, that would move this franchise years ahead of what Ernest Grunfield could ever accomplish.

Earvin Majic Johnson, the GM of this franchise would have BulletsFan78 and LarryInClintonMD in frontrow seats.

Holla!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 10, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse "

Sorry, it was just a rumor created by me, but a plausible one at that. Magic recently sold his ownership stake with the Lakers to a chinese businessman, and Magic's pregame peptalk seemed to have worked with the team. If asked whether Magic would be a good fit here, most people would respond "why not, better that Grunfeld."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"It's too bad James Singleton left the team. He gave us some tough play last season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 10, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr. MANN:

I'm not disagreeing here, not at all. Unfortunately, he was never invited to stay. Damn, he waited as long as he could. The dude's not independently wealthy. He has to work. And yes, he and THORNTON on the court at the same time would have added some moxie to our mid-court game.

But, he was limited in what he could provide. Too small to be a true PF, and too big for the #3 slot, limited mobility, but great grit and determination.

The WIZ just decided to get bigger along the front-line, and he was the odd-man out. Damned shame too, 'cause I really liked his style. Thought BOOKER was going to bring that to the court this season.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 11, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse "

Singleton was not invited to stay just like Gee was not invited to stay. Singleton was a physical dude and is about the same size as Thornton. Booker is the future, so anyone relying on him for output this season is kidding themselves at best.

In the end, heart and ability is more important than size.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I do not know about that, magic johanson better than EG? I do not know about you ,i can not see him as a good manager as it is already clear that Jordan was not.

Posted by: gtefferra | November 11, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Earvin has a lot of businesses and would not be able to give the Wiz anything like his full attention as GM. But as a minority owner,he'd be great.

Posted by: joe2chase | November 11, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ask yourselves, what has EG's full attention to Les BouleS resulted in?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Earvin has a lot of businesses and would not be able to give the Wiz anything like his full attention as GM. But as a minority owner,he'd be great.Posted by: joe2chase
"Ask yourselves, what has EG's full attention to Les BouleS resulted in?Posted by: DC_MAN88"

That second post is a good illustration of a logic flaw: even EG's harshest critic probably wouldn't recommend replacing him with a part-timer.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 11, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I only recommend replacing Grunfeld. I never said that Magic would be the best choice, although I think he would be better than Grunfeld even at part time.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

So after Seraphino ate JaTravel's lunch, what happened?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Then he drank his milkshake.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"Then he drank his milkshake.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse "

Hope it wasn't too salty.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"“I've had three knee injuries,” Arenas said. “I've disgraced my legacy here. For me to move over for John Wall is a no-brainer. What's the point of me fighting with him all day? It isn't going to make me look any better. It's not like I think I'm God's gift to the NBA and can't step aside for somebody else. I can move aside for John Wall. That's no problem for me.”"

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports/Stepping-Aside-for-the-Great-Wall-107256083.html

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"“I've had three knee injuries,” Arenas said. “I've disgraced my legacy here. For me to move over for John Wall is a no-brainer. What's the point of me fighting with him all day? It isn't going to make me look any better. It's not like I think I'm God's gift to the NBA and can't step aside for somebody else. I can move aside for John Wall. That's no problem for me.”"


Posted by: DC_MAN88

Gotta love Gil. Why would we trade this guy? Class act, Philanthropist, sharp shooter, and a great mentor for our new star. Lets go Wiz!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"Gotta love Gil. Why would we trade this guy? Class act, Philanthropist, sharp shooter, and a great mentor for our new star. Lets go Wiz!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse "

Just like Clinton Portis....so easy to dial it in when you got paid already. Betcha he wouldn't be saying the same thing if this was the final year of a contract.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Ask yourselves, what has EG's full attention to Les BouleS resulted in?


