It was a major coincidence that on the same day John Wall agreed to terms on a supermax contract that will keep him in Washington through the 2022-23 season, news broke of fellow All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving's discontent with the Cleveland Cavaliers. One Eastern Conference star was committing to his team for the long-term, while another was looking for a way out.
Wall in many ways has what Irving wants. He is the face of a franchise and is treated as such. Meanwhile, Irving has a few things Wall himself covets. That duality was clear in Wall's opinion on the matter, which he shared following the press conference to announce his new contract on Friday at the Verizon Center.
"That was crazy to me. I didn't know that was happening at all. Well, too bad," Wall said of the timing. "It's kinda tough. If I had been to three straight [NBA] Finals, I'd want to stay but you never know what type of relationship or what type of details they have going on the backside. Nobody knows what's going on behind closed doors. He's one of those guys who wants to be the main guy.
"It's a different situation when you're playing with a guy like LeBron James who is so dominant. Everyone is always going to be the second guy to him. It's kind of like what I tell all the young guys when they first come into the league. It's kind of tough to get the young guys to play as one on the floor because everybody is trying to build their name up and start their own foundation. It's kind of tough when you're always in the shadow of somebody else. That's something he probably got tired of."
Wall, 26, is the best player on the Wizards, who finished fourth in the East last season. The Cavs were the second seed, but won the conference and reached the Finals where they lost to the Warriors. He has every reason to keep an eye on Irving's situation now, given it could directly affect his own team.
Wall stopped short of agreeing with a reporter who suggested Irving's ordeal could make the Cavs vulnerable.
"You can't say that because you don't know who they are going to trade for or who they are going to add. You have to get through LeBron, so it's like 'damn,'" he said.
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