The NBA Draft Hype Machine is obviously well-oiled and cranking at full speed right now. With less than a month before the Washington Wizards officially turn in their pick, head coach Flip Saunders is already going overboard with his hyperbole. Saunders apparently told the Pioneer Press that presumptive No. 1 pick John Wall could “revolutionize the point guard position.”
Forgive me for rolling my eyes.
Look, I like John Wall as much as the next guy. I think he’s a fantastic player and will be a phenomenal NBA point guard. But can we calm all the “second coming of” talk? He’s a great player but he’s also one year removed from AAU ball. He had a fantastic freshman year at Kentucky, surrounded by incredible talent and a coach who knows how to use his point guards. But “revolutionize” the position?
The problem with Saunders’ statement is that I’ve heard it before. Countless times. Somehow, some young point guard is always supposed to come in and do it differently and better than anyone else ever has.
First it was Sebastian Telfair. His smooth dribbling and phenomenal court-vision was going to surpass anything that had come before. He was referred to as easily the best point guard prospect since Isiah Thomas. How’d that work out? Oh right, this season he played for his fifth different franchise in six years.
Then we heard that O.J. Mayo would do the same thing to the position. Forget that he’s mostly playing off the ball in the NBA, Mayo’s strength, quickness, vision and scoring ability were going to change things. Mayo is a great player but he hasn’t really “changed” anything. He’s a scoring guard. Wow, so different than so many other players in the league.
Derek Rose was also supposed to be a different kind of point guard. I love Rose’s game. Again, he’s strong, athletic, quick and has great vision. But that makes him a very good point guard, not anything different.
Wall is a fantastic player and he’ll be great in the league. But can we just stop over-hyping the kid? Let him play and prove what he’s got instead of tossing stuff around about how he’s so different than anyone to ever play the game.