Colin Cowherd Finally Comes Around On John Wall
Just a quick recap of the dramatic underpinnings of this post, Colin Cowherd has hated John Wall from the moment he came out doing "the Dougie" in 2010. Shame on John Wall. Dancin's fer the barn gatherin' on Sunday eve!
Cowherd could've stopped there, but he read into Wall's antics as indicative of a weak character, which he blames on Wall's upbringing. John Wall's father died when he was eight.
"Let me tell you something: I'm a big believer, when it comes to quarterbacks and point guards. Who's your dad? Who's your dad? Because I like confrontational players, I don't like passive aggressive. Strong families equal strong leaders. Talent? Overrated. Leadership? Underrated. And you can say, well, Colin, can you just go out and say anything crazy and get people to e-mail. That's not the point. You wouldn't e-mail if I was an idiot, because you wouldn't listen to the show. You listen to the show because we make good points.
"I simply have a different opinion than you do on John Wall. I like the character of Derek Fisher, the rebounding and distribution ability of Rajon Rondo, that's what I like. That's what I want from my point guards. You celebrate the assists more than the buckets.....I know he's great. So don't confuse [me saying] John Wall's no good. No, John Wall's an A+ talent. I don't think he's ever gonna be an A+ win-championships point guard."
Despite Cowherd's insistence that he'd become the next Stephon Marbury, Wall has flourished in the NBA. Last season, Wall averaged 19.3 ppg and 8.8 assists en route to an All-Star game, playoff berth and a first-round upset of the Chicago Bulls.
Cowherd didn't lose a step.
“Ooh, and you made the playoffs in the East. Woo-hoo! Don’t forget the Knicks until the last week were fighting for a playoff spot in the East; they fired their entire staff. So listen, when John Wall came out and did the Dougie, first home game, for 34 seconds, he was a moron. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. I will never back down.”
This season, the Wizards are tied for the second best record in the Eastern Conference thanks in no small part to a certain lockdown defender who's averaging a double-double (SPOILER: His initials are J.W.). Last night, Wall dedicated his 26-point, 17-assist performance to Miyah Telemaque-Nelson, a 6-year-old he had befriended during her terminal battle with Burkitt’s Lymphoma.
She passed away Saturday.
After the double-overtime win, Wall broke down. It was about as special a moment as you're going to see on live television.
Bottom-line: John Wall has grown up over the course of his basketball life and Cowherd can no longer pretend like the kid is doomed to fail due to chronic immaturity. On the other hand, we're glad to see the ESPN Radio host has grown out of sticking to his guns when he's clearly wrong.
"If you play real defense in this league, you've got character. John Wall works hard on the defensive end. He grinds people. So last night, he broke down after the game. He started meeting with this girl who was dying of cancer...she was a 6-year-old girl, Miyah Nelson...He forged this relationship with this girl and she passed away, so after the game last night they asked him about it. He was incredibly emotional. It's very, very touching...He started crying. Then they asked him a second question. He couldn't finish it. Incredibly touching.
For the record, I don't jump on Twitter when he has bad games. I don't. The people who love him do, the sports blogs do, critics do. I am not here to win some argument. I had my opinion, you can have an opinion on my opinion. I never have an opinion on your opinion on my opinion. I don't care -- I'm in the opinion business. Fire away. Do I think John Wall has grown up? Absolutely! Do I think he was immature when he broke into the league? Absolutely. First couple of years he was a turnover machine and couldn't shoot because he took lousy shots. Do I think he has evolved? Yes. Do I think he has matured? Absolutely! Do I think he has character? Yeah. You don't play defense like that without deeply caring about teammates. Defense is about your teammates. That is why Melo doesn't play any. Offense is about you. Defense is about caring about your teammates. John Wall plays real defense. Definitely has real character.
Was I too harsh on him? I host a radio show. I do basically 30 columns a day. But if you are looking for apologies you are off the wrong pier. I said what I mean, I mean what I say. John Wall has grown. Hopefully over five, six years, so have I."
Acknowledging that he's paid to have strong opinions is about as close to an apology as you're gonna get with Cowherd. We're counting it.
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