Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wizards Win John Wall Lottery

Tonight is arguably the greatest night for Wizards fans in the history of the franchise -- at least since the NBA championship in the late-70s, so as good as "ever" for any fan under, say, 40.

You have to understand: Things like tonight just don't happen to the Wizards. They perennially miss the playoffs. They perennially blow the Lottery. They win the Lottery; they get Kwame Brown. They perennially draft duds. They make terrible trades. Their stars get injured. Their stars get suspended for the season. They bring in the greatest player of all time, and it is a debacle on almost every level.

I'm not sure any franchise in the NBA -- OK, perhaps the Clippers -- has been more ill-fated than the Wizards for the last 30 years or so.

And so it's hard to describe, but I felt this elation when the No. 2 Lottery card turned up "76ers," meaning the Wizards would win the chance to draft John Wall, arguably the most exciting guard since Allen Iverson -- the biggest draft prize since LeBron.

I jumped up and down, repeatedly. I shook. I grinned. I yelped.

The Wizards have never given their fans a championship -- not even close. But this is the closest thing to it that I have ever experienced as a Wizards fan.

I have always joked that the Lottery was the Wizards fan's playoffs. Finally -- finally -- we win it all.


Jars said...

How is Wall the biggest prize since LeBron? That's so damn stupid. How can you forgot about the Durant/Oden sweepstakes?

Jeff said...

How is John Wall a bigger draft prize than Oden/Durant? While Oden seemed questionable even at the time, no one had any doubt that Durant would turn into a superstar, did they?

Dan Shanoff said...

Fair point about Oden/Durant. I should probably qualify Wall as "top guard prospect" -- yes, that includes Chris Paul.

That said, I don't think there was this much Lottery enthusiasm about Oden/Durant as Wall.

If you're asking me whether I would rather have Durant or Wall, of course I'd rather have Durant. There's a part of me -- the part that dislikes LeBron, mostly -- that would take Durant over LeBron.

But let's stick with PGs. If you're asking me whether I would rather have Wall or Rose, I'd rather have Wall. Wall or Tyreke Evans? Wall. Wall or Rondo? Wall. Wall or CP3/Deron Williams? Hmm... on draft day, Wall. After CP3's injuries this season? Hard to say.

Part of that is Wall's talent. Part of that is, as I tried to argue, the relevance and cachet that come with Wall.