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Thursday, February 14th, 2013 at 3:40 pm  |  57 responses

NBA Super Agent David Falk Very Critical of John Wall (UPDATE)


David Falk, Michael Jordan’s former agent (who was one of the most powerful people in the NBA during MJ’s career), absolutely destroys John Wall in a bizarre, rant-filled interview with the Washington Post. Falk, a season ticket holder for the Washington Wizards, advises the team trade away their young, starting point guard, and makes it clear that he thinks very little of Wall as a ballplayer: “You guys are in dreamland. Because this team [stinks] so bad you guys want John Wall to be someone he will never be. Before Wall becomes Nene, I would trade him and get rid of him.’ Come on, really? ‘I’m serious. He doesn’t have a feel for the game,’ Falk said. ‘He only knows how to play one speed. Magic Johnson had a great feel, a court sense, by the time he was a sophomore in college. Chris Paul had it by the time he was a sophomore in high school. You can develop your jump shot all you want, but if you don’t know how to play more than an up-and-down game by the time you’re about 20 as a point guard, the chances of learning are very slim. I don’t see it happening.’ … ‘Let me ask you a question,’ Falk said, maybe 28 times over 30 minutes, often answering for you. ‘Who’s bigger, Kyrie Irving or John Wall? John Wall. Who’s a better athlete? John Wall. Who’s faster? Who’s stronger? John Wall. Now, who’s a better player? Kyrie Irving,’ he said of Cleveland’s all-star point guard who was rookie of the year in 2012. ‘John Wall will never be good as Kyrie Irving was in his first week in the NBA. You want to know the reason why just nine teams have won an NBA title in 40 years? Because if both of them came out today, 99 percent of all general managers would still take John Wall instead of Kyrie Irving. They’d take the athlete over the ballplayer. And they’d be wrong.’ It should be noted that it’s highly unusual for a working agent to eviscerate a current player. So I asked Falk, who often likes to be right instead of happy, why he has so much contempt for Wall’s stop-and-pop game? Is it because 76ers swingman Evan Turner, one of a handful of clients to sign with Falk since he got back in the agent game after handsomely cashing out on his company, went No. 2 behind Wall in the 2010 NBA draft? Does Falk yearn for the days when he was the game’s biggest power broker, not John Calipari or some Liaison to the Stars everyone calls Worldwide Wes? [...] Either way, Falk picked an odd time to drop an anvil on a third-year player who’s been tearing it up lately. Since returning from injury, Wall has led the Wizards to 10 wins in 18 games and, more important, created real hope for a Wizards team that started the season an embarrassing 5-28.”

UPDATE: David Falk has since apologized, via a statement issued to the WP: “I want to publicly apologize to both Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld for publicly expressing opinions that better judgment should have kept private. I also want to publicly apologize to John Wall. I hope he either ignores my comments completely or tacks them up on his locker and uses them as motivation. Ultimately, whether or not he becomes an elite NBA player will have far more to do with his dedication and commitment than  the opinions of critics, professional or amateur.”

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  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Strange.

  • LakeShow

    Co-Sign.

    I agree with some of what he has to say, we all do, but common…. “He’ll never be better than Kyrie was in his first week”…. WTF man…

    F*ck off Falk.

  • JML-G

    John Wall might not be superstar, but he definitely is very good – look how relatively well Wizards been playing with him compared to their time while he was injured

  • Omar

    He’s mostly right, though.

  • rubs93

    I guess hes mad cause he paid full price for those zigtechs..Although he likes to hear himself talk Faulk has a point about John Wall not as what he what he was advertised. Wizards lose again.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    There is a reason David Falk is an agent and not a scout. He understands business. Not basketball. (although, some of what he’s saying isn’t wrong, but the context he’s focusing on is totally misguided).

  • http://twitter.com/bjollz Björn Atli Davíðsson

    It’s not like there’s a cerebral dude like Magic/Chris Paul/Kyrie Irving out there that they can trade John Wall for straight up. And there isn’t a GM in the league that would have drafted another player with the first pick in the 2010 draft.

  • Anthony Dixon

    Just stupid… John Wall is there future

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Great point but it sure seems like Agents look at themselves as some sort of talent evaluators.

