WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – As the Wizards continue talks of a contract extension for John Wall, the conversation about whether he’s deserving of a max contract in the NBA continues to intensify, outward and exponentially, and sometimes not even relating to his performance on the court.
On Monday, Jason Reid furthered the debate with a column in the Washington Post, in which he specifically pointed to Wall’s revelation that he now has tattoos, via an Instagram photo, sourcing his ink job as a reason his off-the-court decisions may not merit a max deal.
“Posing shirtless recently for an Instagram photo, Wall revealed several tattoos. Wall’s interest in body art is surprising, considering he previously said he did not have tattoos because of concerns over his image for marketing reasons.”
While Reid has since clarified his comments, ESPN personality Bomani Jones reacted to the piece, telling 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny he was “a bit flabbergasted” by the direction Reid went in.
In short, Bomani thinks it’s unfair to expect a player of Wall’s caliber not to get tattoos for fear of damaging his image, because frankly, his image isn’t that important.
“Like the idea that he could be a megastar is what we thought in 2010, that’s why he got the gigantic deal from Reebok and everything else,” Jones said. “He’s not that guy. He’s not going to be that guy. He’s not that good of a player. He’s playing for the wrong team to reach that level of stardom.”
Jones looked to LeBron James for comparison, the most image-conscious player we’ve seen in recent years, and a guy who paid no mind to keeping his body free from permanent markings.
“He is tatted all the way up,” Jones said. “This is what adults who are close to John Wall would tell him, specifically Brian Clifton, who was his AAU coach and adviser up until recently. Notice I say up until recently. But clearly John wanted tattoos and the people around him did not want him to have tattoos.”
“Well Brian’s not working with him in that capacity anymore,” he added. “What do you know? John Wall has tattoos. Ain’t that something.”
Jones went into further detail about why Wall’s not really worthy of a max contract, but because he has so much leverage on the Wizards, the organization will be handcuffed into giving him one.