2010 NBA Draft: Why I Don't Believe John Wall Is Ready for the NBA

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IJune 24, 2010

SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats walks towards the bench against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the east regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2010 in Syracuse, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Basketball fans and NBA fans, welcome to the 2010 NBA Draft as we're live at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, home of the Dallas Mavericks.

This is actually my first time covering an NBA draft and my first time inside the American Airlines Center for anything having to do with the game of basketball. So, let me set the scene for you here before we get into the draft.

Walking into the media area, you see a bunch of media guys that will end up sitting around small metal tables eating what is actually really good food and drinking as much water or soda that they can handle.

How long will they sit here, you ask? Well, seeing as the Mavericks don't pick until number 50, most of them will sit here and watch the sun set and probably watch the moon make an almost full rotation.

A few of us sat around talking about how a lot of these guys won't make it to the 50th pick, but we're guessing at this point that the pick will come somewhere around the 10pm CDT hour.

Some of the media here are typing up their preliminary reports, others are sitting around watching what's going on on the more than 20 flat screen televisions in the Old No. 7 Club here at the arena.

Now that I've set the scene for you so you get an idea of what's happening here, let's get to the first few picks of the draft that have gone down so far, and we can do that with just two words—no surprises.

Everyone knew that Kentucky's John Wall was going to go number one to the Washington Wizards, and he did.

While it wasn't a surprise pick to anyone, I may be one of the few that questions Wall's readiness for the NBA. I'm not saying that the kid doesn't have talent, because I can't say that and be 100% serious.

What I question is the fact that he may not be ready for the NBA and all it has to offer. Not so much from the talent aspect, but from the maturity aspect. Let's not forget that John Wall is coming out after his freshman year at the University of Kentucky.

Sure, there have been a few players that come out of high school and have tremendous success. Guys like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron James come to mind. For Wall, he has one year of major Division 1 experience under a great coach in John Calipari.

From saying all of that, it would make some scratch their head about why I question his ability to succeed in the NBA.

For one, I watched one of his first games, and granted it was towards the beginning of the season, but I saw the freshman mistakes that made me wonder what all the hype was that surrounded this young man.

Now I will give him credit because I watched games later in the season and didn't see him make the same mistakes. But what I did see also perplexed me.

The turnovers, the forced shots, the bad decisions. Wait, that would make him a perfect professional basketball player. All three of those things fit an NBA player, but I digress.

In the NFL, I've always believed that a young quarterback drafted out of college needed at least two years to sit back and learn the game, the speed, the abilities of the defense, before he was able to take over the team as the starter.

While I know the NBA doesn't exactly work that way, I'm of the opinion that it might benefit a young kid like Wall to spend his time learning from those in front of him instead of trying to take over the game and failing miserably.

Look, I know the Wizard fans are reading this right now and are mad as hell, but you'll just have to deal with that. You don't have to like me or my opinion, but it is what it is.

I do wish the best for John Wall, and I do hope that he makes the Wizards a respectable franchise and not one known for players bringing hand guns to a poker game.

John Wall was a respected athlete in college, and he was a tremendous player in the SEC. However, I'm not ready to call this young kid "the next big thing." He's going to have to earn that title before I start drinking the John Wall Kool-Aid.