If there is one thing former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is great at doing (aside from coaching), it’s that he is never afraid to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. Sometimes it gets him into trouble, as was the case when he infamously revealed that Dwight Howard tried to get him fired last season, but troubles be damned.
If your team is great, he will tell you just that.
If your team is bad, boy, will he let you know about that, too.
That’s what he did when asked about the current direction of the Washington Wizards – a woeful team with the worst record in the league at 4-26. Dan Steinberg of Washington Post has the details:
“You know, I don’t see it, to be honest,” Van Gundy said. “I’d love to tell you you’re two years away; I really don’t [see it]. That roster doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I know they’ll be better when John Wall comes back. He’s certainly got talent, but I don’t know that even John Wall is a great player to build your franchise around. I don’t know WHO you’re building around, so it’s tough to even think about what the construction of your team is. That’s just a bad basketball team.”… “I think maybe they thought it was gonna be John Wall – maybe they still think it is. I think there’s a lot of people in the league – I’d certainly be one that would share this opinion – I don’t think John Wall’s good enough to be the guy that you build around. I think he’s got great speed and quickness, but point guard is a decision-making position. That’s what makes you great as a point guard, is your decision-making. I haven’t seen any indication that John Wall is a great decision-maker.”
The franchise has been waiting on the return of John Wall, whom they believe is the future of the team. To hear someone as reputable as Van Gundy state that their decision to build around the young point guard is probably a mistake?
Brutal stuff, especially for such a hopeless franchise.
The jury is still out on whether Wall is a franchise level point guard, and it’s probably not fair to judge what the guard may be capable of just yet, due to the fact that he’s been out for the entire season with a leg injury, not to mention he is still just 22 years of age.
Still, from how he has played over the first two seasons, the production level suggests that he may be a mini Russell Westbrook. His career averages are 16.3 points on 41.6 percent shooting with minimal outside touch, 4.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 3.8 turnovers. Whether that’s a good thing is debatable, but again, it takes time for point guards to figure out the league, and 22 is pretty young. In comparison, Jrue Holiday – who is also 22 – is being touted as one of the better point guards in the league at the moment with very similar production as Wall with averages of 18.8 points on 45.1 percent shooting, 4.2 rebounds and nine assists, and it took him four seasons to reach this level of play.
We’ll see if Van Gundy is right about Wall in the long run, but it says here that the coach may have jumped the gun a bit too soon on the matter.
Onto other news from around the league, including whether Jrue Holiday should be an All-Star this season: