It looks like the rest of the country has finally caught up: John Wall is a hell of player. And that narrative is resonating out of more than just D.C.
If you missed it, at halftime of the Wizards’ Game 4 win over the Celtics, TNT’s Charles Barkley called Wall “the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, maybe the second best player in the Eastern Conference.”
After the win, former Wizard Caron Butler called Wall the second best player in the NBA.
That’s what happens when you produce the results we’ve seen this postseason.
Wall is averaging 27.8 points, 12.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game in this series — numbers no one can ignore.
Yes, it’s always a worthless argument when we play the ranking game. It’s fun, but in reality all it does is make everyone mad and give them something else to whine about on social media.
That being said, think how far Wall, and this Wizards team as a whole, have come.
Remember when Wall was questioning why the Wizards were never nationally televised? Or when he couldn’t understand why he and Bradley Beal didn’t get more attention as one of the best backcourts in the NBA?
Those questions are no longer asked, mainly because this team is in a totally different place now.
The questions we do ask now tend to range from “Is this the same team that started 2-8?” to “Can they challenge the Cavs?”
It takes time for a young organization to gain respect from the casual observer. Make no mistake, the Wizards still have plenty to prove, but the image you get when you hear “Wizards” or “John Wall” is now positive.
Wall is no longer just looked at as a ‘track star.’ The league sees him as the type of point guard you want to build your franchise around (if I can pat myself on the back quickly here, I’ve been yelling this to the world for a long time now).
The Wizards have also shown they’re not scared of anyone, standing up to the top-seeded Celtics, and answering when they’re pinned in the corner or pushed around.
The Wizards have made a statement to America they’re a team with higher expectations than just a second-round exit.
Even if that does end up being the result though, we know the Wizards are trending upward, John Wall is the guy leading the way, and it’s no longer D.C.’s secret to keep.
Nick Ashooh is an on-air personality for 106.7 The Fan. He previously worked at WTEM for eight years. Follow him on Twitter: @NickAshooh