  • LP

    He might be better than Kyrie’s first week, but he’ll never be better than Kyrie’s second week….or second season for that matter…

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Yeah, those kind of comments are wild.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    John may not be Kyrie, but Kyrie isn’t exactly the best playmaker at the PG position himself. He’s a shoot first guy at this point. John is actually more of a setup man than he is.

  • Slick Ric

    The Only things I agree with him on is the fact that John only plays at one speed and Kyrie is the better player for right now but Tony Parker is showing you can develop a great sense of the game of the course of your career.

  • Name

    Exactly.. As a young PG Tony had a real hard time playing with the Spurs’ system because A) He wasn’t a great distributor B) He wasn’t a great defender C) He didn’t have a jumper (And other reasons). Now look at him, arguably the top PG this year and playing at an MVP level. John Wall has all the right tools physically, he just needs a good coach who will be hard on him and also teach him how to be a better player.

  • roscoe

    The fact DFalk has season tickets to WAS should automatically disqualify his opinion, imo.

  • LakeShow

    Gotta say, appreciate what he said in his apology…

  • KipSmithers

    Ummm…no.

  • Feez_22

    dfalk is evan turner’s agent… evan turner doesn’t even give his team half of wall gives his so gtfoh with that. Evan is a BUST at this point. worse than iggy.

  • Feez_22

    btw, to say john doesn’t have court sense is complete nonsense. I think his speed gets the best of him and he goes way too fast for his own good… BUT just watch one game… the dude makes his teammates much better than what they were without him. just go and watch them. Martell webster, bradley beal, nene, okafor… all of these guys have been much better since wall came back. Obviously, wall needs to improve his jumpshot and pace. However, if you actually watch both of these guys play, it’s clear he is actually a better passer and floor general in general than kyrie irving. kyrie is a waaaay better shooter and scorer. elite status. wall isn’t elite status at his trait which is passing (just watch one game) but he has the vision that no pg drafted in the last 4 yrs except rubio has. just watch him guys. 1 game.

  • LakeShow

    Being Worse than Iggy is not a bad thing. That guy is a phenomenal player.

    What says “bust” to you about 14 – 6.5 – 4.5 with a steal and 38% 3 pt. FG’s?

  • robb

    I’ve never believed in all that John Wall hype. Of course I could be wrong and he may become a great player, but I just don’t see it. I agree with Falk.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    If Russel Westbrook can be great so can John Wall

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Shane-Long/580141409 Nathan Shane Long

    i agree with everything in this article john wall has been a EPIC BUST for the wizards i never was fooled by the john wall hype in 2010 dont care if it was that stupid dance or the theme songs made about him by wannabe rappers in N.C. i knew he was trash and look at all the young point guards in the league that are above him Kyrie,Lillard,Kemba,Jennings,Holiday,Rubio,Westbrook,Curry,Lin,Conley, even his former college teammate Eric Bledsoe the wizards need to trade him or else he will leave will his rookie deal ends

  • The Seed

    I have been saying this for years. That John Wall is a waste of a pick, overrated and his nothing but a street ball player. I would have traded him a long time ago. Kyrie is ten times better.

  • Big D

    And that is a frustrated Wizards season-ticket holder. Wall isn’t bad, but would not be #1, if done again. Paul George? A lot of underachievers in the 2010 draft.

  • Chukaz

    I’m tired of people saying Kyrie’s better than Wall. Wall’s the better defender, the better rebounder, has better vision, he’s a better passer, and probably has a bigger impact on the game. The wizards get ridiculously efficient when Wall’s on the floor. All of their shots become corner 3s, shots inside 5 feet and free throws. Kyrie’s a much (MUCH) better scorer and he plays prettier, but in my opinion Wall’s still better. Kyrie’s game is real smooth, like a cross between Kobe and CP3. If Kyrie was a 6’6 shooting guard instead of a 6’3 pg, he’d probably be the 3rd best player in the league behind lebron and kd. He’s 6’3 instead and has to run an offense. Wall managed to average 8 assists a game his first 2 years while surrounded by trash. Why can’t Kyrie do it? It might be time to realize that Kyrie’s more Iverson than he’s CP3. Iverson’s a hall of famer. It’s not an insult, but I’d rather have a true PG than a shoot first small guard.

