Two days after Ray Lewis stepped into the locker room before the Wizards practiced, Garrett Temple is still singing his praises after they won Game 3 vs. the Atlanta Hawks without John Wall.
"It was inspiring just to hear him. When he walked in it was like we were like second-graders looking at Michael Jordan walk in the room. We were just keyed in on him," Temple said of Lewis, who won two Super Bowls with the Baltimore Ravens, including his final year as a pro in 2012 when he had a torn triceps. "It was crazy that he had an injury, football is obviously different ... kind of the same situation.
"John doesn't have a long time to get back. We got to play without him right now. We just got to fend these guys off until he's able to get healthy. Ray was very inspirational, very motivational and we took away a lot of things from that. We came out after the meeting during practice, guys were throwing the ball everywhere, had a lot of energy. He definitely moved a lot of people. We understand we got to play for our fallen warrior right now."
Wall hasn't played since Game 1 when he had a spill that resulted in a broken left hand and wrist. He has five non-displaced fractures. Wall is doing his best to recover but the healing takes time. It's hard to see him playing again in this series that they lead 2-1 vs. the Hawks, the East's No. 1 seed.
That Lewis appeared during this time when Wall was injured was coincidental, as CSNwashington.com reported Friday. He was supposed to speak to the team before the playoffs began but there was a schedule conflict. Lewis missed 10 games with his triceps tear and was able to return with a brace for the playoffs for an improbable championship run.
'I think that was good for us. It definitely helped us put it in perspective. Sometimes, when you have injuries like this, situations like this, you forget that your'e not the first team to go through something like this," Temple said. "You realize people have done it, people have overcome situations like this. I think it was good. He was in the situation. Star player gets hurt. We have to keep it rolling until he's able to get back.
"A lot of external noise we shut out. We had somebody come talk to us, a guy we respect. His main points was to shut out all the stuff, honestly, that you guys talk about, the pundits talk about."
Unfortunately, Temple said he doesn't think any of his teammates will be doing the Ray Lewis dance if they can get past the Hawks.