For those of us who follow the Wizards, there wasn’t much new information generated by the questions of Dana Jacobs or Skip Bayless. John Wall gave his Summer League performance a C+ or B- largely due to his number of turnovers and his shot selection.
And as we have learned over this short period of time with John Wall, he appears to be an incredibly level-headed individual. When Jacobs commented that he does not appear to be a person who is ever satisfied with his performance. Wall responded by saying, “You can never be satisfied, you always got to be determined to keep getting better and improve yourself every night.” It is a very rare trait when such a young player clearly understands this, but it is a trait that helps him endear himself to Wizards' fans.
About the only new bit of information that came from the interview – for those who were worried about it - was that John Wall and Gilbert Arenas spoke last week. Wall mentioned that he and Gilbert talked when Gilbert “came in to get treatment.” In today’s hyper connected society it is amazing how some have been highly focused on whether or not Arenas and Wall have “spoken.” Consider your own life for a moment. How many of us routinely communicate with friends, family and/or business associates nearly every day – although much of that communication, for long stretches, may not take place face-to-face? Yes, it is great that the circumstances permitted them to finally have an in-person conversation, but based on past interviews on this topic, it sounds like they have communicated, at least electronically, on more than a few occasions since Wall was drafted.
Wall then faced the obligatory questions about how he envisions himself and Gilbert sharing the backcourt together. What I found interesting in his response was that Wall mentioned that after watching tape of Gilbert’s play from last year that he was most impressed with how hard Gilbert played every game. I find it very impressive that he has watched the game tapes from last season, to me that action speaks very well for the type of player Wall wants to become. I imagine that it would be much easier for him to over-indulge in all of the attention that he is currently receiving – attending award shows, countless parties, etc - but yet this is another example of how he is putting his career before the more trivial, but arguably more fun, aspects of his new celebrity life. Bravo Mr. Wall, bravo!
Sorry, but I do have to close this post out with two things that occurred during the interview that bothered me - neither of which were by John Wall, but rather his interviewer. Dana Jacobs had brought up John Wall’s past (and potentially future interactions) with President Obama. And during the exchange, Jacobson asked, “do you think he [President Obama] has any dance moves like you do?” I understand that interviewers will often attempt to “humanize” their subjects for their viewer (or reader), but this question just seemed completely out of place and inappropriate. How does that question help anyone understand more about John Wall or his future performance with the Wizards? It doesn’t. And why ask him to speculate on someone else’s dancing ability? Is the President going on dancing with the stars???
Ultimately, it did serve as a good transition to the second thing that bothered me with this interview, the John Wall dance. Jacobs made it clear that she knew that Wall had no desire to do the dance during the interview, but still she pressed on. She said, “I know you don’t want to show off anything [the dance] for us today, which I am a little disappointed by, I gotta say. I mean, it’s not that, you, you could do something for us there.” Wall, who appeared to be a little uncomfortable flashed a smile, sighed, rubbed his nose and said, “I might do something before the show is over.”
John Wall appears to be a player who wants to be known for his play on the court and not for a dance that he has largely done off of the court. This was not a situation in which the interviewer was attempting to ask a pertinent question to a subject who was attempting to avoid the topic (i.e. nearly every politician in an election year). This was a basketball player who wanted to avoid doing a dance during a television interview – one in which the network had already played video of said dance. It would have been better if Jacobson could have spent little or no time on the subject of dancing (Obama’s or Wall’s) and more time on questions that might have some impact during the season. Just a thought.