  • Feez_22

    #1: Iggy isn’t a “Phenomenal” player. If he were that, philly would have kept him. He is a 3rd option at best. Good defender but has a 15 efficiency? Andre is far from phenomenal. compare him to artest and sure he’s phenomenal… Nuggets and philly fans would tell you he is not phenomenal.

    #2: Evan turner was drafted by the sixers to be BETTER than iggy… listen to that for a second. to be BETTER. Thus, he is a BUST in that aspect. ask any true philly fan… evan is severely underperforming. Lucky for evan, everyone from espn to fox have barraged wall with a subordinate amount of critique even though he has a much more positive effect on his team than evan.

  • whatever

    I’m on a similar note…JWall is an awesome player can get great stats….I don’t think he is a winner…don’t think he will ever be a winner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shooting.guard.319 Shooting Guard

    Truth hurts.

  • calc

    Damn, it sure sounds like you’re talking about kwame brown and greg ostertag.

    Evan Turner is improving every year and has great potential in my opinion, give that man some time.

    Iggy may not be the scorer everyone expected him to be, but other than that he is a phenomenal player. Thats why he played for team USA in 2010 and 2012. One of the best all-around players in the league.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.callihan1 Chris Callihan

    spot on

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.callihan1 Chris Callihan

    You are really stupid if you believe all those guys are better than him. He’s been hurt and still better than half those guys. Do you watch basketball?

  • Max

    Duh hell?

  • Max

    lol

  • Max

    Thank you.

  • Max

    Wiz are 10-8 with him, 5-601 without him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    Excellent response I couldn’t have said it better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    Yeah in a way you kind of have to be a little bit of scout. It benefits the agent and sometimes the player when the agent knows who and what he is working with. But I would say most agents lack that skill the focus more on selling power of athletes (looks, charisma, flashy athleticism….etc.) to really scout them for what they really are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    He reminds me a little of DWill due to the handle and shooting stroke. Kyrie is great in terms of small ball play because you can pair him with a more traditional PG and have them terrorize back courts like chauncey and cp3. I would like to Irving use his offense to make plays for other teammates like Lebron does with double teams.

  • Omar

    LOL at the comments because he did say 99% would take the athlete(Wall) over the player(Irving) and he’s right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    You know what when one of them leads their team to the playoffs and gets a couple rounds under their belt then we can have a real debate right now they are young and haven’t really done anything. Both are great young talent neither are winners at the moment. I’m not accepting a Charlotte Bobcat or Bucks limping into the post season type performance either. Hell its like a new PG of the future comes in every year. First there Rose, Tyreke (back then at least), then westbrook emerged from Rose’s class, then came Jwall, and next Irving. lmao give the guy a break.

  • patrick

    like his apology

  • Comment_System

    iggy is a phenomenal player, he just cant be the #1 player on the team. Its not black and white here, you cant be AWESOME or wack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Shane-Long/580141409 Nathan Shane Long

    Kyrie is an all-star at age 20 idiot when you get all-star recognition playing for a bad team that means more rather than playing for a great team you talking wall a better passer really wall led the league in turnovers last season and is the worst shooting point guard in the league stop it

  • bunyanstomper

    Kyrie has pretty much been healthy all year. Look at their record. The Wizards have come back from far behind EVERYONE in the league and have a better record than the Cleveland Cavs at this point, BECAUSE OF JOHN WALL recently coming back.
    correction: wiz are one game behind the cavs

  • LakeShow

    1) Philly kept him for more than a decade lol…

    2) Can you find some documentation that says the Sixers wanted Evan Turner to be better than Iggy. I haven’t heard that before. You can’t BTW.

    Also….

    My grammar >>>>> Your grammar

    “Phenomenal: Very remarkable”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    “Bust: 1) as a noun: A woman’s chest as measured around her breasts.
    2)A period of economic difficulty or depression.Verb
    3)Break, split, or burst (something): “they bust the tunnel wide open”.
    As an adjective:
    Bankrupt.
    As a Synonym:
    bosom
    As a verb. break – smash – burst
    adjective. broken – bankrupt.”

  • Feez_22

    tayshaun prince played on the 08 redeem team. He is also not a phenominal player.

