Links: John Wall anxious to return healthy and have big third year for Washington Wizards

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

In today's Washington Wizards links, John Wall talks about the frustration caused by having to sit out practice and preseason games with a knee injury, fully aware that this upcoming season, his third in the NBA, will have reverberations throughout the rest of his career.

Just don't come back too soon links:

  • Cool story here from Michael Lee, who caught up with John Wall at a promotional event for his new Reebok shoe at Prince George's Plaza Mall in Hyattsville and discussed, among other things, the difficulty of sitting out with an injury, Wall's determination to redeem one of the worst first pitches in baseball history, and the importance of this season to Wall's career, both on and off the basketball court. [Wizards Insider]
  • Wary of coming back before his plantar fasciitis is fully healed, Nene won't commit to being ready in time to play in the season opener on Oct. 30. [Wizards Insider | Washington Examiner | CSN Washington]
  • In an expected move, the Wizards have picked up contract options that will keep each of their six rookies from 2010 and 2011 with the team through the 2013-14 season. [Us | Wizards Insider | CSN Washington | Press release]
  • Randy Wittman wants his players to stay focused on doing the little things right. [Washington Times]
  • John Hollinger forecasts the Wizards' 2012-13 season. [ESPN Insider]
  • Zach Harper thinks that if the Wizards are to have a successful season that Wall needs to make a "huge leap" and two of four players - Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely and Trevor Ariza - need to emerge as efficient offensive options. [CBS Sports]
  • In this podcast, Harper and Matt Moore discuss the Southeast Conference and where the Wizards stand. [CBS Sports]
  • Interviews with Wittman, Singleton and Emeka Okafor following Friday's practice.
  • Is there anything that can be read into the absence of the nickname "Wizards" from Wizards-themed D.C. Lottery scratchers? [Truth About It]
  • A recap of Friday's preseason action. [SB Nation]
  • Dirk Nowitzki is expected to miss six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. [SB Nation| The Point Forward | ESPN Dallas | Ball Don't Lie]
  • Amidst speculation that the Lakers are targeting LeBron James if he chooses to become a free agent in 2014, Jim Buss said the team purposely set itself up to be flush with cap space in 2014 so that it can make a "big splash" in free agency. Thanks for throwing water on that fire, Jimmy. [SB Nation | Orange County Register]
  • Dwight Howard won't say whether he intends to return to the Lakers next season or not. I'm sure this will not turn into a season-long distraction. [L.A. Times]
  • James Harden's future has already become a distraction for the Thunder. [ESPN]
  • Chris Paul is trying to play through a lingering thumb injury. [Orange County Register]
  • Ray Allen says he joined the Heat because the Celtics weren't willing to offer a suitable contract. Them's fightin' words! [SB Nation]
  • The tallest man in the U.S. is an avid Timberwolves fan, and he's finally got a pair of custom basketball sneakers that fit his size 24 10E (!!!) feet. [Ball Don't Lie]
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