Does the ink matter?
Apparently it still does to some as Washington Post columnist Jason Reid thinks it may and that the Wizards should think about re-signing John Wall to a max deal because he went and got inked this summer. Because Wall had taken an anti-tattoo stance earlier in his career, and now he is sporting ink, Reid thinks that Wall’s changing stance reveals flaws in Wall’s decision-making process. Whaaaat? Yea.
But not every player flip-flops on a topic in such a public way. Factor in that Wall is expected to receive a huge payday from the Wizards next month, and the timing of his tattoo revelation raises questions about his decision making. For a franchise with a history of backing the wrong players, that’s food for thought.
This isn’t about the merits of body art. Wall, 22, has the right to put whatever he wants on his body, and one of the advantages of youth is that you can reinvent yourself. As the face of the Wizards’ franchise, however, Wall is going to be scrutinized more than the last man on the bench. He’s always under the microscope.
Judging by his new look, Wall, who declined an interview request Monday through the team, might not be as concerned as he once was about appealing to a wide audience. In interviews before the 2010 draft, Wall made a point of presenting the type of clean-cut image teams want from college players to whom they’re considering giving millions of dollars.
To be honest, this all seems to all over nothing. Walls tatts are only revealed when his is shirtless as the parts covered by his uniform are clean. It’s well within Wall’s rights to get tatted and like I said, it’s really no big deal to me as a fan of John Wall. Keep in mind, the Wizards are still gun-shy over Gilbert Arenas, so I guess I can see their point some. Maybe.
As of now, Kyle Wiltjer is still a Wildcat and to be honest, I will be a bit sad to see him go. However, if he decides to transfer from UK, the suitors are already lining up.
Sources told ESPN.com that Gonzaga, Portland, Texas, Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State are all interested in pursuing Kentucky sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer after he announced Monday on the Wildcats’ website that he was exploring options of transferring.
Wiltjer, who is from Portland, Ore., would have to sit out next season and be eligible in 2014-15. His decision to attend Kentucky two years ago was a bit of a surprise at the time with the unknown if he would have an impact with the Wildcats.
So far the Harrison TWins and James Young have not arrived on campus yet … and Kyle Wiltjer may be leaving … but John Calipari’s grand plan is ahead of schedule and he is comparing this team favorably to the 2012 National Title team. And apparently, it all boils down to depth and the level of competition that is already showing at practice.
“Now there’s competition. Now you really see guys blossom,” Calipari said Monday on the annual Southeastern Conference coaches’ summer teleconference. “It’s been a short period of time right now, but what you see is they’re on a mission like some of my best teams have been on.”
While junior forward Kyle Wiltjer announced late Monday he’s likely transferring in pursuit of more playing time, Calipari is impressed by how sophomores Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein have responded to the arrival of the Wildcats’ star freshmen. Poythress is squaring off with Julius Randle, the nation’s top-rated power forward in this class, and Cauley-Stein is colliding with Dakari Johnson, the top-rated center.
“Both of them are challenged,” Calipari said. “Willie’s challenged by the other big guys. Alex is challenged by Julius and the other guys. So all of the sudden, they’ve elevated their game. You can make an excuse, but you’ll be sitting. ‘Yeah, I know, I know. OK, you sit there.’ And they know that now, because you’ve got other guys.”