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John Wall explains 'Wolf Season' and its connection to Michael Jackson

NBC Sports Washington

John Wall explains 'Wolf Season' and its connection to Michael Jackson

Wizards star John Wall spent his offseason using the cryptic hashtag #wolfseason on workout photos posted to Instagram, leaving his fans and the media to fill in the blanks. Then, after helping the Wizards beat the Sixers on opening night last week, he proclaimed that it's 'Wolf Season' and only added "just keep watching" when asked for an explanation.

Well, now we have that explanation from the man himself and it has a connection to Michael Jackson. Wall appeared on the Wizards Tipoff podcast over the weekend and told the backstory. The name was created by his childhood friend and security guard Dave 'Flave' Best. 

"I'm in Wolf Mode. I'm on the attack," Wall said.

The whole idea revolves around his main purpose for ramping up his offseason workouts this summer. He wanted to get into better shape with the end of playoff games in mind.

"The beginning of games, that I'm great with. Sometimes coach might play me a full 24 or a full 12 minutes, whatever me might do. I've gotta prepare myself and I think that's what I trained this summer for, to do that," he said.

Wall, 27, went through the preseason and has now played two regular season games. The early returns, he said, are noticeable. 


"I feel great, just being in better shape and being able to commit myself on both ends of the floor," he said. "I'm just trying to make it tough on defenders and making big stops."

Defense is a big part of it and it's clear Wall is focusing heavily on that area of his game. He couldn't help but bring up one specific play in the Wizards' second game against the Pistons where he wasn't happy with his performance.

"I think I played great defensively yesterday other than that one big three I gave up to Avery [Bradley] when we was up 113-108," he said.

So, how does this relate to the 'King of Pop?' Wall says part of Wolf Season is 'Thrilla Mode,' an ode to when Jackson turned into a wolf in the music video for the classic 'Thriller.'

"When I used the later picture, that was what it was for, to turn into a wolf," Wall said, referencing an Instagram post from September. 

"That's Wolf Season, just locked in," he said.

Between 'Death Row D.C.' and Wolf Season/Thrilla Mode, Wall and the Wizards have good taste in the music they draw inspiration from.

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

And for more on Wolf Season, check out Chris Miller's video on what it means for the rest of the NBA:


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2018 NBA All-Star Game: Date, Time, Location, Schedule, Rosters, How to Watch


2018 NBA All-Star Game: Date, Time, Location, Schedule, Rosters, How to Watch

After weeks of fan voting , the 2018 NBA All-Star Game starters and reserves have been announced. 

LeBron James and Stephen Curry have both been named the captains for the Eastern and Western Conference and with the reserve players being announced, it's up to Curry and James to pick their squads. 

The full 2018 NBA All-Star Game rosters have been announced, but the 2018 All-Star Game has undergone a format change.

There will now be a player draft that allows the captains to pick a starter and reserve regardless of their respective conference.

Which means, from the Kyrie-LeBron beef to the Warriors-Cavs rivalry, this will surely make for an intense battle worth watching. LeBron received the most fan votes, giving him the first selection and will then alternate picks with Steph. 

Here's what to expect for the highly anticipated 2018 NBA All-Star Game.


2018 NBA All-Star Game Eastern Conference Roster

F — Lebron James (CLE), 14th appearance*
F — Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), 2nd*
G — Kyrie Irving (BOS), 5th*
G — DeMar DeRozan (TOR), 4th*
C — Joel Embiid (PHI), 1st*
G — John Wall (WAS), 5th
G — Bradley Beal (WAS), 1st
G — Victor Oladipo (IND), 1st
G — Kyle Lowry (TOR), 4th
F — Kevin Love (CLE), 5th
F — Al Horford (BOS), 5th
F — Kristaps Porzingis (NYK), 1st

2018 NBA All-Star Game Western Conference Roster

G — Stephen Curry G  (GS), 5th appearance*
G — James Harden (HOU), 6th*
F — Kevin Durant (GS), 9th*
F — Anthony Davis (NO), 5th*
C — DeMarcus Cousins (NO), 4th*
G — Russell Westbrook (OKC), 7th
G — Damian Lillard (POR), 3rd
G — Jimmy Butler (MIN), 4th
G — Klay Thompson (GS), 4th
F — Draymond Green (GS), 3rd
F — LaMarcus Aldridge (SA), 6th
F — Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN), 1st

* — Denotes All_Star starter

2018 NBA All-Star Game How to Watch

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif

What: 2018 NBA All Star Game

When: Sunday, Feb. 18th, 8:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: TNT 

2018 NBA All-Star Game Weekend Event Schedule

Friday, Feb. 16

7:00 PM — 2018 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (ESPN)

9:00 PM — Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game (TNT)

Saturday, Feb. 17

8:00 PM — Skills challenge, 3-point contest, dunk contest (TNT)

Sunday, Feb 18

8:00 PM — 2018 NBA All-Star Game (TNT)

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John Wall and Bradley Beal address criticism of their leadership after Stephen A. Smith's comments

John Wall and Bradley Beal address criticism of their leadership after Stephen A. Smith's comments

Somehow J.J. Barea, a point guard for the Dallas Mavericks who has no direct connection to John Wall or Bradley Beal, set off a firestorm of criticism on Tuesday about the leadership of the Wizards' backcourt.

Barea told reporters in Dallas he doesn't think Wizards teammates like Wall and ESPN's Stephen A. Smith then furthered that story by saying both Wall and Beal have detractors within the Wizards' locker room. Smith said that there are teammates talking behind the backs of the Wizards All-Stars.

Once Barea and Smith sounded off, it became a thing. Fans wondered aloud on social media if there were irreparable fractures within the Wizards locker room and if something needed to be done.


The Wizards, of course, were coming off an embarrassing defeat against the Mavericks and these are the times when people usually pile on. That they did.

Wall and Beal were asked about the criticism following the announcement they both made the 2018 NBA All-Star team by NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. (video above)

"We embrace it. Nobody is more upset than we are in ourselves," Beal said. "The fans, the critics, writers; nobody is as upset as we are. We’re more upset in ourselves that 100 percent of the resposibility falls on our shoulders. We embrace that. We take it. We take it on the chin and we just keep it moving, man. We can’t pout about it or try to argue back with what other people say.

"At the end of the day we agree that we shouldn’t be where we are. But reality is reality, we’ve gotta do a better job at leading and playing, showing up for every game and making sure that our teammates are good to go and make sure that they are pulling their weight just as well as we’re leading."


"We know what we should be. That’s the most difficult thing for us," Wall added. "We’re a team that we know we should be a top two team in the East right now. We control our destiny from this point forward, where we want to be in a playoff spot, we definitely know what we’ve gotta do to win. It all starts with me and Brad. We hear certain things they are saying like ‘why are you doing this, why are you doing that?’ But we’re putting in a lot of work."

The Wizards have battled inconsistency this season to an extreme degree. They often lose to lesser teams and by significant margins. The Mavericks, who won the fourth-worst records in the NBA, beat them by 23 points.

Like Wall and Beal said, they know that shouldn't happen. It's up to them and the rest of the Wizards to figure out how to fix it.