John Wall chooses team over ESPYs

When John Wall won the best male college athlete award at the ESPYs, he wasn’t there to accept it.

Turns out, Wall was at the Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV, but he wasn’t even playing. He was watching other summer-league action.

With LeBron James chasing any ounce of exposure he can get, Wall decided to put basketball first this week. He told The Washington Post he just didn’t feel right leaving his team to go get an award from ESPN. Check out the Post blogs here. Wall’s comment:

“Basically I don’t want to miss practice or anything like that, feel like I’m bigger than anybody,” Wall said Wednesday afternoon. “The ESPYs were a great chance, I would love to be there, but there’s more time down the future to get there. Right now I’m a rookie, so I need to be with my teammates, trying to get better every chance that I can. If I would have left, then they maybe would have looked where I was or I asked where I was. It wouldn’t have been the right place and the right situation. So I told the ESPN people thanks for the nominations, and thank God, but I had this and this is more important. This is my job. That comes secondary to what I’m trying to do.”

This, of course, is old school. Wall may be something of a trendsetter, the John Wall Dance being evidence. But the guy is dedicated. He showed rare maturity on the court as a college freshman, and now he appears to be going that same direction as an NBA rookie, even as the No. 1 overall draft pick.

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