For the past 16 years, NBA general managers have been asked to fill out a survey before each season to ask their opinions are on various league topics. In the past, this survey has brought a bit of controversy amongst the Wizards community for John Wall’s omission in numerous categories.
Perhaps the most egregious case came last season when Wall did not receive a single vote* as the league’s best passer, despite finishing third in assists per game the previous season and averaging at least eight assists per game in every season of his career except for one - a season that was shortened significantly by injury for Wall. To add further insult, the general managers even voted for LSU product Ben Simmons, who ended up not even playing a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers last season due to a foot injury.
Needless to say, Wall was not very thrilled with the survey.
"I see it every day on my Twitter. It's funny. I enjoy it. A guy that finished in the top two of assists last year can't pass? I guess so."
This year, the general managers showed some improvement. Wall received seven percent of the votes this season, trailing LeBron James (36 percent), Chris Paul (32 percent), and tying James Harden and Ricky Rubio. Does seven percent constitute as more respect from general managers or is this still more disrespect? What Wall says, if he says anything at all, will speak volumes on how he sees it, but I can’t imagine he is content with this either.
Wall was, however, recognized as the fastest player with the ball - receiving 48 percent of the votes - beating out Russell Westbrook for that superlative. He also received votes as the best point guard in the league and as the player with the best basketball IQ.
The only other Wizards’ player that received votes for any category was Marcin Gortat, who received a vote for being the toughest player in the NBA. Coach Scott Brooks also got a vote as the best manager/motivator of people.
The Wizards as a team got some respect. Over 70 percent of GMs surveyed believe Washington will be a top-three team in the East, and one GM went as far as to pick them to finish with the best record in the conference.
Overall, it seems like a modest increase in league-wide respect for the Wizards this year compared to years’ past. Let’s see if they can continue to exceed the expectations that have been set forth.
* Note: General Managers cannot vote for their own team or personnel.