WASHINGTON — Sports talking head Colin Cowherd has a long history with Washington Wizards star John Wall, dating back to unfair criticisms of him in college at Kentucky, extending through the early part of his career (here, here, here, here, here and here), and culminating with an unexpected apology in 2016.
Now, after seemingly accepting Wall as a legitimate NBA talent, Cowherd might be slipping back into old habits.
During a Wednesday segment, which preceded the team’s first game of the season, Cowherd offered three words on each NBA team on the eve of the regular season:
“The Wizards…sort of hit a wall. John Wall.”
Whatever that means.
It’s a catchy shorthand segment and not one that was heaped with praise for most teams. That isn’t exactly Cowherd’s style.
But of the team’s perceived weaknesses (lack of big man depth, shaky defensive options), Wall is one of the team’s strengths, coming off a season where he proved to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NBA.
It’s possible that Cowherd was passing commentary on Wall’s massive, $170-million contract, signed this offseason, but that seems unlikely.
Either way, the Wall-led Wizards had a strong first showing on Wednesday, flexing against the Philadelphia 76ers in a nationally-televised game at the newly-renamed Capital One Arena.
John Wall led the team with 28 points and eight assists, en route to a 120-115 come-from-behind victory that tied the Wizards with half the NBA at 1-0. Wall was everything that the team needed him to be.
It’s possible that Cowherd wasn’t slamming the player of the team, but hitting a wall would be an obscure compliment and he has a long history of unfounded Wall criticisms.
Maybe next time he can spend more than three words on the topic.