Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Washington Post Criticizes John Wall for Tattoos?

The Washington Wizards may be the worst franchise in all of major sports.  The Wizards haven't won their division since 1979, when they were still the Washington Bullets.  Since renaming themselves the "Wizards" in 1997, the team has won only 39.1 percent of its regular-season games.  Year after year, they are simply terrible.  Last year was the fifth consecutive season in which the Wizards failed to win 30 games.

Now John Wall is the only good player the Wizards have.  Last year, Wall was injured at the beginning of the season, and the team started off with a record of 4-28.  In other words, without John Wall, the 2012-13 Wizards were one of the worst basketball franchises ever.  The Wizards then went 25-25 the rest of the way.  So with Wall, the Wizards were basically a playoff team.  That's how important he was to the Wizards.

But yesterday, Jason Reid wrote that the Wiz should not sign Wall to a major long-term contract.  Reid gave several reasons for this argument, one of which was that Wall had gotten a bunch of tattoos after claiming that he wouldn't.  To Reid, this raises troubling questions about whether Wall is unstable:

{N}ot every player flip-flops on a topic in such a public way. Factor in that Wall is expected to receive a huge payday from the Wizards next month, and the timing of his tattoo revelation raises questions about his decision making. For a franchise with a history of backing the wrong players, that’s food for thought.

Reid goes on to write that Wall almost makes you feel sorry for Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld, even though Grunfeld put together the team that went 4-28 to start the season last year, while Wall is the only reason the Wizards' record was even respectable.

Look, it's very simple:  (1) the Wizards can pay Wall an enormous salary and hope it works out; (2) the Wizards can refuse to pay Wall an enormous salary and watch him leave.  Path (1) gives the Wizards some chance of having a good team; path (2) means that the Wizards will be terrible for years to come.  Those are the choices, because that's the terrible position the Wizards have put themselves in.  None of this is John Wall's fault, and none of it has anything to do with his tattoos.  It's incredible to me that anyone would look at this situation, and choose to attack Wall, and to feel sorry for Grunfeld.

Personally, I hope the Wizards don't sign Wall, and he's able to play for a decent franchise.  And then I hope he comes here and score 50 points against the Wizards.  And I hope Jason Reid covers that game.

UPDATE:  Brobible.com named Reid's article the "Worst Sports Column of 2013."


  1. The ownership of Ted Leonsis gives me some hope, but my best guess is that John Wall is going to end up in Boston or Los Angeles within the next few seasons.

    When I moved to Washington for a little while, I thought it was going to be so, so great to finally get to follow my favorite NBA team day-in and day-out through local media. Then it turned out that the Bullets felt like it was a team being run on the side by a business with some other true, core competency--say, renting automobiles or servicing cable-television modems.

  2. That's very funny -- and very accurate.

  3. And by the way, Ernie Grunfeld was a dirty player at UT.

  4. Scene 1 ... break room of Bullets Rent-a-Car offices in parking lot of BWI airport ... one man in a suit, smoking a cigarette, and another in a red-white-and-blue jumpsuit with "Harvey" in script printed on a patch on the breast pocket, reading a folded-over 1993 WaPo sports section while finishing a Hostess apple pie from the nearby vending machine ...

    LABRADFORD, putting out his cigarette: "Come on, Ha. Break's over."

    HARVEY, not looking up from his newspaper: "Hey, we're getting Mark Price's little brother."

    LABRADFORD: "Good ... I had to work a double last weekend because Rex called in sick again. "