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John Wall writing “playoffs” on all his game shoes this season

Oct 14, 2013, 10:55 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards - NBA Global Games Rio 2013 Getty Images

We’ve done multiple stories about the Wizards and their playoffs or bust mantra for this season (except the bust is a deep lottery). Everyone from Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has talked about it.

John Wall is the key to this — he generates the offense on this team. With him on the court last season the Wizards had a passable (read: average) offense but when he was out injured they were the worst in the NBA.

How seriously is Wall taking his role of leading this team to the playoffs for the first time in five years? Wall explained it to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.

When the Washington Wizards open the season Oct. 30 in Detroit, Wall will take the court with the word “playoffs” scribbled on his shoes. He will repeat the exercise every day, through 82 games, lest he or anyone else lose sight of the goal.

“You will see it on all my shoes,” Wall said last week. “Every game pair is going to have `playoffs’ on it. That’s my main determination.”

If Wall actually writes “playoffs” on 82 pairs of shoes — if he is healthy every game — the Wizards might make the playoffs in the East.

With him last season they were a .500 team last season (25-24), and a lot of years something in that ballpark would be good enough. To beat out teams like Detroit, Atlanta and Cleveland (which has its own star point guard) they may have to be a little better than that.

To make that happen, the Wizards need more than Wall. They need Bradley Beal to take a step up in his second season. Then they need Nene to stay healthy and lock down the middle, with him eventually getting some help when Emeka Okafor gets healthy. The Wizards need more than just Wall.

But they need a lot of Wall.

  1. burm61 - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    And I will write “LOL” on my popcorn when I watch the Wizards for the 20 games Wall is healthy.

    • trbowman - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      You’re going to actually watch the Wizards?

    • apkyletexas - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      Wonder if Steve Nash will also write “playoffs” on the sneakers he wears for his 20 brief appearances this year.

  2. trbowman - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    They’ll be in the battle for the right to get swept by the Miami Heat. That’s about it.

  3. roanboon - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Nike, Reebok or Adidas is going to fine him for that.

    • no14mike - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Why? It’ll draw attention to the shoes which is the whole point.

      • gmsingh123 - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        I thought he was just trying to prove that he can read and write.

  4. coryfor3 - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Oooohh good idea. That’ll get them there. That’s what this team has been missing. More shoe writing.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:38 AM

      There’s something to be said for making an open declaration like that – it puts your reputation on the line. He could’ve taken an easier route and not write anything and just talk about doing his best, and hoping for the best. He’s not doing that though.

    • paleihe - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      It may not get them there, but having clearly written goals, and having them in front of you constantly will sure keep you focused.

  5. somekat - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Wants to remember what he will be watching on TV in the spring

  6. 00maltliquor - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:02 AM

  7. dexterismyhero - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    So I’m now hearing the Jim Mora “Playoffs!!!!” sound bites all morning. Dagnabbit!!!

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      I posted the youtube video of it, it’s actually the post right above your post but PBT apparently blocked it.

  8. miamatt - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Good for him, there’s nothing wrong with setting a goal. We can all laugh about the Wizards being far from a contender, but a breakout season by Wall and a playoff appearance would be a clear step in the right direction.

  9. jdvalk - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Write it on a request to Leonsis so that Grunfeld is kicked upstairs or released from employment and you might get your wish this decade.

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