Sometimes I think the worst thing to happen to John Wall was to be a No. 1 pick. Because the moment that happens in instant-referendum world you get compared before you get time to compete. That No. 1 is quickly pitted against this No. 1, and immediately one point guard plucked first in the NBA draft is newly crowned the second coming of Isiah Thomas while the other has Stephon Marbury-signing-in-China written all over him.
Being sandwiched between Derrick Rose in 2008 and Kyrie Irving in 2011, Wall couldn’t just grow into a floor leader and develop his game; he had to fly downcourt in a blur, turn around a moribund franchise faster than other No. 1 picks at the point.
When that didn’t happen in a heartbeat, the reviews leveled last year at a then-21-year-old were harsh:
The Wizards picked a bad year to have the No. 1 pick. . . . He’s only got one speed, and it’s five times too fast for his team. . . . Can’t shoot, can’t execute in the final minutes, can’t believe we thought he might be a 10-time all-star.
Wizards point guard John Wall is beginning to blossom despite being given little time to grow
Washington Post | Feb 10