Morning tip: Wizards join in Madness

Morning tip: Wizards join in Madness
October 19, 2013, 8:00 am
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J. Michael has an update on John Wall's new fashion trend

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at the Verizon Center.

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

After playing in front of crowds that root for the other team on their home floor, the Wizards will welcome the chance to play in Lexington, Ky.

There, where John Wall attended University of Kentucky for one year and played at Rupp Arena, they'll be visiting with the New Orleans Pelicans for a preseason game. 

"I'm excited it's a real game and not a scrimmage or anything like that," said Wall, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2010. 

Anthony Davis of the Pelicans is a No. 1 draft pick, too, entering his second NBA season.

"With John and Davis coming back I'm sure there'll be some excitement on the campus there," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It should be an alright atmosphere. It's a great arena. I even played in that arena one time. I played there when it first opened (in 1976). I was in college (at Indiana). Looking forward to it. I haven't been back since."

Big Blue Madness, which celebrates the opening of the college season there with the first public practice, was Friday. The Wizards got a chance to experience it first-hand.

According to the Courier-Journal, the event cost "just north" of a record $400,000 that included a "giant, spinning, firework-spewing video screen suspended above the court."

"You think about it every day. You think about how much fun you would've kept having if you were playing college basketball," Wall said. "But I'm excited and happy I reached my goal of going into the NBA and being with the Wizards."

Kentucky coach John Calipari flipped a coin to determine which team would get to use the Wildcats' state-of-the-art locker room. The Pelicans won.

"The fans are crazy. They're amazing. They show a lot of support down there. A lot of people are talking about it," Wall said. "Twenty-four thousand people at a college game is amazing. They don't have an NBA team or professional team there so they treat you like you're the NBA team. No other college basketball program is just like that. To have 24,000 people is more than what most NBA teams have in the arena."

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