- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Wall, Nene make their intentions clear for next season
Jan Vesely stood in the hallway outside the Washington Wizards practice court on Friday afternoon. He was holding a John Wall bobblehead, and waiting for Wall to sign it. Wall was momentarily surprised by Vesely’s request, until Vesely explained the bobblehead was for someone else. Wall happily obliged.
Wall and his teammates also had to sign dozens of team posters as they walked the halls of Verizon Center for the last time before embarking on their summer vacations.
Vesely will be returning to the Czech Republic. James Singleton is getting married. Shelvin Mack is off to Kentucky, and Chris Singleton to Florida. Wall will be spending some time in Los Angeles, and plans to take in a few playoff games.
“You want to be in the playoffs,” Wall said. “Everybody doesn’t have the opportunity to come right out of the gates and go to the playoffs their first or second year, it takes time. But by your third or fourth year, you at least got to be in the playoffs.”
There was no mistaking the conviction in his voice or the meaning behind his words. Wall expects the Wizards to compete for a playoff spot next year. Another losing season, or a losing mindset, is unacceptable.
“It was tough to see some guys accept losing,” Wall said. “I never accept losing in my life. It was tough, but I just tried to get guys on the same page and show them that losing is not something you should want to have.”
Wall also made it clear how much better he liked the team that finished the season than the one that started it.
“We finished the season without the same guys we started with, and ended on a better note,” Wall said. “I think we’ll be good with a full training camp, with everybody getting together and working out in the summer.”
Asked about the addition of Nene at the trading deadline, a broad smile came over Wall’s face that he didn’t try to conceal.
“He’s great. If you’re not doing something right, he’s going to let you know. He’s a great professional. He wants to win, and that’s what you need on this team.”
Wall was long gone by the time Nene came out, the last of the players to complete end-of-season meetings with team president Ernie Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman, and to clean out their lockers.
Nene had equal praise for his point guard that Wall had for him.
“He’s great. He’s tremendous. He’s got great potential,” Nene said. “In the future, he’s going to be a star.”
Heading into his first offseason with a different team, Nene took a moment to reflect on the Wizards players and the future of the team as he sees it.
“I’m proud of all the players, because we had tough times here,” Nene said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
Extra charge on the bill reminds everyone who's paying
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 'Holy grail of guitars' among those in N.Y. auction
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again