Figures you would be so ignorant. How about a team that most likely would have made the playoffs 6 years in row without a couple of injuries. As is, 4 years in row. This, for traditionally, one of the worst franchises in the NBA - 80's and 90's. Just bc you don't remember doesn't mean it didn't happen. And he accomplished this for an owner who was not the best decision maker or talent evaluator in NBA - bad contracts, keeping Unseld as GM for so long, etc.... Abe absolutely did have say in certain decisions like the GA and AJ resignings. Who knows what EG would have done with complete autonomy? But, he did pretty well regardless.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 12, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Earvin Majic Johnson, the GM of this franchise would have BulletsFan78 and LarryInClintonMD in frontrow seats.

Holla!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 10, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse "

Sorry, it was just a rumor created by me, but a plausible one at that. Magic recently sold his ownership stake with the Lakers to a chinese businessman, and Magic's pregame peptalk seemed to have worked with the team. If asked whether Magic would be a good fit here, most people would respond "why not, better that Grunfeld."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Please! Why would Magic sell his shares of a cash cow fanchise to be GM of this team. Lakers sell out rate far more frequent that this team. Far more smarter investments out there. Another j@#KA$$ posting to even put out there!

Posted by: zack5 | November 12, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Wow, King James had 35 last night and was 1 assist short of a triple double. Wade was 2-12, with 6 TOs and a -17.

The sportswriters are blaming King James for the loss. Go figure.

Is Bosh overrated, or what?

Way to go, Prince John, on the assist record. Looks like the best new player to come into the league since King James. (And finally a draft pick that even EG couldn't mess up.)

Posted by: shovetheplanet | November 12, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

It's time for the annual player pool. Josh Howard and Kevin Seraphin are the only two players who have not played so far this season.

When do you think they get first burn? Here's my guess:

Seraphin - Nov. 17th @ C's
Howard - Nov. 23rd vs. Sixers

Posted by: elfreako
------------------------------------------

I thought mid-December is what they expect for Howard.

I'd say Dec. 14th vs. Lakers. 4 days of practice time before the game.

Seraphin? Next time when there is a garbage time.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 12, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Why would Magic sell his shares of a cash cow fanchise to be GM of this team.
Posted by: zack5

He already sold his LAL shares although I certainly agree that it wasn't to become GM of the WWizards.

Posted by: nmik | November 12, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Figures you would be so ignorant. How about a team that most likely would have made the playoffs 6 years in row without a couple of injuries. As is, 4 years in row. This, for traditionally, one of the worst franchises in the NBA - 80's and 90's. Just bc you don't remember doesn't mean it didn't happen. And he accomplished this for an owner who was not the best decision maker or talent evaluator in NBA - bad contracts, keeping Unseld as GM for so long, etc.... Abe absolutely did have say in certain decisions like the GA and AJ resignings. Who knows what EG would have done with complete autonomy? But, he did pretty well regardless.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 12, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse "

Surely you jest.

Grunfeld's drafts have been atrocious, his player acquisitions have not panned out, his signings of his own players ended up in regret/trade, his coaches have been fired, and his teams have been total jokes. The only remaining constant is Grunfeld, after elminating/blaming all other areas.

In a nutshell, just about that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 12, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Singleton is smart, put yourself in his shoes, you come to a club that lets you play, you do great but then when the season is near it's end they don't play you anymore because they are seeing that your becoming productive and it's a big chance they might have to pay to keep you. He wasn't asking to start and he wasn't trying to break the bank either, but offering the guy the minimum contract!!!! come on now, his numbers he put up in DC, that offer was down right disrespectful. The guy was a team player, role model, highly educated, physical, went all out every time, an overall great player and some people don't like him cause he's not a big name. the guy had 19 and 22, k love just had 31 and 31 and we praise him cause he's got a bigger name cause he was drafted. Mr. Singleton if u ever read this just know you still have true fans in DC, LA, and Dallas. We love what u bring to a team and we are proud that you made the best decision for you. Just sry it took us so long to tell you that. God bless and kill them over there in china. JUST PLEASE RECONSIDER COMING BACK TO THE NBA NEXT YEAR, U BELONG HERE.

Posted by: kfld_82 | November 14, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

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