John Wall appears to be back to form — not sure if he was broke to begin with. The Washington Wizards star guard finished off the Orlando Magic with nine of his game-high 25 points and four of his game-high 10 assists in the fourth quarter for a 117-109 win.
He did so with none other than Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s First Take in attendance. The over-the-top analyst was getting an up close view of the player and team he trashed last week during one of his hot takes. On a Nov. 8 edition of First Take, Smith called out the Wizards as the team dropped to 2-8 on the season following a bad loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
In his barb, Smith accused Wall of essentially enjoying the night life over honing his craft, referencing Wall’s frequent visits to the D.C. night club Rosebar. Smith went as far as say he would check out the club to see what fascinates Wall’s interest so much
Wall got wind of the Smith’s criticism through fans — or Smith’s minions — as they threw shots at Wall on how he spends his off time. That led to Wall chiming back at fans as he was not apologetic of his free time in a profanity-laced Instagram Live video.
Wall has responded by averaging 24 points, 10.3 assists while shooting 48.2 percent from the field, including 45.4 percent from three in the last three games since Smith made Wall a hot topic across social media.
His latest performance Monday lifted the Wizards to their second straight win, and leading to Smith leaving his seat with just under three minutes remaining in the game as the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Stephen A. Smith leaves his courtside seat with 2:40 left in the game. Guess he is getting a head start lol
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) November 13, 2018
Following the win, Wall was asked if Smith’s rant was motivation for his latest increased in production. Wall shook his head and saying, “I’m used to it.”
Teammate Bradley Beal wasn’t so mute, as he said the media unleashed the “Wolf Wall” something the Wizards were yearning.
“Y’all pissed him off. It’s y’all fault,” Beal proclaimed per Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. “He’s going to come out and play like ‘Wolf Wall’ so, that’s what we need him to do and I’m happy y’all kinda lit a little flame under him.”
Wall may want to take the high road with Smith, but his teammates are not.
John Wall hits a big shot with 4:17 left in the 4th quarter. Timeout. Austin Rivers walks away from the huddle to point at Stephen A. Smith, who is sitting baseline.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) November 13, 2018
It will be interesting to see if Smith acknowledges Wall’s recent tear or if he gives his thoughts to what he witnessed Monday at the game. Then again, considering the narrative may have changed, maybe Smith will move onto another topic for a narrative he can manipulate?