John Wall: Wizards will be fine until I come back
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON — Washington Wizards point guard John Wall wants to remain positive.
“Just try to learn as much as I can from the sideline while watching my team throughout training camp and just believe in my coaches and my team as we try to get better,” Wall said.
But Wall, 23, also acknowledged the truth about his injured right kneecap, an injury that will sideline him for about the next eight weeks, including the first month of the season.
“I worked as hard as I could to better myself this offseason,” Wall said at the Wizards’ media day Monday. “It’s kind of frustrating. … It’s definitely a big blow for me.”
Bummed when he got the news, Wall said he turned off his phone and didn’t talk to anyone on the 4½ drive from his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., to Washington.
A pivotal season for Wall has been delayed.
The news that he is out for all of training camp deflated the mood for the Wizards, who are expecting so much from Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, as they finally removed all remnants from the Gilbert Arenas gun incident, using the amnesty clause on forward/center Andray Blatche in the summer.
Not one player from the 2009-10 team — not any of the knuckleheads who didn’t help Wall’s growth — is on the Wizards roster.
It’s a new era for the Wizards as owner Ted Leonsis has shown great patience in general manager Ernie Grunfeld, who has built a team with an interesting mix of veterans and young players.
And it starts with Wall. For now, all Wall can do is watch practice and play video games. He can’t even try to knock down some pins.
“I can’t bowl. That’s my favorite hobby, and I can’t do it,” he said.
Wall knew something wasn’t right with his knee late in the summer. He tried resting it, but the discomfort didn’t dissipate.
“It’s kind of like tendinitis, but it got worse,” Wall said. “I wish I could have figured it out sooner so I could start the season off right. I’m just glad they found it before it got … [For more on John Wall: Wizards will be fine until I come back, click here.]