John Wall Works Out For Wizards, Talks To Media

Mike Prada attended John Wall's workout today and files this report.

John Wall conducted a short workout for the Wizards today that lasted about half an hour before speaking to reporters afterward. The workout itself was pretty basic, with pick and roll drills, shooting drills and free throws, but Wall did manage to throw down a lefty windmill jam as part of the proceedings. His jumper, however, looked a bit flat, and he admitted he wasn't thrilled with how he did there.

"I think I could have shot the ball a little better, but I started tightening up," he said. "But I thought I did pretty well."

No matter: after the workout, Ernie Grunfeld and Ted Leonsis whisked Wall away before he talked to the media. You can draw your own conclusions there. After that, Wall talked to the media for about 18 minutes following the workout. Some quick highlights.

  • Wall did not say that the Wizards have made their decision on drafting him yet:  "They haven't told me I was going be the guy, and I don't know if I'll be the guy.  I just came out here to work out and try to impress them, and hopefully on draft night, they pick me."
  • Wall said he has been talking to Gilbert Arenas on BlackBerry messenger, trading jokes and checking in on his progress. When asked about potentially playing with Arenas, he said:  "He's a talented player and a great scorer. I feel like if I got picked here, the coach would find a way to put us on the court together and let it work from there, but I think I can play with anybody."
  • Wall admitted that he knows the first year will be tough: "[Rod Strickland] told me it's going to be tough. 'At the beginning, your first year, your going to have to learn a lot.'  I know that. I'm not going to come in here and be the best player in the world [right away] and not have ups and downs, so I'm just preparing myself for that."
  • Wall talked a lot about leadership, first saying that " If I'm going to have the ball in my hands, they have to have to trust me, and my coaching staff is going to have to trust me. At the same time, I'm going to have to listen to certain things they tell me, because they've been in this situation before and played on an NBA level, and it's going to be my first season, so I still have a lot of stuff to learn." 
  • He was also asked about potentially playing with a lot of young teammates: "We'll basically be on the same page and can talk a certain way, but sometimes, you got to put your foot down, put them in their place. And they got to do the same thing to me, make sure I'm in the right place, make sure I'm getting better, make sure I'm in the gym and working out."
  • Wall said he hopes to improve his jump shot, first and foremost, and is primarily working on finding consistency with his form.  "I feel like at certain times, I shoot [my jumper] the good way for like 10 minutes, and then the next time, I change it up. [My goal is] just to get consistent and keep it that one shot."
  • That said, he also thinks his game will translate better to the more open-court style of the NBA.
  • Wall said it was Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins who came up with the John Wall Dance, but both were "scared" to do it at Midnight Madness. 
  • Wall said he challenged Barack Obama to a game of HORSE, but Obama declined.
  • Wall said he studied Kobe Bryant closely when he sat courtside at the NBA Finals.
  • Wall said he emulated Allen Iverson growing up.
  • Finally, Wall said he figured it might be a year or two before he makes the playoffs, but he's willing to go through that.
More later, with pictures and video:

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