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Flip Saunders Says John Wall, Wizards Played in Too Many Summer Leagues

The NBA has been back since Christmas, yet the Wizards picked up their first victory of the season on Tuesday. There are a  couple of other teams with two wins and several others with only three, but at the moment Washington appears to be in a class of its own. Naturally, people want answers. The Wizards were one of the league’s worst teams a year ago and vowed to improve with their young talent this season. Instead, they have gotten worse. On Monday, Flip Saunders gave an interesting excuse regarding take on what has contributed to his team’s struggles.

“I’ve never been a proponent of (summer exhibition games),” Saunders said according to CSNWashington.com. “I think you pick up too many bad habits and a lot of things you think are going to be very easy [are not]. I don’t think I saw a charge all summer long.

“Usually what happens is it’s on the best player and the coach. That’s part of the responsibility that we all have. The positive thing is that when you’re the best player, you’re usually the one that can (help most). You can help change things around as the coach can.”

While JaVale McGee and other players also participated in summer exhibition leagues, Saunders is surely talking about John Wall.  Wall called out his teammates for playing selfish basketball last week, but his game hasn’t exactly been sharp either.  He is averaging just over 13 points per game and has turned the ball over nearly four times per game.  Like many other players on the team, it often appears as though Wall can’t shake the lockout cobwebs.

Between Andray Blatche complaining about his role in the offense and Rashard Lewis sitting out after an argument with an assistant coach, the Wizards seem extremely unfocused.  The good news is there is plenty of time to turn it around. The bad news is there is ample time remaining for it to get historically bad.

H/T to Eye on Basketball for the story

John Wall Calls Out Teammates for Selfishness, Says Season Could Get Ugly

We may not know exactly what the 2011-2012 season has in store for the Washington Wizards, but we certainly know they aren’t going to be patient. Washington has lost its first six games of the season. They have done very little right to this point, and haven’t really come close to beating anyone. Even John Wall is averaging just under 14 points per game, which is second on the team to Nick Young. Wall’s modest 6.5 assists per game leads the team. According to the second-year guard from Kentucky, selfishness is an issue for the Wizards.

“It’s like everybody blanks out,” Wall said after the Wizards record-breaking sixth straight loss to start the season, according to the Washington Post. “Everybody going for their own. And we don’t have anybody on our team that can just go get his own bucket whenever. You see everybody being selfish on the offensive end and on the defensive end, we’re not trusting each other … If we don’t find a way to play together and win games, it could get ugly this whole season.”

Before the season began forward Andray Blatche insisted he was willing to die for his teammates.  One game into the season, he was already complaining about the way the team was using him offensively.  That is almost certainly part of what Wall was alluding to in calling the team selfish.

Washington entered this season hoping to improve upon an abysmal 2010-2011 campaign, but this is not the start they were looking for.  They were one of the worst teams in the NBA last year and it looks like they might be the worst this year.  Wall is right about one thing: if the Wizards don’t turn it around in a hurry and taste a couple victories, things will get extremely ugly.

John Wall Throws Embarrassing First Pitch at Nats Game (Video)

We’ve seen plenty of bad honorary first pitches thrown at baseball games, and this one by Wizards point guard John Wall is up with the worst of them. Observe:

It’s amazing that someone who can throw passes as pretty as this and dance like an Usher clone can be so terrible at throwing a baseball.

Forearm bash to The Nats Enquirer and New Era Radio

John Wall Ejected After Punching Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Wizards point guard John Wall was ejected in the second quarter of Washington’s game with the Heat. It was very uncharacteristic of him, but after seeing the way his skirmish unfolded, it’s not surprising that he lost his cool. Check out this video of John Wall punching Big Z, courtesy of Ben Golliver at CBS:

The first elbow from Z could have passed for accidental, but after the second one it seemed intentional. I understand why Wall got upset, but he has to be more composed than that and realize that he’s only hurting his team by getting tossed from a game. Big Z for Wall? Miami will take that trade any day.

John Wall Alley-Oop to Blake Griffin Video

John Wall broke Chris Paul’s Rookie Challenge record with 22 assists on Friday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The stats really are meaningless given that there was worse defense played than the French protecting the Bastille, but at least it provided plenty of highlights. The best one had to be John Wall’s bounce pass alley-oop to Blake Griffin. I’ve never seen anything like it. Here’s the John Wall alley-oop to Blake Griffin video:

If there’s even a slight amount of that sort of creativity in the dunk contest, we’ll be in for quite the show. Not bad for a live game, huh?

John Wall Has Asked for Mark Sanchez Body Language Fine Treatment

Despite opening up the year to much anticipation and fanfare, all hasn’t gone perfectly for John Wall in his first season in the NBA. The top overall pick in the draft has missed stretches of games because of knee and foot injuries, and his team is last in its division at 12-27. Wall has played well when healthy, averaging 15.4 points and 9.1 assists per game. Beyond simply improving his game, it appears as if Wall is interested in mastering all aspects of being a superstar, and that includes body language on the court.

Much like mark Sanchez who began the same system with the Jets this season, Wall reportedly has asked his coaches to fine him for when he has negative expressions on the court. From The Washington Post via Rotoworld:

[Wall] even asked to receive fines whenever he starts to pout, sulk or show frustration during games.

“It ain’t too much,” Wall said of the fines, “but it’s enough to keep my pockets empty. I don’t want to lose that money.”

That’s just part of John’s quest to be a great point guard. Let’s see, he was a good student in school at Kentucky despite knowing he was going pro, became the top overall pick where he’s progressed nicely, and now he’s asking for body language fines? It seems too good to be true. How can you not pull for him?

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bob Leverone

John Wall’s Dougie at Wizards’ Home Opener Was Kind of Awkward (Video)

When someone does the Dougie Dance either in celebration or just for fun, it usually begins and ends rather quickly.  That was the case with the legendary Dougies of Braylon Edwards, Reid Brignac, and the Oregon Duck.  For some reason it seemed awkward when John Wall broke out the Dougie during the pregame introductions of Tuesday night’s Wizards-Sixers game.  It could be because he did it for like 20 seconds.  It also could be because it was the Wizards’ home opener, yet you could hear a pin drop at the Verizon Center while the No. 1 overall draft pick was being introduced.  In any event, I think Wall should stick to his own dance from now on.  Here’s the John Wall Dougie video:

Video Credit: YouTube user Born2WinMai