John Wall is a fiery dude. It’s a big part of what has made him, in just his fourth year in the league, one of the NBA’s most endearing players and what sets him apart from some of his more aloof peers—here’s looking at you, Kyrie Irving.
Like with any fire fed too much tinder, however, that passion has the potential to get out of hand in a hurry, as it did in the wake of the Washington Wizards’ 98-85 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night.
The Washington Post’s Michael Lee and Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin reported on Thursday that Wall has been fined $15,000 for his postgame comments:
RT @NBAPR: John Wall fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate comments towards the officials following WAS's 98-85 loss to CHA on March 12— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 13, 2014
John Wall has been fined $15,000 for saying some "magical" words to referees at the end of Washington's loss to Bobcats Wednesday.— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) March 13, 2014
We'll let you guys know what the "magical" words were. Wall's biggest beef may have been with what he viewed as bad basketball theatrics on the part of rival point guard Kemba Walker.
Yep, that's not helping his cause.
The NBA has long faced a reputation for being somewhat inconsistent in its officiating, which is why it's tried so hard in recent years to snuff out anything resembling public protest on the part of its players.
Then the player gets fined and the public outcry quickly turns to how little the money must mean to them. Either way you slice it, it’s never a good look for the NBA.
On the one hand, you hate to see your team’s best player—its leader, its lifeblood, its once and future cornerstone—lose his cool in what, at the end of the day, is a fairly meaningless game, even though the Bobcats did claw to within 2.5 games of the Wizards for the No. 6 playoff seed.
Contrastingly, if Wall can learn to lasso in his baser instincts, to alchemize that anger into basketball bullion, you could have Isiah Thomas reincarnate.
But, man…$15,000 sure would buy a lot of go-kart races, Kemba.
Wall and the Wizards will look to exorcise Wednesday’s demons when they travel to central Florida to take on the Orlando Magic Friday night.