Can John Wall Replace Gilbert Arenas As The Face Of The Wizards?

When the Wizards drafted John Wall with the first overall pick in the draft last June, he immediately became the focus of the team's marketing campaign. But when the season starts, will he truly be able to supplant Gilbert Arenas as the face of the Wizards?

Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner doesn't think so.

When camp opens, those off-court questions -- and whatever mood the mercurial Arenas is in -- will overshadow any talk about Wall or the Wizards' potential to grow and win games.

That article elicited a response from Ted Leonsis, who is entering his first season as majority owner of the Wizards. As you can imagine, he doesn't hold the same opinion about the direction of his franchise.

We won’t look back. We can’t look back. We are all facing in the same direction. Forward. We have been working very hard and with passion and commitment to build a new team and a new set of services that our fans will embrace and fall in love with.

He doesn't mention John Wall specifically, but it sounds like he is trying to say is that he does not want the media or fans to focus on Gilbert Arenas because he represents the team's past. He is still on the team, but as Stouffer points out, most people will be more concerned with his past than how he fits into the future.

Leonsis wants Arenas to be a secondary player on the team and more importantly, a secondary personality.

On the court, it will be a little bit harder to hide Gilbert. He will probably still have the same shot selection, which will make him hard to miss during the course of a game. But off the court, Leonsis can do everything in his power to make sure that Arenas is not the focus of the team.

He's already started off on the right foot, devoting all of the team's marketing towards John Wall and the team's other young players. If there is one thing media loves more than controversy, it's potential. As soon as Wall shows a glimmer of being the player we all hope he can become, he will dominate the headlines.

I wouldn't be surprised if Gilbert Arenas' first media availability is filled with questions about last year. But after that, Leonsis is right, it's time to move forward. Which means looking ahead to the John Wall era.

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