John Wall had a pretty good week. So it occurred to me to compare John Wall’s most recent week with Kyrie Irving’s first week in the NBA.
Here’s what Wall did in an eight-day stretch: He shot 37 for 67 (55 percent) from the floor, including 7 for 15 from three-point range. He scored 96 points, and was a +45 in four games. He also had 41 assists to 12 turnovers, plus 14 rebounds and seven steals. His team won all four games it played, by a total of 46 points.
And here’s what happened in Irving’s first seven days in the NBA: He shot 20 for 51 (39 percent) from the floor, including 4 for 11 from three-point range. He scored 53 points, and was a -19 in four games. He also had 22 assists to 11 turnovers, plus 16 rebounds and four steals. His team went 2-2, outscoring its opponents by a total of 17 points.
Now, clearly, Wall had a far superior four games. Also, clearly, it’s absurd to compare a four-year veteran and all-star with a rookie playing in his first four NBA games. In fact, there’s no reason at all to make such a comparison.
Except for this one: “John Wall will never be as good as Kyrie Irving was in his first week in the NBA,” David Falk said last year at this time.
This is why it’s best never to speak in declaratives. In fact, this is why it’s better never to say anything of substance at all. If you’re right, no one will remember or care. If you’re wrong, you look silly. And if you’re spectacularly wrong, everyone — including Ted Leonsis — will be happy to point that out.
“Could it have been just a year ago that articles like this one appeared in the same Washington Post?” Leonsis asked in a blog item in which he also pointed out the recent trade of Falk client Evan Turner. “The state of things change rapidly in pro sports, don’t they? At any point in time, you can analyze and over analyze any move or any player or any team and its strategy. Teams can be up, teams can be down, strategies can change – but the pixels are never in doubt.”
With that in mind, here are the four other silliest things — at least as of now — Falk said to Mike Wise one year ago.
* “[Nene’s] not going to win on this team. He knows it. He doesn’t want to be here. By the time Washington is good, how old is Nene going to be?”
Well, I suppose it depends what “good” means. But if it means getting to the playoffs with a winning record, Nene will almost certainly be 31, which happens to be his current age.
* “Would you rather have a Mercedes for $20,000, or a broken-down Chevy and broken-down Yugo for $250,000?”
In this telling, Elton Brand was the Mercedes, and Trevor Ariza the broken-down Yugo. This season, the Mercedes has averaged 5.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in about 18 minutes a game. The broken-down Yugo has averaged 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in about 36 minutes a game. The broken-down Yugo is also sixth in the league in steals-per-game, and 13th in three-point shooting, while the broken-down Yugo’s team is 4.5 games ahead of the Mercedes’s team.
* “The team is going nowhere. Randy [Wittman] is doing a great job with minimal talent. You’re one of two things in the NBA: either one player away from contending or you’re rebuilding. The Wizards are in limbo.”
Now, it’s a bit premature to say the Wizards are one player away from contending. But I can’t imagine a whole lot of NBA experts would want to own the position that this team is going nowhere, or is rebuilding.
* “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.”
I mean, I guess you can’t actually dispute this. David Falk, were he in charge, would trade John Wall. Maybe Elton Brand would be available.