John Wall believes he and Bradley Beal will be the NBA’s best backcourt for the 2020-2021 season. I’m sorry but are we back in 2013? Am I having Deja Vu?
John Wall’s comments on ESPN’s WYD shouldn’t be taken too seriously and I’m 100% sure to go overboard, but in my opinion his comments ask the question: what are we doing here? Yes, he was asked where he and Beal would classify as a defense zone, but why will our veteran, who will soon become a 30-year-old guard, still do that?
Wall and Beal have spoken to the queasiness of being the best NBA backcourt at the start of their career. The first time they said it, I definitely noticed and appreciated the trust. The problem was that in reality they had never reached it and the last time we saw them together, the wheels were coming off. So exactly why Wall is going backwards and regurgitating a point of discussion that 1) doesn’t make sense and 2) shouldn’t be a priority to him or Brad at this point in their respective careers.
A double-edged sword with the Wall / Beal Wizards was that they do not hold back and are not afraid to express their mind. Frankly, that’s why I think they have had the success of the playoffs they made at the beginning of their career. They were not intimidated by anyone and never entered a series thinking that the opponent was better than them.
This was a good feature in my mind, but with the passing of the seasons that confidence became a swagger and the result was the Wolf Season, the Knights were lowering them, they would have made the finals of the Conference if the Wall had not been injured, etc. . The speech and inability to support it have become stale and have started to fall unheard. The experts got tired of the magicians.
Wall will enter his 11th season in the NBA the next time he gets on the floor for a live game. Going into his 30-year season and those who will be out of the NBA games in two years, it’s time to leave the swagger behind. It is frankly below him.
The team has changed dramatically since the last time it played. Ernie Grunfeld and most of the players he used to play with are gone. There is no Paul Pierce or Trevor Ariza to be “the vet” for him – it’s that guy now.
Tommy Sheppard is also driving the ship now and isn’t trying to recreate what his predecessor built, he has a vision of the team.
Is Wall’s swagger about him and Beal the best defense zone in the NBA jive with Sheppard’s vision? Do we really think Sheppard wants to recreate the previous iteration of the Magicians, an iteration that led them from the conference semifinals, to the eighth seed, therefore out of the postseason? Or do you think he wants to see Wall come back, embrace the changes and be the leader they need to continue Beal’s ascension and bring out the best in what will be a young core around them. This won’t happen if Wall is chasing something that isn’t important.
Wall always says the right things when it comes to talking about his game. Every low season speaks of improvements to this suspension shot, of his excitement in playing without the ball, of being healthier than he has been in past years, etc … however when the season would have started, we would mainly see the same player. Part of this can certainly be attributed to injuries but, however, the off-season rhetoric has been the same, with no results to follow.
I am not suggesting to Wall or any sugar player what they have to say. I appreciate the trust and willingness to compete. One of the criticisms of this era is that players team up against competition, so all confidence and speaking in the world are welcome, but they can’t be out of place.
The wall has always been credited for its authenticity. He will always say what he has in mind. It still works both ways. His answer cannot be justified by the fact that he was only answering a question, because if Wall hadn’t wanted to answer that way, he wouldn’t have had. So be amazed, what’s more important to him, to shape the future of this franchise or to pursue the same goals he had seven years ago?
Wall should definitely be aiming to be the best version of himself when he returns, but he must also realize how things have changed around him since the last time he hit the track. The organization has evolved, Beal has evolved and the register that surrounds it is evolving; it’s time for Wall to do the same thing and evolve with them instead of making the same wrong turn again.
This will not happen until the past is left behind. It’s time to stop talking about Demarcus Cousins, the Hawks series, game 6 against the Celtics, his all-NBA season, or being the best NBA backcourt. How should we be convinced that things will be different if Wall is not willing to try things differently? If not, it will be Deja Vu all over again.