John Wall pulled a reverse Carmelo Anthony in his exit interview.
Instead of talking himself up, Wall took the opportunity to lay a metaphorical dump all over his teammates.
“I am the guy that has to be the leader of the team, that has to get everybody better, make everybody better on my team,” Wall told reporters on Sunday, a day after the Wizards’ playoff elimination at the claws of the Raptors. “At the same time, if I’m doing my part, the other 14 guys on my team have to do their part at getting better every year. Just being true to the team. Our problem at a lot times is guys don’t understand their role and respect their role.”
“I think it’s pretty obvious. I don’t need to point it out. I think the way the league is going, you need athletic bigs, you need scoring off the bench, you need all of those types of things. We don’t really have an athletic big. I mean, Ian [Mahinmi] is older. [Gortat] is older. They’re not athletic guys, but they do the little things that permit their game to help as much as possible.”
In January, Gortat told reporters he’d like to finish his career with the Orlando Magic.
“That’s up to the front office to decide,” Wall said of improving the roster in the offseason. “If they want to make any changes or keep guys. At the same time, you kind of know what guys want to be here from what people have said in the past or what they haven’t said.”
Unfortunately for Wall, the Wizards are sorely lacking in flexibility moving forward. The team owes the foursome of Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, and Ian Mahinmi more than $86 million next season. The same group will make almost $108 million the year after that.
Even if the team is able to shed Gortat’s expiring $14 million contract for 2018-19, the team will be a few million over the cap.
And that’s before they add any rookies.
So Wall had better get used to the mediocre supporting cast he’s got, because unless general manager Ernie Grunfeld suddenly becomes not embarrassing (he won’t), it’ll be another year of frustration for the point guard.