Thursday November 11, 2010 11:30 p.m.
By Frank Hanrahan
WIZARDS PAGE WIZARDS VIDEO
The verbal salvos continue to be launched from Bristol, Connecticut and ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd toward Washington, D.C. and Wizards guard John Wall with Cowherd again making ridiculous, personal and reckless claims about a 20-year old rookie. And it all started because of a dance.
It's well documented by now that after Wall did the "Dougie" dance in the season opening introduction at Verizon Center over a week ago, Cowherd teed off on Wall on his nationally syndicated radio show making the outrageous prediction that Wall would never be a winner in the NBA because he danced too long in the intros.
"Much like I called out Greg Oden, I'm gonna call out John Wall..Before the game started, he spent 34 seconds doing the Dougie. That tells me all I need to know about J-Wow," Cowherd said.
Either Cowherd is that dumb to make a prediction like that after Wall has just played in just 3 games or he is that smart to make a dumb comment to draw attention. I think it was the latter as Cowherd grabbed that attention, specifically here in D.C. as sports radio was buzzing about what Cowherd said for days with some hosts and callers actually agreeing that the dance was uncalled for. I had absolutely no problem with it. It's entertainment people! I am sure Cowherd just loves the Lambeau Leap in the NFL, but I digress.
I even asked Wizards coach Flip Saunders what he thought about Cowherd and his criticism Wall and Flip responded with a sly grin, "If Wall scores 29 points has 13 assists and 9 rebounds he can dance all he wants."
There hasn't been any dancing since opening night. There wasn't any dancing on Wednesday night when Wall got his first triple double in only his 6th NBA game as the Wizards beat Houston. Instead of applauding Wall's exploits, Cowherd went on the attack again Thursday and this time it seemed personal.
"Sorry. But I hated the Dougie. It's absurd, it's not what leaders do in any industry, it's childish, it's bad judgment, and I don't care if the guy at the arena told you to do the Dougie. I hated it," Cowherd said. But it only got worse as Cowherd started to encroach on dangerous territory, family.
"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," Cowherd said.
Cowherd is walking a very thin line here as Wall's dad was never really in his life and recently passed away. I host radio shows and what Cowherd did was a no no in my opinion. You stick to the team and the individual but you don't start questioning a kid's father. That's insane man.
Like any radio host, Cowherd is entitled to his opinion no matter how preposterous it is. What annoys me though about this situation is this guy can sit behind his glass enclosed studio hundreds of miles away and spew into the microphone and take cheap shots without ever setting foot at a Wizards practice or a game or even introducing himself to Wall. How could or how would Cowherd be able to honestly and realistically predict how Wall's career will end up? He can't and that's the shameful part in all of this. He has no idea what he is talking about.
Covering Wall now since the start of training camp, I am amazed how a 20-year old kid is handling this incredible spotlight and expectations and oh yea also going out and playing exceptional basketball. But Cowherd the know it all, sports psychiatrist could summarize from a 34 second dance that Wall would be a disappointment. I can tell from 6 NBA games, that Wall will be a good one for many years to come.
I think Cowherd needs to quit obsessing over a one-time, pre-game dance that most true basketball fans have already forgotten, and instead pay attention to what Wall actually does on the court DURING the game. Lets hear him debate how good a player this young man will (or wont) eventually be, instead of harping on bogus issues that have nothing to do with talent, leadership, or performance.