It took a few days, but Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine has finally issued a response to John Wall's criticism of his dancing in Tuesday night's game at the Verizon Center. If you recall, Valentine did a dance after hitting a three with four minutes left in the fourth quarter and Wall took issue with the celebration. He went up to Valentine following a timeout and told him that he "woke a monster," then proceeded to hit the go-ahead shot with five seconds left.
It was a great quote and moment for the Wizards, but for Valentine it wasn't nearly as fun. He wondered after the fact why Wall needed his dance for motivation:
Denzel Valentine on Wall's "Woke up a monster" comments: "I'm glad I could be his motivation. But why wasn't he playing like that all game?"— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 12, 2017
Valentine also pointed out to CSN Chicago that he doesn't see anything wrong with what he did, noting that both Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry do similar things:
Denzel Valentine on John Wall’s comments: "Russ, out there dancing. Steph, just having fun. I know I'm a rookie, but I play with passion."— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) January 12, 2017
Wall explained afterwards to CSN that Valentine hadn't earned the right to celebrate like that as a rookie, so that runs a bit counter to what Valentine said. Oh well, the Wizards have more important things to worry about after their altercation with the Celtics the following night.
Here is Valentine's dance, in case you haven't seen it: