I didn’t catch the ESPYS last night. I’ve never been a big fan. The only reason to tune in is to watch a comedian (this year was Seth Myers) deliver a semi-funny monologue with plenty of sports allusions. After that, there’s nothing worth watching.
That’s especially true for Wizards fans, who typically don’t have anyone to cheer for. But last night, we were treated to a change of pace. John Wall won “Best Male College Athlete.” Congrats to you, Mr. Wall!
After I found out Wall had won, I looked for footage of him accepting the award. There was no video to be found. And that’s because he didn’t even attend the ESPYS. Here’s the reason why, courtesy of Wall himself via Twitter:
jimmywa11: I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the Espys this year…Felt it was best for me to stay here with my team but I thank them for the nominee’s
How refreshing is that? The top pick in the NBA draft, who could have easily made the trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, decided to stay with his team for Summer League practice. You know who that reminds me of? Kevin Durant.
Durant completely changed the atmosphere in Oklahoma City upon his arrival. He didn’t complain about moving from Seattle to Oklahoma–instead, he embraced the change. His best friends are on the Thunder, and he’s committed to winning a championship. He signed a long-term extension at the start of free agency, and thus has avoided flirting with the media frenzy that comes with becoming a hot commodity on the market.
John Wall is just a rookie, but I already get the vibe that his personality is very similar to Durant’s. He’s bonding with teammates and is establishing himself as the leader of this squad. Even four-year vet Nick Young doesn’t want to disappoint him (quote from Michael Lee):
“I can shoot. I brag about shots in practice, and he’s got a lot of confidence in me,” Young said of Wall. “It hurts when I miss and he’s doing all that jumping around, you know. But that’s John being John. He’s a good guy. And you need a point guard like that. It was good to get a run out here with him.”
I’m hoping Wall’s selflessness starts rubbing off on the rest of the team. Washington can’t keep up the me-first mentality anymore.
That was the Big Three era.
This is the John Wall era.