Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Actually John Wall Looks Great

Illustration for article titled Actually John Wall Looks Great
Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein (Getty)

As you may have heard, all of NBA media, and indeed pretty much all of the western world, came together yesterday to deride Washington Wizards all-star guard John Wall for, uh, proudly refusing to conform to our culture’s rigid expectations of what a successful professional male athlete must look like. Which is to say that he showed up at a Team USA camp looking like he had just been remanded there from the custody of Chuck E. Cheese. Good for him, I say!


Where does it say a professional basketball guard must be “lean” and “healthy-looking”? It doesn’t say that anywhere. Where is it written that he can’t, if he so chooses, spend the night—and indeed a whole month, I suspect!—prior to a Team USA camp photoshoot “really getting into baking”? That is not in the rules. I for one think it is very unfair that in modern society our famous athletes are given “time off” between seasons, but then laughed at and called “a tubby hobo” if they choose to spend that time, ah, backpacking through the sewer.

John Wall looks like a man who went on a well-deserved dang vacation (to the cigar factory)! He looks happy and satisfied, and also like he is 92 years old. Is that so bad? Last summer he looked slim and cared-for and well-groomed, not at all like the type of guy who leaves a man-shaped cloud of fleas behind him when he dribbles toward the hoop; then he missed half the season with injuries and the Wizards were a dysfunctional, internally fractious, eighth-seeded mess. Can you blame the guy for trying something different, and indeed completely opposite? That is called “leadership.” If more people understood and were willing to make these kinds of bold sacrifices, maybe our nation wouldn’t be in such a bad state.

Maybe he is just manipulating his competitors. Did you ever consider that? There is no way this chubby senior citizen can take me, Steph Curry will think, slim and handsome and overconfident. He is wheezing like a bagpipe and looks like he might die. But then John Wall will back his enormous can into Steph’s comparatively skeletal frame and rock him backward, and then score an easy basket. And then who will be laughing, if he can catch his breath long enough to manage it? The guy wearing the alarmingly distended No. 2 Wizards jersey, that is who.

Small-minded ignoramuses laughed at King Henry VIII for becoming an extremely fat slob, too, but then he had many innocent people executed for no good reason, before eating his way into an early and comically large grave and being remembered pretty much entirely as a porky tyrant. When will we learn the lessons of history?

Anyway, the Wizards will win the 2019 NBA Finals.