  • Feez_22

    1. Dude… Evan turner was drafted #2 OVERALL in the 2010 nba draft. If you are telling me that you are drafting a SF #2 to not be better than your current SF you are freaking kidding yourself. In fact, Philly said as much by their action of picking him. Philly said even more when they traded away iggy so please… spare me with the nonsense. Philly tried to trade iggy in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. they finally did it in the 2012 offseason. Evan was definitely drafted to be a better player than iggy and that isn’t even up for debate at this point.

    2. i know a person has nothing in the argument when they bring up “grammar”. I DEFINITELY know a person has nothing else when they post meanings of words from dictionary.com. Don’t be a smart alek. The word “Bust” has been used in a context pertaining to underwhelming, overhyped sports players for a long time. You should know as much… as a laker fan, you have seen what people called kwame brown and what people called bynum his first couple yrs when he was hurt. Don’t get smart with me.

    3. Phenomenal should be attributed to players who are all stars or have that potential. They also must be types of players that have distinguishable elite nba traits. Defense? he’s a great defender but guys like luol deng and paul george arguably play better defense than him. passing? good passer at the SF position but is he good enough to where he can continually run a great offense? No. Philly was always a bad offense when iggy was the #1 option. That brings us to scoring. great scorer? No. average shooter, etc. That isn’t “phenomenal” to me. Good player though…

  • Feez_22

    … what is in the middle of awesome and wack? Average. If average = phenomenal than carlos boozer is also phenomenal if you think about it. Iggy can’t even be a great teams #2 option so what does that say? look at denver… is iggy their #2? i’d say no.

  • LakeShow

    I’m not getting smart with any one, i’m naturally that way :)

    Listen, I get it…. I agree that they had the hopes that Turner would eventually be better than Iggy, but what team wouldn’t.

    One question I want you to answer though:

    If Turner is a bust, what is Greg Oden?

    Final point. Iggy is a phenomenal defender. A great play maker. A good rebounder. A great team mate and glue guy. He’s a top 30 player in the L. He led the Sixers last year and look where they are this year…

    If he’s not “phenomenal” he is “freaking incredible”.

  • Matt

    The Cavs also lost Varejao.

  • Matt

    Kyrie is also not a shot-first player, not even remotely so. He’s able to find the open man and manage to not clog the lane. Now only that but he’s also an elite PNR scorer and one of the best isolation players in the league.

  • Bob

    Your gay, dude..

  • Bob

    Kemba,Jennings,Lin don’t belong; ebled and curry are iffy

  • bunyanstomper

    wizards were missing john wall for most of the season. most of the victories are recent. Wizards were missing Nene for a lot of games (their most skilled big man) and he was unhealthy for many of the ones he played in. Okafor looked disinterested, Beal was playing like he was still at Florida. just saying the wiz didn’t have a healthy roster this year either. nene got somewhat healthy again, but it was wall’s return that turned the team around, so they could pass charlotte, orlando and in about a week or two the cavs.

  • Chukaz

    Kyrie’s always been a shoot first player. Like i said, there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually don’t think you can win without a shoot first player. Since 1989 the best player on the team that won the title has been a scorer first. Zeke got 2, MJ got the next 3, Dream got the next 2, MJ the next 3, Duncan, Shaq and Kobe got the next 5, the pistons were the exception in 04, then dominant scorers got the rest of the titles. I don’t think you can win with a PG that’s gonna shoot that much tho. He doesn’t have Wall’s vision. He didn’t have it at Duke, and he hasn’t shown it in the league. Wall really makes his teammates better. Look at how good the Wizards have been since he got back, and how good they were at the end of last year. Without wall they were trash, with wall they’ve been a little better than league average. They went from one of the 5 worst offenses to one of the 5 best. Isn’t that what you want from your PG? Maximizing what you get out of the other players is more important. Look at Westbrook and look at CP3. CP3′s no worse than the 4th best player in the league. Nobody would argue Westbrook’s better than CP3, but look at their numbers. Westbrook’s 22.6/8/5 is more impressive than CP3′s 16.6/9.6/3.4, but CP3′s clearly the better player. Westbrook’s the PG on the better team, so it’s not like CP3′s getting by solely on team success. They clippers have the deepest roster in the league, so it’s not like CP3′s got a team full of scrubs overachieving. It’s CP3′s impact. Wall’s got a bigger impact than Kyrie. Its not that Kyrie’s selfish, it’s that he’s doesn’t create for others.

  • LakeShow

    Your homophobic dude..

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