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'I guess God is telling me something': John Wall in good spirits as he begins long recovery from Achilles surgery

'I guess God is telling me something': John Wall in good spirits as he begins long recovery from Achilles surgery

WASHINGTON – Were it not for a boot around his left leg and a scooter to rest it on, one fitted with handlebars and a braking system, there were no discernible differences in John Wall as he rolled through the Wizards locker room on Friday night to address reporters for the first time since news he is due for surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

He was his usual, cheery self, smiling as he messed with teammate Jordan McRae by trying to knock a container of food out of his hand. Before he even turned to speak with the media, Wall showed his spirits were high.

That will naturally be a goal for Wall as he embarks on a recovery that could last well into next season. He is due for surgery on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. in Green Bay, WI. From there he is expected to miss 11 to 15 months, making it at least a possibility he misses all of the 2019-20 campaign.

Wall plans to be defiantly positive, knowing some tough days are ahead.

“I’m chilling and enjoying myself. Just a minor setback for an extra couple of months. Nothing to dwell on,” he said.

Wall, 28, has already taken a glass half-full approach. Though his left Achilles was possibly torn due to a fall in the bathroom, he believes it is better to have happened now than in four to five months. He could have missed the better part of two years had he suffered the rupture later in his original rehab from the left heel surgery he had on Jan. 8.

The new recovery timeline will ensure Wall will most of next season. That means he will have missed at least half of three straight years, his age 27, 28 and 29 seasons.

Wall, though, again wants to take the positive outlook. Maybe this latest injury is merely a sign for how he should treat his body in the future.

“I guess God is telling me something: Sit down and get yourself fully healthy,” he said. “I've played through injuries my whole career. I know a lot of people played through injuries and probably don't sit down. That's one thing I don't like to do. If it's something that's nagging or not broke, I want to play. I guess it kind of caught up to me,”

Wall will have plenty of time to get introspective in the coming months. He plans to hang out more with his infant son, Ace, and his mother, Frances, who is battling cancer.

Wall also plans to finish school. He has been taking classes on and off to finish his degree at the University of Kentucky and believes he may be able to get the necessary credits during his time away from the court.

Wall plans to attack his rehab like he has with other surgeries in the past. And he plans to shut up some of his detractors along the way.

Wall loves to use slights by the media and fans as motivation. So, naturally, he brought up unprompted some criticism he has received.

“All the people that talk negative like, 'you can't come back from it, you not this, you not that...' That will do nothing but motivate me even more. The same people when I was on top, you was respecting me and loving me,” he said.

Wall sat on the bench as the Wizards took out the Cavs on Wednesday in their first game since the 2019 NBA trade deadline. The team debuted three new players – Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker and Wes Johnson – who helped them earn the victory.

During the first quarter, Wall was shown on the big screen following a montage of his highlights and his charity work in D.C. Wall raised his hand as fans gave him a resounding applause.

That support, Wall says, will be kept in mind as he moves through the arduous road ahead.

“This whole organization, this city period, from Day 1, they embraced me. Like I said, this is like a second home to me. As long as I got their support and the organization behind me, I don't care what the outside world says,” he said.

 

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Wizards' Beal reacts to arrest of CNN reporter covering unrest in Minneapolis

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Wizards' Beal reacts to arrest of CNN reporter covering unrest in Minneapolis

Bradley Beal took to Twitter on Friday to express concern over the arrest of CNN's Oscar Jimenez while covering the unrest in Minneapolis on Thursday night. 

"We arresting reporters and not the cop? Okay," Beal wrote.

Jimenez and his crew were detained while covering the response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody after a police officer kept his knee on his neck for several minutes. His death has sparked massive unrest in Minneapolis. Beal is one of many athletes to speak out about the death - on a conference call earlier this week, Ravens' Ronnie Stanley told reporters of Floyd's death: 

“It’s something that obviously it’s pretty easy to see what’s happening. Hopefully justice prevails in this case. It’s really sad to see. I really feel bad for him, his family and his loved ones. I’m keeping them in my prayers.”

