June 28, 2010
As you can imagine, the Washington Wizards are happy to have John Wall(notes), the No. 1 overall pick in last Thursday's draft. It's not often that a franchise suffers its most embarrassing season ever, only to be gifted with a savior who shares an initial with the team's name. The odds of that happening are infinitesimally small.
But since it did happen, the Wizards are really going all out to make Wall excited to be in Washington. That's why last Friday, just a few hours after being drafted, the team welcomed its new point guard with all the pageantry and banners usually reserved for the Brad Millers of the world. From the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg:
In one of the more absurd scenes I've ever been fortunate enough to cover, John Wall arrived at a red carpet outside Verizon Center Friday afternoon, surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of people, all of them trying to take cell phone photos and videos, many of them carrying hand-out glossies of Wall shaking David Stern's hand, and many of them wearing "Wall" t-shirts.
"Madness," said Ted Leonsis, who hugged Wall's mom and chatted briefly with the player. "He's a rock star."
"I felt like I was big-time," Wall said. "I never been on a red carpet before." Later, he compared it to arriving at the BET Awards.
Very excellent comparison, right there. God only knows how Wall's career will turn out, but it seems clear that he's headed for the Analogy Hall of Fame. First ballot, probably.
According to Steinberg's wonderful report, things were crazy inside the Verizon Center. Phrases bandied about included "new era," "game changer," and "delivered from heaven," so, you know, no pressure 19-year-old rookie.
But just to make sure that Wall felt at home, the Wizards got a bunch of D.C. area athletes and other people together for a short video welcoming Wall to the nation's capital by awkwardly doing his silly dance.
That is a lot of short and stout little teacups with handles and spouts. Furthermore, it is very impressive that so many people could butcher such an easy dance to such an outstanding degree. Quite impressive.
Mostly though, it's just good to see Washingtonians being happy to be Wizards fans again. Who cares if Andray Blatche's foot is shattered? This is a new era, might as well enjoy it. Just don't buy his shoes. That'll ruin the illusion, I'm afraid.