Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
John Calipari said that John Wall has been "put in a tough situation" in his first two years with the Washington Wizards.
Whatever you think of John Calipari, you have to acknowledge two things. One, he's been incredibly successful at getting the very best players to buy into his system. Two, he's a colorful personality that always makes a radio interview worthwhile.
With that in mind, I thought Calipari had some interesting comments regarding John Wall when he joined ESPN 980 earlier in the week. In the interview, Calipari said that Wall has "been put in a tough situation," which has affected his play.
"What's happened is, you took a 19-year old and put the weight of the world on him, saying to him, 'We're expecting you to drag this team to another level.' Well, there are no young guys [who can do that]. [Even] Anthony Davis isn't that guy," Calipari said.
"Now, if you have a good team, Anthony and John will make you better. If you remember, i had Derrick Rose. But the way the [ping pong] balls dropped, he ended up playing on a pretty good team. So, all of a sudden, he's an All-Star in two years, and all of a sudden he becomes the MVP of the league. But he's on a good team. So, what'll happen is, as [the Wizards] build that team, John will come out more."
Calipari did acknowledge that Wall "absolutely" has to get better, especially with his "middle" game. (We all know what Calipari means there). But the way Calipari talked, it sounded like he strongly believes a better team will make Wall a better player.
"I'll say this. I just saw him in town last weekend. He is a wonderful young man. But, he's been put in a tough situation with a high expectation because of how he did with us," he said.
I wish the hosts would have asked Calipari to compare Wall to Kyrie Irving, a fellow 19-year old who clearly had the "weight of the world" on him last year and arguably handled it better than Wall.
You can listen to the full interview here.