Wall returned to Kentucky Saturday night in an exhibition game played against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The previous night he was greeted to a rousing ovation by the 24,000 rabid Kentucky fans who showed up at Rupp Arena for the school's annual opening night midnight madness.
John Wall didn’t need an introduction to elicit an ovation. With 24,000 crammed into legendary Rupp Arena on Friday night for the school’s annual spectacle, Big Blue Madness, Wall walked on to the floor and lifted his hand to acknowledge his adoring fans.
As the first Kentucky player to go No. 1 in the NBA draft, Wall continues to hold a special place among supporters of one of college basketball’s most storied and tradition-rich programs. Nine of Wall’s Washington Wizards teammates trailed behind at the school’s basketball kickoff event, staring up at the raucous crowd and wondering in disbelief how so many people — especially those who camped out for tickets several days in advance — would show up for a practice.
Wall had 16 points and an impressive 10 assists in The Wizards 93 - 89 lost to what could be an upstart New Orleans Pelicans team this year. However what was probably most disappointing to Wall is seeing the even bigger ovation former Kentucky shot blocker extraordinaire Anthony Davis received when announced in the starting lineups.
Wall had 16 points and 10 assists but also got to see what winning a championship at Kentucky would’ve done for a legacy in Lexington. Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, who led the Wildcats to a national title before going No. 1 overall in 2012, got the loudest ovation of any player. And when Davis (16 points) blocked Wall’s attempt at a breakaway dunk in the second half, fans cheered, then booed, then sat in silence, unsure of how they should react.
While Davis' Pelicans look to be a potentially dangerous playoff team in the West in his second year Wall is looking for his first taste of the playoffs in his fourth year in the league. An accomplishment that he wants so badly he plans on writing "playoffs" on his shoes before every regular season game this year.
Even with how weak the East is projected to be making the playoffs for The Wizards will be no easy task. Especially considering Emeka Okafor, another shot blocking menace in college who won a national championship, who anchors The Wizards D will be out indefinitely with a herniated disk in his neck
The reason Celtic fans should look to Wall while struggling through this rebuilding season is, as I mentioned previously, this is Wall's fourth year in the league. After this season The Celtics will have the flexibility of signing a high end free agent as well as possibly being positioned for a good draft spot in what most pundits are calling the best NBA draft in years.
Three years after this season, with the right personnel moves, The Celtics could very well be in a position of contending once again.
Three years from now The Wizards will probably be better but I still don't see them being anymore then at most a five seed in the East.
I know it's hard to feel bad for an NBA player with a max contract deal but Wall will probably still be languishing in mediocrity in Washington with the Wizards somewhat handcuffed by his contract. A move they had to make as an organization in order to even somewhat fill the seats in the nation's capital.
The same logic applies to Demarcus Cousins in Sacramento. Sacramento just signed Cousins, who also played at Kentucky, to a max deal and even though he is physically gifted, probably the most naturally gifted power forward I've seen come out of the draft since Chris Webber, his temperament and overall production once again makes this kind of deal risky at best for The Kings franchise.
The Celtics, on the other hand, have one of the best young minds in basketball as their coach, a core of very solid young players, Rajon Rondo, and enough time to evaluate what Jeff Green's contract will be worth once his contract is due in three seasons.
This year will be frustrating, but as the sage chief Robert Parrish recently opined, Celtic fans are spoiled and just need to be patient the next few years.
In fact, Celtic fans who remember what the death of Len Bias did to the organization should be absolutely ecstatic as to what the relative near future holds for The C's.
Sure, it sucks KG and Pierce are gone but it really was the best move for the franchise. After all, the future is now for Brooklyn and the future is the future for The Celtics.
Not to mention, Brooklyn will be my de facto team this season and I really look forward to seeing if they can challenge The Pacers and Heat for supremacy in the East.
Celtic fans just need to be glad they're not John Wall, a player happy just to even make a playoff appearance. Or, a Sacramento King fan, who has the future of their team pinned to what has been shown to be a very talented, yet immature 23 year old.
I know Celtic fans will reply "but we're not The Kings or The Wizards" but that's exactly my point. Enjoy this season for what it is because Celtic fans will have enough to be rejoicing about soon enough.
Follow Clint on Twitter @coolhandc
Read more here Clint Corey 10/21/2013 10:07:00 PM Tweet Edit