Rookie Wizards point guard John Wall played a tremendous game (and did a tremendous dance) last night, leading his team to a 116-115 overtime win over the 76ers with 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals. Hell of a game, right?
Well, not according to radio provocateur Colin Cowherd. Cowherd chose to focus on the dance and Wall’s eight turnovers. While that is a lot of giveaways, Cowher was almost certainly saying this looking for a very specific reaction from those who follow the Wizards closely. And he got it.
From Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog:
The thing about people like Colin Cowherd is this: they say dumb stuff so that gullible people will write down the dumb stuff they say, and then other people will react with possibly misspelled outrage, and then they’ll get to see their name on web logs, chucking with sinister satisfaction in their secret lairs. The only real antidote is to ignore them.
Usually I’m fairly good at this. I mean, I try. However, a reader advised me to listen to Cowherd’s thoughts on John Wall’s home opener, and I stupidly complied.
That’s right – Cowherd’s trolling (lets face it, that’s what Steinberg is talking about, and in all likelihood what Cowherd was doing) worked. Because, for many, many reasons that Steinberg listed, criticizing Wall for his dancing and turnovers – and taking them as a sign of selfishness – would be dead wrong.
Wall criticized himself extensively for his turnovers following the game (“That’s too many turnovers for this team”), and did the Dougie at the urging of Wizards assistant Sam Cassell and “security guy” Jackie Miles. Also, eight turnovers is too many, but again – 13 assists and nine steals go a long way toward making up for the miscues. And Wall scored his 29 points efficiently, on just 16 shots.
Cowherd especially slammed Wall by comparing him unfavorably to the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, who put up a 17-assist, zero-turnover performance last night. The comparison, of course, is ludicrous. Wall has played three NBA games. Rondo has played four full NBA seasons. Cowherd, though, knows this, and Steinberg knows he knows – and still couldn’t resist. That’s impressive trolling.
I submit there’s a rather good chance Cowherd doesn’t agree with his own viewpoint on this one, and instead is pulling a Whitlock and is just trying to get people to think about the situation. As Steinberg’s reasoned, evidence-based rebuttal suggests, he did exactly what he wanted.
At least I hope that’s what Cowherd wanted to do. Because if not, he’s dead wrong.