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Colin Cowherd doesn't deserve John Wall's forgiveness

Colin Cowherd doesn't deserve John Wall's forgiveness

Colin Cowherd's well-documented, years-long vendetta against John Wall may have finally come to an end yesterday. The radio host relunctantly apologized to Wall after some serious badgering by his guest, Bill Simmons. 

Take a listen. 

Funny that Cowherd complains about being bullied, which is the perfect segue into a quick recap of some of the most baseless, offensive and disrespectful things he's said about Washington's star point guard over the years. 

On Wall doing the Dougie, Cowherd's original rant in 2010:

Before the game started, he spent 34 seconds doing the Dougie. That tells me all I need to know about J-Wow. Then he opened his mouth later and confirmed it: not a sharp guy...

J Wow's 37-second 'Yo dawg look at me I'm the man [dance]', and his wild, out-of-control style ... He's gonna end up on the Iverson, Francis, Starbury: great stats, nine All-Star teams, never play with good smart players and an elite head coach. He's gonna drive people nuts.

It's not robbing the bank, it's that you planned it. It's not just doing the Doggie [sic] for 35 seconds, it's that you really thought before the game, this is gonna be super cool and people will like me. The wrong people...

My daughter's 10. Ten years old. She knows the difference between right and wrong ... The haves get it early, the have-nots never do. 

On Wall's father, who passed away of cancer when he was a child, also in 2010: 

I'm a big believer, when it comes to quarterbacks and point guards. Who's your dad? Who's your dad? ... Strong families equal strong leaders. Talent? Overrated. Leadership? Underrated...

I simply have a different opinion than you do on John Wall ... No, John Wall's an A+ talent. I don't think he's ever gonna be an A+ win-championships point guard...

You know, John Wall and [Michael] Vick are very similar. I'm not disputing their talent. I mean, Michael Vick and John Wall are fun to watch. But building my franchise around him, leadership position?

After Wall was ejected in 2011:

People think I’m the antagonist with John Wall. Great young talent, goes to the NBA, does the Dougie his first time out, which I thought was pretty repulsive and immature. John Wall has been at times brilliant, at times irrelevant, mostly irrelevant this year.

Comparing Serena Williams' dancing to Wall's Dougie in 2012:

It’s the big difference between the CEO of a company signing a huge deal, popping a cork and doing a three-second dance. I’ll give you that. I’m not giving first-day on the job barista guy walking into Starbucks, 'yo yo yo look at me'...

You’ve earned the right to celebrate as a great Olympic champion. Go for it. John Wall was idiotic.

After Wall's first playoff win in 2014:

By the way, the great John Wall -- who was the point guard of the future -- not in the top 15 most popular NBA jerseys, not in the top 10 most popular team merchandise, he’s not galvanizing America, this is his first playoff win.

Cowherd insisting he was right about Wall in 2015:

I don't blame him but these people that say there is no correlation between your environment and your leadership ... You're clowns. ... And through no fault of [Wall's] own, I think he's going to be a great talent, but boy he had a rough childhood and I don't know if I'm building my franchise around him...

He is a dynamic freaky fast talent who has matured has a ton, but walked into this league wildly immature with regrettable judgement, shown by the Dougie and five years later, the only thing I don't like about him is his judgement -- He's lousy late in games...

He's very Allen Iverson-esque ... When he's on, he's on, and he's great...

Once again, John Wall -- drip, drip, drip -- it doesn’t mean he’s the devil ... It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have talent. John Wall, college games, gang signs during games. The Dougie. Stupid. Turnover machine -- that’s a judgment stat. Paul Pierce calling him out, needs to work harder. Thrown off a plane, hanging with dopes. Poor judgment, poor choices.

And comparing Wall to Johnny Manziel in February of this year:

When I looked at Johnny Manziel: Money sign, in a bathroom in Vegas rolling up a dollar bill, all over Instagram ... You’re not mature enough. And so I said this all the time when I was critical about John Wall. What I said about John Wall is what I’ve said about Johnny Manziel: It’s not the talent. But I’m going to watch you, watch your background, look at your upbringing, look what you dealt with, and make some calls on it...

I don’t want my point guard in make-it-rain situations, kicked off flights. I don’t want that stuff. Johnny Manziel, I don’t want my quarterback doing this [gesture], money money money, signing autographs in college, putting his team in peril.

In the span of six years, Cowherd has insulted Wall's intelligence, family, leadership, decision-making and clutch performance. He has compared the three-time All-Star to a bank robber, then later to Manziel, who has been a failure in the NFL, not to mention a documented substance abuser with a criminal record. 

To hear Cowherd tell it, the Wizards star is an athletically gifted but mentally weak player whose bad upbringing cursed him with poor judgment and me-first attitude. That he danced the Dougie means he'll squander his talents and never achieve greatness.

At best, this hot take is uninformed (we won't waste time defending Wall's character, good works and loving family here). At worst, it force-fits one of the league's most dynamic figures into a lazy, racist trope of the black player who is physically exceptional but intellectually flawed. Stronger and faster, but immature and selfish -- dangerous to his team. 

Wall is not Iverson, nor is he Vick. But all three are victims of this narrative. Reduced down from individual to type. 

