I first saw the potential John Wall nickname The WZA on a poll from this blog. As a lifelong Bullets/ Zards and Wu Tang fan this moniker made perfect sense to me. It is an eventualality that we select Wall and I think its just as much of a given that he will be an NBA superstar. Ok, I'm aware that he's 19 and has never stepped on an NBA court to this date, however, he's been regarded for awhile as one of those can't miss prospects. He's being regarded as a sure thing which is more rare than you might think.
In recent drafts there have only been a few sure thing guys. In the past twenty years the only other guys I think are also in this class are Shaq, Webber, Iverson, Duncan, and Lebron. Every other guy either had some question marks about how their game would translate to the pro level, or there was legitimate debate over if another guy in the class should be taken first. Anyway, I'm embracing Wall and his WZA alias for the following reasons:
1. After the past season, the Wizards will have to take on a new identity starting this year as to how they run the team, the style of basketball they play, the faces of the team, everything has to be rebuilt from the ground up.
2. John Wall will have to be the driving creative force on the court for this revitalization and the poster child off it.
3. Although only a rookie, as the point guard, he will have to be a unifying source a team with some strong personalities, namely Gil (if he's stil here) and Dray. As the distributor of the ball, it will be his job to get the best out of these guys and make them want to play their best for him.
This is all oddly reminiscent of how the RZA choreographed The Wu Tang Clan's meteoric rise from the projects of Staten Island to hip hop immortality. The RZA began with meager resources but he was also surrounded by untapped talent. He was able to coax the best out of each member and soon had 8 completely different MCs functioning as if one. Now the balance strained at times and it wasn't always harmonious, but fifteen years later they are still putting out albums as a group and as individuals(Sans the great ODB of course, RIP Dirty).
So there it is. John Wall is The WZA. I will do my part and use it when referring to him on every website I can until they are calling him that on ESPN as he leads us to an unlikely playoff run next spring. I hope you will do the same. But I want to take this one step forward. I'm about to proclaim the greatest possible name change for the Wizards that can sadly never happen. No, it's not Bullets, although that would be my first choice as well. Gil's incident last year nixed any chance of the return to the standard. I'm proposing The Washington Wu-Tang....... Let it sink in for a moment...... Ok, now I'll tell you my reasons:
1. It obviously helps my whole John Wall as the RZA metaphor.
2. The arena is in Chinatown and the name Wu-Tang refers to a mountain in China (I'm currently living in China and I went to the mountain over the last holiday to pay my respects. I stayed for a week at a kung fu school, unreal place)I think this would give the team more of a tie to where they play, then again, anything would considering the Wizards were born in the soulless 90s where people thought it was cool to give a team a name that had no connection whatsoever to the city it played in.
3. The hip hop culture reference would be attractive to free agents, Washington would be a cool place to play, plus jersey and merchandise sales would go through the roof. People with no rooting interest in the team would be rocking our jerseys. When has that ever been the case for a Washington team?( aside Ovie perhaps)
4. A name referencing a famous place there would lead to a huge following in China, which would make Mr. Leonsis a lot of money and make us a stronger franchise all around.
5. There would be no trade mark problems in adopting the name since The Clan stole it themselves from an old kung fu flick. Plus, the RZA always talks about making Wu Tang a world-wide brand so offer him a minority stake for a million and then they're behind it too. Method Man sitting courtside? Come on.
6. Keeps the alliteration in tact, which is nice.
7. The logo kinda looks like the Wu Logo anyway, so we're talking minimal adjustments. You can keep the same shape, but replace Merlin with something a lot better. Maybe just a big W?
8. The whole ass kicking spiritual warrior image that kung fu conjures up. What would be better for a team to aspire to? It makes "Umbuntu" or whatever the C's where saying two years ago sound trite.
So that's my idea. Like I said, I'm aware this could never happen, but come on guys it's better than Wizards right? Would it not fit for a team changing identities and philosophy to adopt a completely new name too? Oh well, a man can dream.........