There is at least some reason for optimism in Washington in the coming NBA season. Despite persistent rumors about other suitors lining up to make a run at him, Bradley Beal has said repeatedly that he prefers to stick around, although he’s also left himself something of an out should things go south.
The Wizards are also anticipating having a healthy John Wall back in the lineup as they hope to climb their way back into respectability after a couple of rough seasons and a poor showing during their run through the seeding games in Orlando this summer. Wall is one of the league’s most fiery competitors, using his aggression combined with his athletic ability to attack opponents relentlessly in the open court and at the rim. So it’s no surprise that his on-court demeanor starts with a certain mindset, one that calls back to an old-school sensibility.
On a recent episode of the No Chill podcast with Gilbert Arenas, Wall echoed a popular sentiment among former players that the NBA is too friendly these days.
“A lot of guys be too friendly now,” Wall said. “In their era, they weren’t friendly. They were trying to rip each other’s heads off. Now it’s like guys are buddy-buddy.”
Arenas has said previously that he had no issues handing the keys over to Wall when he arrived in Washington as a star rookie, in part because he knew his career was winding down, but also because he saw in him a kindred spirit who shared his competitive nature.
Even before the restart, Wall has claimed that he’s at “110 percent,” health-wise, which should give Wizards fans reason for cautious optimism after Wall missed most of the past two seasons with injuries. He’s also looked solid in recent pick-up games against other NBA stars.
John Wall, James Harden, Michael Beasley, Andre Drummond & P.J. Tucker all playing pick-up ball 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 3, 2020
Still, the grind of the NBA season will be a very different story, as Wall tries to prove he can still produce at an elite level and get his team back on track and back into the conversation again.