School started this past Monday in Washington D.C. That also means that we’re getting closer and closer to NBA season. In a couple weeks, we’ll see all the kids back in the classroom.
The Mystics are also getting back in the grind this week after the long Olympic Break.
Then, the John Wall-Bradley Beal tension issue reared its head. It leads our storyline roll for the week.
John Wall and Bradley Beal “dislike each other” on the court
CSN Mid Atlantic’s J. Michael wrote an initial report earlier this week, and Wall gave the money quotes to Chris Miller in a sit down interview. Since Wall and Beal are the two biggest faces of the franchise, this easily became national news. Here are some links on that issue:
- I wrote the initial take on the subject. It’s not uncommon for top stars on a basketball team to go through growing pains and tension. It’s something that they need to work through.
- Jake broke down whether this is or isn’t a big deal.
- Candace Buckner of The Washington Post wrote her take on it and doesn’t consider this to be a big deal — as in, Wall and Beal don’t hate each other. Drew Hanlen, Beal’s shooting coach believes that their relationship is better than the relationship between former Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
- Eric Freeman of Yahoo! Sports, Dan Carson of Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated also have their columns on the tension.
- And if all of this wasn’t enough, we have a Podcast for you to enjoy. Jake, Nick, and Courtney had a fireside chat about that as well as on what other players need to do this fall.
John Wall isn’t happy about all the money going anywhere but his direction.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote an article on Thursday that elaborated on Wall specifically and how he feels about money in general. According some of O’Connor’s sources, Wall is annoyed when some others get paid more than he does.
This is a case of #FirstWorldProblems, because Wall signed a five-year $85 million deal in 2013. But Reggie Jackson is earning a similar deal. Beal is getting nearly $130 million over the next five seasons. My favorite line: a front-office executive describes Wall as “rankled” with James Harden’s four-year, $118 million extension that he signed last month. And I didn’t get to the Adidas shoe contract yet. I would certainly feel annoyed, but I also get that there’s a bigger money deal down the road.
That said, Wall refuted the report about being “rankled” in a number of tweets that he deleted later. It’s understandable if Wall feels he is underpaid. But I’m skeptical that he is jealous, since he is in line to get a mega-deal himself in 2018.
Olympic Basketball analysis and columns
No Wizards were on any Olympic team for any country. LaToya Sanders represented the Mystics and Team Turkey where she led them to a quarterfinals berth. Even though no active player for a local team won a medal, we still managed to write about the Games and how they related to the current teams in Washington.
- I wrote that Beal missed the ball when it came to declining his USA Basketball men’s national invite for the Olympics earlier this month. Given the number of players who turned it down, it was his best chance. I get that many of you in the comments say that he shouldn’t have or that 2020 is a better time for him, but I’m going so far to say that the Olympic invite was my favorite part of the offseason.
- Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post has his list of a projected 2020 USA Basketball men’s national team. He doesn’t have Wall or Beal making the team which is a fair argument to make.
- Emma Meesseman wants to play in an Olympics for Belgium. I detailed the process here and am not optimistic about her chances for Tokyo. This guideline is also useful for the men’s tournament, except that the World Cup is in 2019 so that may change things a bit.
Mystics resume play on Saturday at Indiana
The Mystics play the Indiana Fever on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on the road. They’re tied for 8th place in the WNBA standings with the Seattle Storm. It’s just good enough for a playoff spot but it’s not like Washington’s expected to make a deep playoff run, so.....:
- I wrote that the Mystics need to the miss the playoffs. They have Emma Meesseman who is one of the best players in the league and was a diamond in the rough considering where she was drafted. But the rest of the roster laid a goose egg in July. I’m not that surprised because they are starved for high draft picks.
- Elle added to that with a ranking on how disappointing each player was this season. Emma’s last — which is a good thing.
- Sanders has rejoined the Styx, which will give them a shot in the arm on defense and the frontcourt. But that also meant that we had to say goodbye to Jamie Weisner.
- We know where half of the Mystics players are going to during the NBA season. Kahleah Copper is going to play for one of Belgium’s top teams. It is coached by the Belgian national team head coach, and several players on the team are there too. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
That’s all I have for this week’s news. Of course, these aren’t the only storylines, So if you have another link you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments or in a FanPost!