John Wall's wrist has taken Wizards fans on a bit of a roller coaster this week. Quickly, let's review the highs and lows:
Sunday afternoon: Wall lands awkwardly on his wrist during Game 2 and writes on the floor in pain. The immediate reaction was measured and patient.
Did not leave the game pic.twitter.com/ESeAP9gkPf— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) May 3, 2015
Two minutes later: Oh, he's still playing. Whatevs.
After the game: After leading the Wizards to victory in Game 1, he expresses confidence that he and Bradley Beal (who sprained his ankle) will be good to go for Game 2 on Tuesday.
John Wall: I'm a soldier. Brad? He's a soldier too. Guys gotta play through injuries.— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) May 3, 2015
Glad that issue is put to rest. Wall might have to play through some pain, but as he showed in Game 1, he can still excel with a bum wrist. That's good.
Tuesday afternoon: John Wall shows up to shootaround with an inflated rubber glove for a hand:
A photo posted by J. Michael (@johnniequest007) on
But he and the Wizards insist he's still going to play in Game 2 later that night.
Tuesday evening: Actually, about that...
Injury Update: John Wall (wrist) has been ruled out for Game 2 tonight #WizHawks— #dcRising (@WashWizards) May 5, 2015
Wednesday: OK, so it's just a swelling thing right? Right? The Wizards have three days off before Game 3. He'll be FINE.
The emotional highs and lows have squeezed the emotion out of all of us, but no one has been through the wringer more than John Wall. As Michael Lee reported in his piece for the Washington Post, it's been a rough week that reportedly included Wall having a "rather intense argument" when it appeared the Wizards weren't going to take another look at Wall's swollen wrist on Tuesday:
Wall broke the same wrist as a sophomore in high school and immediately thought it had happened again. That was one of the reasons Wall, a player accustomed to falling with his relentless drives to the hoop, slammed the court in agony after getting accidentally undercut by Atlanta’s Jeff Teague.
"I knew when I fell on it," Wall said earlier this week. "You never know when you’ve got a lot of energy and power going down on the ground, so I thought I broke it. Kind of the same type of injury."
Wall refused to accept the initial diagnosis of a "real, real bad sprain" after X-rays immediately following the game were negative. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Wall clashed with team medical staffers before sitting out Tuesday because he felt something more serious had caused his hand to explode. After a few days of confusion and concern, Wall got the confirmation of bone fractures that he never really wanted, leaving fans of the team with broken hearts.
Friday afternoon after practice, Randy Wittman sounded off about the report (video via UPROXX):
If you can't watch the video, here's what he had to say:
"I've got to get this off my chest. You guys that know me, you know that I am completely honest with you guys. I don't always tell you everything, alright? But I don't ever come out here tell you a lie.
And what was reported today by Michael Lee is a flat-out lie about John clashing with doctors and the training staff. That is unfair to this kid. That is so far from the truth, I've got to say something. And if you're inside source, obviously, isn't on the inside. That's not fair to this kid or our doctors who are busting their a** to have something like that said. That's not right. I have to stand up for those people in there."
Wittman then proceeded to shout "NEXT QUESTION" three times when asked about what he just said.
Having no inside information ourselves, we're not going to wade into who is right here, but if nothing else, we're happy to see there's something fun to discuss/make jokes about after a week of sadness.
UPDATE: Apparently the spat extended beyond what was said during Friday's press conference. NBC Washington captured video from after the press conference where Wittman was still fired up.