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Gary Payton: 'Wall tweeted me ... and we've been tight ever since'

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Yesterday, Holly MacKenzie had a fantastic Q&A with Gary Payton on Grantland. Perhaps the best part of the piece--in the eyes of the Wizards community--was this nugget at the end about Payton's relationship with John Wall.


[MacKenzie]: Which current guys, besides the ones you work with, do you enjoy watching?

[Payton]: I like Blake [Griffin], he dunks a lot; I love Jamal [Crawford], he’s doing the crossover, he’s doing the old-school stuff. A guy that I really like is [John] Wall from Washington. Yeah. That’s becoming one of my guys. One of my kids. He tweeted me and asked for my number and I called him and we’ve been tight ever since. He’s a kid where I like him because he called me to ask me how to get better at playing defense and how to become a good point guard. That’s the type of stuff I'm saying. Some of these kids nowadays their egos are too big to go to old-school guys and say, "I need to know about my ability and how can I get better." Once he did that, it was a lock for me and him to become really close.

via Q&A: Gary Payton on Coaching, Playing Against John Stockton, and the Art of Talking Trash - The Triangle Blog - Grantland

We'd known for some time that Wall and Payton have a relationship, but we didn't know that it was Wall who initiated contact. And on Twitter of all places! Kids today, amirite?

Not only is it great to see Wall's game improve, but it's almost equally great to see him reach out to past point guards to educate himself and continue to build his confidence. Payton's praise about Wall's lack of ego is especially refreshing, considering egos used to be a dime a dozen in this team.