Taking Issue with the John Wall Story

Posted on October 3, 2010 by


Kyle Weidie – at Truth About It – has taken issue with my discussion this past summer of John Wall. (you have to scroll down a bit to Weidie’s discussion of John Wall and stats):

It’s hard to talk about John Wall’s stats without mentioning Dave Berri. Berri, of The Wages of Wins Journal and the books “Wages of Wins” and “Stumbling On Wins”, is not a fan of Wall. Or rather, he’s not a fan of Wall’s stats and thus, he is overall indignantly unimpressed with the number one overall draft pick — so much so that Berri took the time this past summer to write a post, “Are We Allowed to Say that John Wall Has Yet to Produce?,” criticizing a Las Vegas Summer League recap I’d written about Wall for ESPN’s Daily Dime, essentially because I didn’t mention Wall’s faults until the ninth paragraph. Perhaps stats on other people’s writing are the new frontier. Either way … good one, Dave.

Weidie’s attack doesn’t get much better after this beginning.  And here is how it ends:

Mr. Berri really doesn’t have a calculator to stand on. But in this country, irrational outlandishness sells. And when someone combines intelligence with a pompous nature like Berri, he might as well be smugly selling snake oil.

In between these two points we see that Weidie essentially failed to understand the actual argument I was making in the following three posts:

Is John Wall the Obvious Number One Pick for the Wizards?

John Wall, Derrick Rose, and the State of the Wizards

Are We Allowed to Say that John Wall Has Yet to Produce?

Let me clarify by just repeating what I said last summer:

So at this point we can say this about Wall.  His physical skills suggest that he has a great deal of potential.  But so far, that potential hasn’t translated into actual production.  Wall was not particularly productive in college.  And he wasn’t productive in summer league.

Now it’s very important to emphasize what I am saying.  I am not saying – and I repeat, I am not saying – that Wall will never be a great basketball player.  What I am saying is that in college and summer league he was not a great basketball player (again, I am differentiating what Wall has done from what he might do in the future).

And I am trying to emphasize that ignoring missed shots and turnovers for eight paragraphs paints a misleading picture of Wall’s actual performance.  Missed shots and turnovers really matter in basketball.

The person who ignored Wall’s shortcomings for eight paragraphs was Weidie.  Again, I think this is a story that deserved a bit more coverage.  Wall is supposed to be a great basketball player. So far, though, he hasn’t been great.  Again – and I am saying this again (maybe Weidie can understand this point if I say it enough) – I am not arguing that Wall will never be a great player.  I am just arguing that so far he has not been as good as advertised

And launching personal attacks at me is not going to change this basic observation.

– DJ