John Wall thinks Washington is among the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.
Since none of the East’s top teams have won a title recently—to say nothing of LeBron James‘ move westward—Wall says they’re “all equal.”
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) August 9, 2018
Wall adds that the Wizards were plagued by selfishness last season, but that offseason moves have turned them into the deepest team he’s been a part of.
Per Yahoo Sports:
“It was just guys all for themselves last year,” Wall told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what I felt it was about. It wasn’t the same as the year before when we were all having fun. It was hard to find any fun on the court. You didn’t see any smiling or excitement. I don’t know, that [expletive] was just weird. If you don’t know your roles, everybody wants to be ‘the man’ and when they do that, it hurts.”
Wall, however, chooses to look at the potential upside of a new collection of talent to complement an experienced core that remains relatively young.
“I feel like we’re all equal,” Wall told Yahoo Sports recently from his annual backpack giveaway at Barry Farm. “None of them won a championship. This is no knock on no other team. Don’t get me wrong. Boston is a hell of a team. Philly has great young talent with those guys [Joel] Embiid, [Ben] Simmons. And Toronto, losing DeMar [DeRozan], they still get Kawhi [Leonard]. Y’all might have been to the Eastern Conference finals, where we haven’t been to, but none of y’all were going to the Finals. It was one guy going to the Finals. Ain’t nobody separated from nothing. I know one guy that separated himself from the Eastern Conference every year and that was LeBron James and the Cavs. Other than that … if you lose in the second round, or the conference finals, you still didn’t get to your ultimate goal.
“On paper, everybody looks great,” Wall continued. “We look great. Boston looks great on paper. But how are all those young guys going to mesh with Kyrie [Irving] being back? Or Gordon Hayward being back? Nobody knows how that’s going to work. Now, they’ve got a hell of a coach in Brad Stevens, and [with GM and president] Danny Ainge, they’re going to figure it out. But you still got to put it all together. You’ve still got to make it work on the court. We don’t know how Kawhi is going to work. We know what Simmons and Embiid are going to give you, but it’s a new year.”