John Wall dropped by the CSN Mid-Atlantic offices on Friday for an interview on SportsTalk Live. He also took the time to answer a few questions about the upcoming season after wrapping up his on-camera work.
When asked about his relationship with Wizards rookie Kelly Oubre, Jr., Wall described a budding mentorship.
"Me and Kelly, we’ve been hanging out. That’s my rookie," he said. "I have him around me a lot so, yeah. He was just at my house a few minutes ago."
For example, Wall brought Oubre along for an appearance at the Howard-Hampton football game a few weeks ago.
The transition to the NBA is a dramatic adjustment for any rookie player. The challenge could be even greater for Oubre, who spent just one year at Kansas before declaring for the NBA draft. That means he'll make his professional debut at 19 years old.
Wall said Oubre has been pacing himself. "He’s just to himself you know, he’s just trying to figure out things."
He added that veteran guidance should benefit Oubre, but that's not a luxury every first-year player has.
"I can be a veteran to him and teach him. I didn’t have that when I came," he said. Fans will remember that Wall overlapped with Gilbert Arenas for only half of a season before Agent Zero was traded to the Orlando Magic.
"I just try to teach him the little things and the little ropes that can get him over the hump because he’s going to play a key role for us early on," Wall explained.
Injuries to newly acquired swingmen Jared Dudley (back) and Alan Anderson (ankle) could force Washington to lean on the rookie more than expected. Dudley could be out until November or December, while Anderson will likely miss the start of training camp at least.
Thankfully for the Wizards and Oubre, Wall is ready and willing to help.