John Wall’s first appearance at the All-Star Game will mean lots of questions about his career to date, and about the state of the Wizards franchise. It started as early as Thursday, when ESPN’s Bill Simmons sat for more than 15 minutes with Wall and asked several questions that were no doubt heavily influenced by his friendship with a lifelong tortured D.C. basketball fan.
“What’s your feel for the Washington fans?” Simmons asked. “Because that is one of the most tortured fan bases. I mean, what do they have, one playoff series win in 30 years? They won the title in ’78, and really from the ’80s on, it’s just been one bad break after another. But they love basketball in Washington.”
“Oh yeah, they love it,” Wall agreed. “Every time they they see me before we started this season — my first three years — they [were] like, ‘C’mon, when are y’all gonna gonna start winning, you need to get to the playoffs, you need to take us to the promised land.’ Those fans are dedicated. They come out and support us. At times it got bad when they [were] booing when we [weren’t] playing good and losing by 40 and 30 points, but they always stuck with us. And that’s why I said this season was basically for those guys. I think they deserve a lot more. They deserve winning. They deserve us taking care of home-court advantage and getting this team to the playoffs.”
“If you had your druthers would you rather be the Wizards or the Bullets?” Simmons also asked.
“I love the Wizards but I like the Bullets,” Wall said, wisely. “I just like the way their jerseys [were] and I like the name. I think a lot of fans love [the Bullets], but I’m a Washington Wizard and I love it.”