Grunfeld talks of Wall's emergence

Grunfeld talks of Wall's emergence
September 25, 2012, 9:58 pm
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Wizards president Ernie Grunfeldmade itclear in his pre-training camp news conferenceat Verizon Center Tuesday that his former No. 1 draft pick John Wall perhaps deserves more credit than he has gotten after two NBA seasons."I think sometimes people overlook the fact that John had two outstanding years and because he is the No. 1 pick maybe people expect a little bit more out of him," Grunfeld said.Despite putting up almost identical statisticsinhis first two seasons in the NBA, Grunfeldwas quick to point out that the now 22-year old Wall is in elite company when it comes tothe numbers he put up last season for the 20-46 Wizards."He was only one of three players last year in the NBA to average over 16 points and 8 assists a game, the other being Chris Paul and Deron Williams," Grunfeld said.Obviously very high praise of Wall, since both Paul and Williams were all-star point guardsand Gold medalists for USA basketball at the Olympics this past year.Wall is now entering his third season as the face of the franchise, with many expectingthe ultra-quickpoint guardto take an even bigger leap and play at a higher level. That includes notching more wins for the Wizards who are now in the third-year of a self-proclaimedrebuild.
"John has made real good progress," Grunfeld added."He is a very tough hard-nosed competitorwho wants to win and he's apass first type of player that makespeople around him better and we're real pleased with the progress he's made so far and he's worked very hard this summer to get better."Clearly Wall's to-do list this past summer was to work on his shot after he struggled mightily from the field last season. Grunfeld acknowledged that Wall has sought out several different people for help on his jumper."His body has gotten bigger and he worked on his shot obviously," Grunfeld said. "John is a competitor. He works very hard and he wants to win. I think in the second half of last year he really improved hisdefense. I thinkJohn has improved the last two years and I think he will show more improvement this year."Wizards training camp starts next week at George Mason University.