John Wall Says His Season Turned Around After Emeka Okafor Got In His Face
Washington Wizards point guard John Wall wants a max type deal, and has played lights out the past two months to try to earn it.
In his last 20 games he has averaged 23.9 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting and 41.7 percent from three, plus averaging 7.8 assists per game.
Wall’s season started off slow following a knee injury suffered in training camp. Wall says he wasn’t able to find his groove until late February.
Wall told the Washington Post that his season really didn’t turn around until veteran forward Emeka Okafor got in his because of a dispute Wall had with head coach Randy Witman over a late game benching.
“It was just me being young and very frustrated. I wasn’t making anything, turning the ball over, and we lost a lot of games that we should’ve won and I put the toll on me,” Wall explained, as he recalled his emotions before the encounter. “A lot of frustration was coming out. As a veteran and being a leader on the team, [Okafor] stepped up and said something. At the time, it was in the heat of moment. I was upset.”
Wall was unaccustomed to having a teammate challenge him, but in hindsight, he couldn’t disagree with anything that Okafor told him: Wittman had to go with someone else if he was ineffective and Wall has to trust that the coach is doing what was in the best interest of the team, which should always come first
“It wasn’t nothing bad. I felt like, what he said was right,” Wall said of Okafor “It was all the right things at the right time. ‘You’ve got to learn how to control your anger more.’ Ever since that day forward, I became more focused. Came to practice the next day, talked to him, put it behind us and I just went out there and tried to play basketball. Didn’t hold no grudges.”
Wall has been playing at an unbelievable level, and it’s good to see the light coming on for him.