John Wall just spilled the tea—on himself. During an impromptu Tuesday media tour, Wall finally weighed in on the rumblings, including from teammate Marcin Gortat, that the Wizards are moving the ball better without him.
“I know I’m a team player,” Wall said. “I average almost 10 assists a game. I’m very prideful, and finding my teammates and get these guys easy shots. It’s just more that I could hear from [Gortat], and understand that he gets the most assists from me and the most spoon-fed baskets ever.”
So I guess Gortat wasn’t joking when he tweeted the following after beating the Raptors on February 1:
Unbelievable win tonight ! Great "team" victory!— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) February 2, 2018
Wall replied to Gortat on Twitter minutes later with a simple “Lol.” The tweet has since been deleted, which Wall said was someone else’s doing.
But he didn’t exactly shy away from that position on Thursday. “I just think if you have a problem with anyone as a man and the principles I stand on, you talk face-to-face,” he said on The Jump. “They have my number, they can see me in person. If we have any discomforts, we can talk.”
Washington is 5-0 since Wall went back to the sidelines for six to eight weeks because of a troublesome left knee. The team’s assist rate that has soared to the top of the league over that stretch, and the Wizards pass like they like each other.
”Everybody eats,” Bradley Beal said after the win against Toronto. “That’s our motto when we move the ball.”
Wall has been paranoid about being underappreciated since he entered the league. He attributed his years without a signature shoe deal to disrespect. There was bitterness when Beal signed a maximum extension before Wall got his (reportedly, but come on). In 2015, Wall complained about getting only nine shots in a game while Beal took 22—a minor but notably petty detail. In 2016, Wall said he and Beal “have a tendency to dislike each other on the court.”
Gortat is the Wizards player showing up in trade rumors. But any insecurity Wall feels won’t go away if or when he leaves. The Wizards are winning without a player who needs to be needed, and who has plenty of time to stew over the next two months. Keep your eyes on this saga—there’s no way this is the end.