A number of other NBA players have also spoken out. LeBron James posted a photo of himself wearing an "I Can't Breathe" shirt, which he and a number of other players wore in response to Eric Garner's death in New York in 2014. "Still," he wrote in the Instagram caption.

View this post on Instagram

STILL!!!! 🤬😢😤

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Earlier this week, Beal also tweeted this about Floyd's death:

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2020 NBA Draft: Could big-man Vernon Carey Jr. drop to the Wizards in the second round?

2020 NBA Draft: Could big-man Vernon Carey Jr. drop to the Wizards in the second round?

The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Vernon Carey Jr. 

Team: Duke
Position: PF/C
Age: 19
Height: 6-10
Weight: 270
Wingspan: 7-0

2019/20 stats: 31 G, 24.9mpg, 17.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.6 bpg, 57.7 FG% (6.4/11.1), 38.1 3PT% (0.3/0.7), 67.0 FT%

Player comparison: DeMarcus Cousins, Domantas Sabonis

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 27th, Sports Illustrated 27th, Ringer 45th, NBADraft.net 13th, Bleacher Report N/A

5 things to know:

*At Duke, Vernon Carey Jr. was a bruiser, a typical big-man in every sense that he would simply impose his will on any opponent in the way. He's extremely strong and built like a tight end in the NFL, with his athleticism and burst making him fit the mold for a quick-paced team. That combination allows him to thrive with a bevy of post moves in his arsenal.

*Many analysts are split on where Carey projects in the draft order. One mock has him as a lottery pick as high as 13th, others don't even have the 6-foot-10 big-man as a first-round prospect. This is partly due to his sometimes poor decision-making and lack of developing a perimeter game. There is no denying his athleticism or raw talent though, just his best assets are not as valuable as they once were in the NBA.

*It seemed Carey knew that he needed to show flashes of a 3-point game to fit into today's NBA. He only attempted 21 3-pointers, mostly due to Coach K's system, and fared decently well. What he did show was a reliable jumper and good form that could translate as he gets more repetitions. 

*No matter where selected, Carey is one of the top rebounders of his class. He's at or above the level of James Wiseman, who many NBA executives say should be the No. 1 pick. Carey understands positioning well and prioritizes it on every possession. Last season he averaged 14.1 rebounds per 40 minutes, one of the best in Division I. He's a fine blocker, but most are against smaller guards and wings, and he doesn't have the same reach against other bigs. 

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*Athleticism runs in the family. His father, Vernon Carey Sr. was an offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins from 2004-11 and was drafted 19th in the 2004 NFL Draft. 

Fit with Wizards: One of the major holes in the Wizards rotation on both ends of the floor is their interior post-game. Several elements of Carey's game are exactly what the Wizards are looking for to fill some voids. 

Carey would be able to boost the team's presence on the boards and be able to adequately defend other bigs. Even as a late first-round, early second-round prospect, Carey could find himself competing for a starting role with Thomas Bryant at the center spot. He can hold his own on the offensive end of the court and even has a more polished jumper than Bryant. 

Athletically, Carey would be one of the few centers in the draft that is more than capable of fitting into Scott Brooks' up-tempo style. He's nimble and has the durability to move up and down the floor. Often he was the first on the other end of the court in transition opportunities.

Over time, Washington will need him to continue to build on his range, but the fundamentals are there to show he won't reside in the post every possession.

There are some concerns as he defends. Outside, he can cover stretch-fours and other players of similar size. However, sometimes he overcommits on fakes or rotates over on a cutting player. He won't exactly shut down the best centers in the league. 

Drafting Carey with the Wizards' first-round pick would be a bit of a stretch, but the Wizards' second-rounder could be in play. While the order is not entirely set, Washington will likely have one of the first 10 picks of the second round. Depending on how teams view Carey, there is a possibility the center would be available. 

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