And that's why, no matter how many times Cowherd apologizes, he deserves no forgiveness from Wall. 

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Wizards players believe winning as a team will take care of individuals with contract uncertainty

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Wizards players believe winning as a team will take care of individuals with contract uncertainty

The Washington Wizards are set to play the 2018-19 season with seven players on expiring contracts, or in other words half of 14 spots currently held on their roster. That does not include Dwight Howard, who has a player option for next season worth just $5.6 million, so low for his standards that he might as well be entering a contract year.

That dynamic could make things interesting for the Wizards, as some guys will likely thrive with the chance to earn themselves a lot of money, while others may struggle under the pressure of an unknown financial future. The players themselves seem to be in agreement on one thing, that as long as the team wins, they won't have to worry about their own contract situation.

"I'm more focused on winning. If we win, we all gonna eat. If we don't win, it will be a tough year," forward Markieff Morris said.

"Team-first, honestly. We have to win," forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. said. "It's not about me at all. It's about this team, it's about the name on the front of my jersey. I'm not putting any weight on whatever contractual situations are going on right now."

That was the message from Morris and Oubre, both of whom have not been in this situation before. Morris had a second contract signed with the Phoenix Suns before his first one was up,  while Oubre is currently entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

Veteran newcomers Austin Rivers and Jeff Green are also entering contract years, but have been through it before. Rivers acknowledged that there are some difficulties that come with the process.

"It's tough, you know what I mean? People don't realize on the outside that this is our life, this is how we feed our families," Rivers explained. 

"What I try to do is focus on the things that I can control. The only thing that I can control is how I perform and how I play. If you focus on how much you get paid or how much this guy gets paid, it messes you up in the head, honestly. It's all about timing. Some guys get lucky, some guys are liked by different teams. I think if you just go out there and hoop, then everything takes care of itself."

Green has played through a contract year in each of the past four seasons. Each time, he has done enough to earn another contract in a good situation for him.

"Honestly, [the key is] to really not think about your contract. It's something that at this moment, you can't control," Green said. "So, really you just have to focus on basketball. That's the main priority and all the rest will take care of itself when it's said and done."

Point guard John Wall has his future safe and sound with his second max contract extension still a year away from kicking in. He has never really had to worry about his next contract as a perennial All-Star.

That, however, doesn't mean Wall can't speak to the effects too many expiring contracts can have on a team. Back in the 2015-16 season, the Wizards missed the playoffs and many feel too many guys in contract years was partially to blame.

Wall brought it up quickly when asked about this year's contracts.

"This is probably the second most we’ve had. I’ve been on a team where we had about nine guys and I know what it feels like when everybody is trying to get off, get their shots and do whatever," he said. 

Wall, though, believes this year can be different because of the types of guys who are playing in contract years.

"I think with those guys they kind of understand what we are as a team. What we stand for. Keef has been here for years. Kelly has been here for years. Those guys understand what we’re trying to do. There’s no point in trying to go out there and prove a point," he said.

Wall may not be able to relate to the uncertainty of a contract year, but he can speak to the individual benefits that come from a team winning. He believes the Wizards becoming a constant in the playoffs is a big reason for the accolades he has collected over the years.

"You don’t get paid if we don’t win. You don’t become an All-Star, you don’t get accolades if you’re not winning. So it doesn’t matter what you do by yourself," he said. "I think those guys understand that.”

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Otto Porter, Jr. wants to be more like Klay Thompson on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense

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Otto Porter, Jr. wants to be more like Klay Thompson on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense

Otto Porter, Jr. has heard it from coaches and teammates for over a year now, that they want him to shoot the ball more often.

He is the team's most efficient player and the more he shoots, many believe the better off the Wizards will be.

Porter took that idea, and his general quest to be a better player, in a new direction this offseason.

He specifically wants to take after Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors.

If Thompson can get his while playing with Curry and Durant, Porter should be able to do the same with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Thompson has averaged 16 field goal attempts or more in the past four years while running with other superstars, while Porter topped out at a career-high 11.5 shots per game last season.

"That's definitely going to be a goal of mine, just to be ultra-aggressive. I think it's best for the team and best for me to put out that effort and be more involved and kind of be like Klay Thompson and take my shots. I'm very confident in that. I'm going to instill that in every game," Porter said.

As for Leonard, Porter hopes to take after him on the defensive end. Leonard, who was traded from the Spurs to the Raptors in July, has won two defensive player of the year awards and he's only 27 years old.

Also a small forward, Porter believes he can model parts of his defensive game after Leonard.

"I watched tons of film," Porter said of his regimen this summer. "I'm learning how to guard on-ball; take my angles and be able to master that. I studied Kawhi Leonard a lot, and the angles he takes. He's very strategic with how his movements are. He never seems tired. I was able to get in [better] shape this summer. There are a lot of games, so I wanted to be in the best shape possible."

Porter has proven he can shoot at a high percentage. Now, he wants to put up volume numbers like Thompson.

Porter has proven a solid team defender. Now, he wants to become a dominant on-ball force like Leonard.

Both of those things should be good news to the Wizards.

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